Nostalgia. I've been feeling it, lately.
I've been craving the past, but not for the reasons one may think. I can absolutely declare with a full and rested heart that my present circumstances are everything but sub par. In conjunction with my recent birthday celebrations, I've entered into this new year of my life with amazing friends and family, a challenging albeit rewarding job and a healthy dose of happiness.
Quick reminder: I'm not totally aloof. I know these periods come and go as they please and when they go, I'm thrown back into the regular occurrences of daunting work projects, stressful hours, concerns about finances, impatient thoughts about family and friends and perhaps the worst, boredom.
But I'm in one of those places. The good kind, to clarify. It has me thinking about the past. I often find I get most nostalgic near the end of summer. I think back to summer mornings on my porch, my father offering up some quip of a remark I was too tired to contend. I think back to those summer soccer leagues, my leg muscles screaming in painful strength and those fantastic shin guard tans. I think back to our Florida vacations, the lingering aroma of fruit during the day while each night was blanketed in lurking reptiles and a humid stillness. And I think back to long family road trips, our mornings greeted with Krispie Kreme donuts in the back of the car.
Nostalgia as always served as a source of inspiration for me. It influences my writing, my photography and my zealous appetite for recipe creation. It may seem counterintuitive, that such a backward-looking emotion inspires creativity and a boldness to dream, to imagine. But it does.
Today, I think back to those early morning car rides with our exhausted eyes and fingers coated in Krispie Kreme syrupy goo. Cue: A zealous inspiration. Thankful for these memories, I attempted to amalgamate the disparate memories of the past with the context of today. The result? That's easy: Donuts. The answer is always donuts.
These donuts in particular were inspired by a few different aspects of summer: fresh blueberries to represent the local food markets, the taste of coconut to represent the beach and just a splash of lemon to represent summer cocktails.
Nostalgia: You're so tasty!
Baked Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Milk Donuts
(yields 12 donuts)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1-2 cups of blueberries, washed and dried
Preheat the oven to 325°F and spray a donut pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, butter and oil. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Lastly, stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and the blueberries.
When ready, carefully pour about 1/3-cup of batter into each donut section of the pan. Bake the donuts for about 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve when cool or store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to five days.