Donuts are part of the magic that makes life so sweet. I founded the Level 3 Friday Donut Club in 2004 and ran it until my departure in 2015. It had a three year run at Windstream and is now virtual, but at its peak, we had a rotation of 50+ folks who brought donuts every Friday. We had three simple rules: (1) five dozen (2) boutique shop donuts (3) by 8:00 am. This blog memorializes these e-mails to share my thoughts (and, once upon a time, announce the donut arrival). Have a happy Friday!
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Bread Babies for Dead Mateys
You’re likely familiar with the spooky Celtic traditions
that spawned Halloween. You might even be versed in the eerie amalgamation of Mesoamerican
and Catholic traditions that became el Día de los Muertos. Just when you
thought you’d heard them all, I’ve got a new one for you—well, the tradition is
quite old, I just expect it to be new to you. In Ecuador, an All Soul’s Day delicacy
(November 2nd) are Bread Babies –Guaguas de Pan
(pronounced wa-was). I’d never really questioned why we did it, just enjoyed
the pastries, often followed by a Colada
Morada chaser –a traditional All Soul’s Day concoction, made with 8
herbs, 5fruits, purple corn flour,
sugar and water, which is best served hot. So, I did a little research. It
turns out the Incas mummified their dead and would bring them out of their
graves once a year to share food and colada morada as a form of showing respect
and remembering your ancestors. Of course, the Spanish would have none of this
tomb desecration. So, large loaves of bread shaped like the bound mummies began
to be used as stand-ins. With time the recipe evolved (European wheat replaced American
pumpkin as the main ingredient) and the form factor became smaller, leaving ordinary
folks like me to shrug our shoulders at the odd shape while enjoying the taste.
So, on this All Hallows’ day, enjoy a Guagua de Pan, if you’re lucky enough to find
one. If not, I think a donut would be a fine stand-in.
Friends, My family gained a new daughter last week. As I welcome the freshly minted Mrs. González, I wish the new couple a lasting, loving, happy and tranquil marriage. I am also reminded of a special delivery I received at the wedding. A few weeks ago, my niece/goddaughter held a “go fund me” and offered to stitch something for the donors. I, of corse, asked for a horse jumping through a donut. The completed masterpiece depicting this unlikely combo now has a special place in my office, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it. That said, I may forgo the obligatory donut today and opt for some of the leftover cake we still have at the house. Happy Friday! New addition to the Family Horse through donut with the artist Horse through donut at it’s new home shelf P.S. The donut wall in action.
Friends, The human form is the measure by which we frame the world around us. We are, after all, most familiar with (and full of) ourselves. Take the friendly elevator at Shift, the coworking environment where I sometimes migrate to change scenery. It’s no more or less efficient than other elevators, yet, the illusion of a smiley face created by the card reader’s reflection makes the space just a tad more endearing. The elevator could, for all I know, be an evil machine plotting my demise. Nah! Who am I kidding, it can’t be. What with its symmetric “eyes” and understated grin. Nothing so cute could possibly be waiting for the right moment to plunge me to my grave from the top floor. Could it? Another example: receiving two thumbs up is universally accepted as a sign of having done a great job. Unless, of course, if it’s coming from a koala bear. With two opposable thumbs in each hand, anything short of four thumbs has room for improvement. Which leads me to donuts. Last week’s expedit
Friends, The book Ready Player One sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created. La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back