Fat St. David’s

🐇 🐇 🐇 Today is both St. David’s Day — the Welsh national day, celebrating its patron saint, always March 1 — and also Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras — a Tuesday mov(e)able feast on the Christian calendar.

St. David’s Day calls for leeks. Also daffodils, but pretty though they are, daffodils aren’t edible. And red dragons. And, of course, singing, always the singing. (Background on this blog: my 3/1/12 posting “Take a leek” and my 3/2/15 posting “St. David’s Day”)

And then Shrove Tuesday is a food holiday, a moment of excess (in food, as in other things) before the strictures of Lent, celebrated with pancakes or fried dough or the food of Carnaval (in the US, anything Cajun or Creole). In my ethnic community, the Pa. Dutch, Shrove Tuesday calls for doughnuts:

(#1) A display of assorted foodstuffs called doughnuts / donuts in American English

(Background on this blog: my 3/8/11 posting “Fasnacht Day”; my 8/3/18 posting “Ruthie and the language of doughnuts”)

Yes! They can be combined, in Fat St. David ‘s savory (rather than sweet) doughnuts, which have sautéed leeks in the dough.

Two approaches to Fat St. David’s doughnuts, one using a potato dough, with yeast as the leavening agent, and cheese for further flavor; the other using a wheat-flour dough, with baking powder as the leavening agent, and rosemary plus lemon zest for further flavoring.

Leek and cheese donuts. On the Pro.Perties recipes site, the leek – cheese – donut: a yeasty dough based on baked potatoes, with sautéed leeks and grated mountain cheese (Alpine Bergkäse) worked into it, deep fried, and served with a yoghurt dip.

Leek and rosemary donuts. On the Self-righteousness and Gas blog, in a 12/23/11 posting “Savory Doughnuts: Leek and Rosemary”, lemony mini doughnuts: baking-flour dough leavened with baking powder, with flaxseed meal, lemon zest, rosemary, red pepper flakes and sautéed leeks worked into it, cooked in a mini donut maker; the writer had such a machine and looked to put it to new uses, but you could of course deep-fry the dough in the traditional way.

Mini donut makers. (A new world for me. But then I’m a consumer, not producer, of doughnuts.) There are commercial machines, designed to produce large quantities of small doughnuts. And then there are cute home machines, from many different companies, designed to yield a small number of little donuts quickly, with non-stick ease. For instance, available from several sources, this Brentwood mini donut maker machine in (admirably purplish) pink, which “bakes 7 donuts in just a few minutes”:

(#2) In the $25-30 price range, not bad for a very specialized appliance

Now I’m seized by a hunger for cheesy donuts, with a touch of leek and lemon. And inflamed by imaginings of filled donuts with savory stuffings and of (unsweetened) pancakes and waffles with savory toppings.

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