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the doughnuts and jam experience

liz lamoreux

i watch the waiter as he arrives at the table with a bag. i hear the jostling of the contents as he shakes it, the squeak of the scissors as cuts it open. he places it in front of me and i peer into it and see: freshly, baked little puffed doughnut squares. i breathe in the yeasty smell. he puts mascarpone and cranberry butter in front of me. i instantly think, “where is the jam?” but don’t say anything. he walks away. i reach in and feel the sugary, warm texture, and break the first one apart. i pick up my knife and dip into the cranberry butter and smear it on one small corner of the first piece. the dough is delicious but the butter is a bit like cough medicine. i place the rest of the doughnut back in the bag and wait.

“sir, do you think there might be some jam back there?”

he comes back with a chagrined look, “all we have is what we serve with the duck. pear and ginger…well, it is a jam of sorts.”

and it was.

i take out the piece of the first doughnut again and bring it up to my nose just to take in more of the fresh, bread meets cake smell. then i spread the jam onto it and take a bite. the tartness of the pear and ginger combination cut into the sweetness of the doughnut to form a dance of delight on my tongue. yes. a dance. i giggle as jon said, “it’s good?”

yes yes yes

my husband’s sometimes wicked belly wasn’t being nice to him at the end of this meal at the dahlia lounge last week. and though i was quite sympathetic because my belly is sometimes not my friend, i was also secretly gleeful that this meant I wouldn’t have to share.

i ate every single doughnut.

slowly pulling apart each square into tiny pieces and spread jam on each one. a ritual began.

reach in the bag. pull out a doughnut. breathe in. pull it apart and remark, “it is so warm.” break off a little piece, pick up knife and dip into jam, spread jam on little piece of doughnut, put knife down, bring doughnut to lips, insert, closes eyes, moan.


sometimes mix things up with a sigh. a laugh. an exclamation, “oh…it is so good.”

and eat every single doughnut in the bag.

slowly. deliberately. revel in it.

breathe it in. every moment. every taste. every smell. every single bite. breathe it all in.

when you visit, we will go there. we will split the seafood platter appetizer and order salads. and then we will each order the doughnuts (because i promise you my friend, you are not going to want to share). and then, you will understand.