little bird: pure sunshine
4 February 2014
long before Dunkin’ Donuts’ seemingly complete domination of Boston (much like Seattle’s Starbuck’s on every corner), my dad and i would trek to our suburban Dunkin’ to pick up a dozen for our little family. what can i get you, the clerk would say. and dad would consistently reply, yeah, give me six lemon-filled. lemon doughnuts were mom’s favorite. i have no doubt that, given the opportunity, she would have eaten them every single day. they became my favorite, too (copycat), so dad made sure his girls had enough to go around.
prior to the lemon curd shortage (an apparent byproduct of today’s less-than-generous approach to doughnut-making), mom was able to get a healthy portion of filling with nearly every bite. she’d look up at me, a little bit of powered sugar on the corners of her mouth, which she’d pat daintily with her napkin. giggle. then, consume the only remaining bite. delicious!, she’d proclaim.
like the very best attributes of a lemon—bright and zingy—mom exuded a warmth that others were drawn to. basked in. i can’t tell you how much i miss that sunshine. when she came to live with us in the latter part of her life, i’d occasionally trot home with lemon-filled doughnuts. sure, she enjoyed them. but never as much as when dad arrived triumphantly with a dozen under his arm.
to celebrate what would have been mom’s 92nd birthday, i’ve assembled a menu i think she would have liked:
a nice loaf of challah (best eva!)
brussel sprouts (simplified this recipe)
meyer lemon hand pies (crust recipe)
here’s to you, little bird. it’s never as sunny without you here. sending you love and smooches. catch ya on the flip side.
Awesome story and nice birthday tribute to your mom. I can just picture her now with that look of pure joy she got on her face while enjoying a delicious treat. Her bright and zingy sunshine is missed for sure.
a lovely memory, as ever. my mom used to make delicious lemon-curd doughnuts–a favorite of mine, too, although i preferred her hand-whisked-cream custard over all–always filled to the bursting point. i might just have to find a shoppe to mark the day (but, sorry, not Dunkin’)!
thanks, m. let’s go mom’s for doughnuts. now would not be soon enough!