My wife invariably works on New Year's Eve and this year she is in fact working all day - from 7 a.m. till whenever the last drunken customer staggers home. So this leaves me with a particularly long stretch of time to fill with the boys (two - ages six and two-almost-three). We're planning a party - the world's smallest New Year's cake ($4.99 at Superfresh. I coulda made it myself, but I am too lazy) and ice cream.
But I wanted to start the day right - a bath and a trip to the "Doughnut store," or what adults would know as the only Krispy Kreme outlet in eastern Pennsylvania. The boys love it, and so do I, even though it is miles and miles from our house and is in an unspeakably crappy section of North Philly. We'd go perhaps once a month.
So, after a refreshing bath this morning (the boys, that is - I don't fit into the tub), we hauled our butts up to Cottman Avenue to discover something horrifying - the Doughnut Store is Closed. Not just closed, but out-of-business, up-for-lease, gone-for-ever kind of closed.
Now, according to the Krispy Kreme website, the nearest Krispy Kreme outlet is a mere 55 miles from my house, in a place called Brick, N.J., followed by one in Baltimore, just 81 convenient miles from home.
In the scale of things, this is not a major problem, of course, but it is sad. I grew up in the South, where Krispy Kreme was a way of life - none of these gleaming white and green, well-scrubbed outlets that you see in the mall. No - Krispy Kreme in the Good Old Days was a grimy, slightly creepy coffee shop, often open 24 hours, found along seedy industrial roads in places like Alexandria, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee. The coffee was good, the doughnuts were greasy and delicious, the green vinyl seats were cracked and stained, and the old guys drinking coffee at all hours of the night were extremely disreputable-looking. Taking my sons there, even to one of the new hygienic outlets, was a throwback to my youth.
Perhaps the doughnut gods will look favorably upon us and bring us a new Krispy Kreme outlet. Or perhaps allow us to move to a town with Krispy Kreme. In the meantime, no doughnuts for me - I just can't enjoy anything but Krispy Kreme. Yes, I know - they are heavy, oily and sweet. But that's what I like about them - that's the whole point. I can't stand the dry Dunkin' Donut variety. And I have tried making doughnuts myself, but they are really kind of a pain in the butt.
Happy New Year to me. Sigh.