I’ve felt like my cooking mojo has been lost lately. Old standards have gone sadly awry. I’ve reeled it in to a few no-fail standbys…talking basic tuna salad, folks. Needless to say, I was thrilled with an impromptu scheduling of From Scratch Saturday. Cooking club makes me a happy camper. Things don’t always go well, but we always have fun. Thankfully today was a double win with excellent company and a great end product.

I’ve always been intimidated by deep-frying. I don’t do it enough to justify a dedicated appliance and fears of the havoc a gas flame and overflowing oil could cause in my kitchen fill my head.Ā  A beautiful enameled cast iron dutch oven came to live with me a few Christmases back, and I’ve turned out a few batches of fried chicken since then, so apprehension is being overcome. That said, I didn’t mind tag teaming with my very talented friends for the task at hand, doughnuts.

Mom used to fry doughnuts as an occasional after school snack. The doughnut holes were always my favorite. So, when Jennie‘s email landed in my inbox this week suggesting doughnut making for our next From Scratch, I was quick with a positive reply. I’m going to say everyone should try making these at least once. There is just nothing that could compare with that first heavenly bite.

See here for the recipe. Lori, our hostess this month, prepared the dough and took care of the first rise before we arrived. Our only real issue was keeping the oil temp calibrated. The thermometer was touching the pan bottom which we thought might be an issue. A little internet research showed this to be correct. The same research reminded me that the clip on the thermometer adjusts to the pan height. Whoops. Way to go me, standing over the hot oil holding the thermometer away from the pan’s bottom instead of adjusting the clip. We finally hit our stride, noting the ripples and small bubbles that signified the perfect temp. We also resisted overcrowding the pan. Nothing like learning by doing.