When I read the challenge for this months Your Mother Should Know by Steph from Dispensing Happiness I knew that it was going to be more of a challenge for me than for most people. The challenge was to make something from the year before your mother was born…and my mom was born in 1918! I was a little worried about finding a recipe from so long ago.
But I did it. And it was one of my favorite things to make..Donuts. AND I learned a lot about history that I hadn’t known. That is the fun of a challenge, isn’t it?
I am copying this from The Salvation Army website.
In August, 1917, fighting raged near Montiers, France, as soldiers huddled in camp – hungry, weary and drenched by 36 consecutive days of rain. In a tent near the front lines, Salvation Army lassies made donuts by filling a refuge pail with oil. made dough with left over flour and other ingredients on hand, and used a wine bottle as a rolling pin. With a baking powder tin for a cutter end a camphor-ice suck tube for making the holes, donuts were fried – seven at a time – in soldier’s steel helmets on an 18-inch stove. (Later, a seven-pound shell fitted with a one-pound shell was used to cut out the donut holes.)
Rain fell continuously, the water-soaked tent finally Collapsed. However, the 100 donuts made that first day were an immediate success Soon, as many as 500 soldiers stood in muck outside the resurrected tent waiting for the sweet taste of donuts and, before long, 9,000 donuts were being made around the clock. The tent became the first 24-hour donut shop.
Word spread and – although the basic recipe for making the donuts greatly varied from unit to unit – before long, Salvation Army lassies were making donuts wherever the war was being fought Donuts were taken to the front lines, and it was reported that some pilots even dropped notes asking for donuts for their troops.
Learning how to make donuts isn’t that hard – and this is an easy recipe to begin with. Plus, I love the history that goes along with it. For more donut making tips and a couple of recipes you may also like my article, How to Make Donuts.
Famous Salvation Army Doughboy Doughnut
7-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup lard
3 large cans evaporated milk
3 large cans water
18 cups flour
18 teaspoons baking powder
7-1/2 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons nutmeg
Cream sugar and lard together, beat eggs, add evaporated milk and water. Add liquid to creamed mixture. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in large sieve and sift into other mixture. Add enough flour to make e stiff dough. Roll and cut. Five pounds of lard are required to fry the doughnuts. Yield: approximately 250 doughnuts