Day 72 on the Maersk Arkansas
I am not sure why, but I have noticed that I tend to have more dreams while at sea. So far most of them have been good dreams but last night I had a frightening nightmare that I was still married. I am not sure what brought it on but I have a pretty good idea. It had to do with the horror film I watched the previous night called Jane Austen Book Club. I know your next question, what was I doing watching Jane Austen Book Club and not in the company of someone with two X chromosomes? There really is no excuse but the fact that the disk read “Jane Austen Cook Book” is what I am going with because its true.
I thought it was going to have something to do with food and by the time I realized what happened I had already invested too much time into and decided to finish it. I would like to find the person who copied this disk and explain the difference between a book club and a cook book then thank them for stealing 90mins of my life that I can never, ever, ever have back. I believe watching 90mins of women crying and talking of marriage and divorce caused my nightmare. And on top of that they kept talking about the exes favorite movie “Pride and Prejudice”…eeewwwww. For some, watching Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street can do it but clearly Jane Austen is my Freddy Kruger.
Still reeling from the horror and checking my ring finger, I made my way down to the galley where I saw fresh donuts. This confused me because we were a day out from Jebal Ali, UAE and when we get Dunkin Donuts they are usually gone in an hour (apparently United Arab Emirates “runs on Dunkin too”). We are even blessed with Krispy Kremes’ presence sometimes in Kuwait, but these weren’t Krispy Kremes. There were about a dozen tan donuts with a chocolate topping and I was told the steward made them. Fresh made donuts onboard a ship are unheard of (except on cruise ships of course) but as I explained in my previous post ,Doug isn’t your ordinary steward and I believe he is on a personal mission have us leave with more mass than we came with.
The donuts were still warm and the smell of chocolate glaze was working its way around the ship. I took a bite and entered donut heaven, the glaze was tasty and rich. The donut was a little heavier than your average Dunkin Donut and the dough had a great taste with perfect amount of sweetness. I somehow resisted the urge to down a second but made a few trips back throughout the day. I asked Doug if he would allow me to watch the process the next time he made them and he obliged a few days later.
In my dedication to food I woke up early before my morning watch and trudged down to the galley and all I could think about was those old Dunkin Donuts commercials “TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS”. When I got to the galley Doug was rolling the dough out. Watching him glide around the galley I actually got a sense he enjoys his job (this is rare at sea). Singing and whistling along to what sounded like Air Supply blasting from the radio he rolled, cut, and tossed the donuts in scalding oil with ease. I had never witnessed donuts being made and watching sugar laden dough tossed into a bath of oil was slightly disturbing but the first bite made me quickly forget and not care about what an unhealthy process making donuts is. I look forward to getting home and trying this out.
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour and yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, butter and granulated sugar and salt just until warm (120-130deg) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high for 3 minutes, stir in as much of the flour as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5mins) total. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour). Punch dough down. Remove dough to slightly floured surface and roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes using doughnut cutter (or empty coffee can for donut and water bottle for holes). Place on greased baking sheets, cover and let rise in a draft free place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Pour oil into a large, heavy saucepan to 1 inch depth. Heat to 350-375degF. Handle dough as little as possible to prevent falling. Place 2 or three doughnuts in oil. Cook about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, repeat with remaining doughnuts.
In a small bowl. combine all ingredients. Beat until smooth.
Blend 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa into Vanilla Glaze Dip Warm doughnuts into Vanilla Glaze, or let doughnuts cool, then spread with Chocolate Glaze. Drain on rack and set over waxed paper.