Robin Anish | The Table is Set: A family tradition continues

Serendipity is sweet.

I've been thinking about my father. I'm writing my column on the Sunday before it is due; it happens to be Oct. 1, 2017, my father's birthday. He passed away the day before his birthday at the age of 89. Today, he would have been 100 years old!

I'm also visiting my 1-year-old grandson, Elliott, a precious little guy who absolutely consumes my heart!

This morning while mom — my daughter — was at work, dad snuck out to buy some yummy doughnuts for breakfast, a real treat; but, apparently, a sneaky little treat and a secret grandma was now in on.

Mom isn't supposed to know, but every Sunday morning while she's at work, dad sneaks out to get doughnuts, a secret little treat for he and Elliott. It's their special tradition, their father-and-son time together.

And then it happened, a serendipitous moment. I remembered that when I was a kid, every Sunday morning my dad would go to the local bakery and bring home doughnuts, doughnuts I could count on being there every Sunday morning when I got up. It was my dad's tradition.

Today, my dad's birthday, I felt great joy in Elliott and his dad sneaking a Sunday morning doughnut as they do every Sunday but that Boston cream doughnut saved especially for mom every Sunday? I think the cat has been out of the bag all along!

Cider doughnuts are a treat at this time of year, but if you don't make it to an apple orchard before they run out, try this wonderful coffee cake based on a recipe from Martha Stewart with all the flavor of a cider doughnut but without all the work. Serve warm with a good cup of coffee.



3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoon nutmeg

cup granulated sugar

light brown sugar, packed

1 cup apple cider

cup vegetable oil

cup unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

3 large eggs


cup granulated sugar

teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, cider, oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs mixing until well blended. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

Combine topping sugar and cinnamon. Invert the warm cake back onto the rack.

Brush with melted butter and generously sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the cake. Cool and serve.


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