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My Blog

Long Johns....Donut or Underwear?

Good morning to all.  Well another Friday has rolled around.  A beautiful day here in the Chicago land area.  The sun is shining and the birds are twittering away here this morning.  It is rather loud at 4 AM here if you are awake to listen to the birds outdoors.  No other time of the day seems is as loud with activity from them.  I wish I could understand what they are all saying. 
Well, today's blog was sparked by yesterdays blog.  It is about a simple donut that I thought was something everyone in the world knew about...only to find out that it wasn't.  Living in this area my entire life, it has been just another common thing to go to a bakery or to a donut place and order a long john.  If for any reason you are from somewhere other than here...a long john is a type of donut.  It is not round, but a long rectangular shape.  There is no filling but is usually frosted with either white or dark chocolate. 
One year, we were on a vacation trip and had all of our grandchildren with us.  We had made a stop in Virginia to stretch out and move around after a number of hours of driving.  We pulled into a Dunkin Donuts and decided to get a dozen donuts for us and the children.  We walked in and began choosing the types we wanted.  We got down to the last few donuts and without hesitating, I told the young girl behold the counter to just fill the rest of the donut order with long johns.  This is where the young woman just stopped and looked at us like we had just stepped out of a UFO and we were the aliens.  She asked us to repeat what we wanted.  So, I repeated the statement.  She looked at me and said "You want underwear?  We only sell donuts here."  I looked back at her over that counter....totally astonished that she would think I was asking for underwear.  I repeated that I wanted the long donut....you know...a long john.  I was still oblivious to the fact that they did not know of such a donut.  Well, needless to say, we landed up getting some other types of donuts instead. 
It seems that the only information about a log john donut is that it a version of an éclair only it does not have it creamy filling.  I wondered why they have the same name as underwear, but this American language of ours is confusing and there are no grounds for it unless you consider the grounds used in coffee that become it's sidekick. 
As I have searched for an answer...the only possibility I could come up with was that the first donut cutter patent was granted to a John Blondell and perhaps it was a tribute to him?  Silly, I know...but sometimes there just is no real answer. 
When I researched the donut itself, I was amazed at the different types of donuts both here and around the world.  Way too many to even list here. 
When I think about dough nuts in general, I recall that when I was a young girl in grammar school, we had a fund raiser every year.  Of all the things that would could possibly sell...I remember that it was dough nuts.  It never really dawned on me why we would even think of selling such a perishable item...but we did.  We used to have to first go around and take the orders.  People ordered them like crazy...as a kid, I never quite thought about why.  I just knew that I would take the orders and then when the day arrived for the dough nuts to be delivered in their white waxed boxes, I had to use my radio flyer wagon to bring them home and deliver that very day.  After all...they were dough nuts.  I remember selling tons of those boxes and had to make numerous trips back and forth to school to pick them up and bring them home.  After thinking about that, I decided I needed to find out what kind they were.  I had an idea that perhaps after bing in the South and tasting a Krispy Crème that perhaps they were the company.  Upon researching, I discovered that they were the company that we sold back when I was a young girl. It is funny how certain things have their own very distinctive tastes.  Well, I still enjoy dough nuts of all types...but a long john is probably still my favorite.  I guess if I ever move, I might have to learn to make my own. 

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