Doughnut forsake me…

Last weekend my dearest espoused quite unexpectedly got to the last six of a competition to win a trip to do the New York Marathon and we had a frenetic time trying to get as many people on the internet to ‘like’ our entry on Facebook. The most ‘likes’ got the trip. Sadly we ended up third with the winning entry being liked by more than twice ours.

But we did get over three hundred ‘real’ people to like ours and each one of them counts ten times more than people who have Facebook pages such as this—


That’s right the name of the person who liked the winning entry is ——————-

He (or she) has several posts that read ————-______________————–

Anyway – the bitterness is behind us (aye right..) and it is time to reward the internet for showing us how wonderful some people can be. My special doughnut recipe from the USA —

To make these doughnuts you need the following:

a) The patience of a saint

b) 60 ml warm water mixed with 7g dried yeast and 1/2 tsp caster sugar (that says half a teaspoon!)

c) 35 g butter or margarine melted in 90 ml milk (in a pan will do)

d) 25 g caster sugar and pinch salt

e) 250 g plain flour

f) Deep fat fryer (175 C)

g) Sugar for coating

h) 12 hungry people

So you put the yeast and sugar and water together and let it become foamy (like this…)


Well more foamy than this – about ten minutes in a warm place. In fact fill the sink with hot water (you’ll need it for all the dishes) and sit it on top. That worked for me.

Melt the butter in a pan with the milk and then dissolve in the sugar and salt. Throw that watery mix into the mixer with a dough hook on it. Start it turning slowly.

Then add some of the flour until it becomes smooth like wallpaper paste. Then add the rest and set it on slow until it comes off the sides and clumps on to the hook.

Plop it on to a flour surface – it will look like this (hopefully).


Now knead it a bit more until it is smooth and soft. Put some oil on the surface of a bowl, drop in the ball of dough and cover with cling film. Leave it to double in size.





No I didn’t just zoom in. I may have proved this a bit too long actually.

Take it out, knock the air out of it and roll it to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out 12 doughnuts.


..or 11.1 as I managed to get with my cutter. The spare middle is the cook’s treat!

Next you let them prove for an hour just where they are (go off and do the recycling like we did). When you come back heat your fryer to 175 C and give them 1 minute each side before dusting with sugar.


See that proves it!


One minute one side…


…one on the other…


…and dusted with sugar.

Try to leave for at least half an hour before munching.


Don’t ever make doughnuts with self-raising flour because it is cheating and that is no way to behave whether you are cooking for friends or trying get friends to like you.

Did I just leak some bitterness again.



Ghosts of New York in Kinloss

No web page for the Abbey Inn in Kinloss but it would be a shame if you couldn’t find it.

Here’s the map,+Findhorn+Rd,+Kinloss,+Forres,+Moray+IV36+3TX/@57.6358232,-3.5710495,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4885765455bf6c23:0x52334a1d6600bb35

Now you know my preoccupation with finding a great burger and since returning from the US I have struggled. I even tried remaking my own but British Beef just doesn’t seem to work for some reason. They use ‘chuck beef’ in the US, that’s from the neck I am told but I went to the butcher and asked for this and it still didn’t come out right.

Anyway I caught sight of a picture of a burger being served at this newly reopened pub where it seems ghosts enjoy a seat beside you when you are supping and dining.

I didn’t sense any ungodly presence apart from the sound of Neil Diamond on the jukebox (‘shivers uncontrollably’) but I did for a fleeting moment have a throwback moment where I thought I was in New York again

photo 2(2)It did look great and it was very good indeed. Don’t get carried away though because I will break it down for you so you are not caught out.

The Onion Rings on top – excellent fresh battered and fried.

Brioche Bun – soft and buttery. Made it an easy munch.

Burger – processed or bought in I suspect. A bit rubbery although still one of the better ones I’ve had. They should just shove a bit of mince on here.

Fillings – packed with goodies. I had pulled pork and they added much juiciness to it. Very good indeed. Wife had cajun chicken burger (fresh) and very very nice.

Chips in a wee bag – frozen I suspect. Good quality ones though and tasted great soaked in vinegar out of the wee poke.

Coleslaw – bought in I am guessing although it said homemade. It was ok. Perhaps bought in mayonnaise if genuinely fresh.

Presentation – it looks great doesn’t it.

It was very quiet when we went in and it doesn’t deserve to be on a Saturday lunchtime. We had a very pleasant drive into Findhorn afterwards and that was a nice way to walk off the feast…

… and to get ‘Sweet Caroline’ out of my head.

A Leap In Price

Logie Steading ( is a pleasant enough place to spend an afternoon of exploring when you are trying to avoid doing anything more useful.


… and as you can see it is pretty quiet at this time of year.

I would hazard a few guesses as to why it is so quiet and leave it to you to decide which is true:

  • It sells works of art, local crafts, second-hand books, antiques and quality foods which, while not of low quality, are priced as if they were as rare as the lost treasures of the Sierra Madre (Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef – £10? – on Amazon for £2.75!).
  • It’s as hard to find as hen’s teeth.
  • Apart from second hand books, the shops are pretty bare. It’s no Aladdin’s cave.
  • There’s not that much to do really. There’s a garden you can look at for £2 and …. well that’s more or less it….

Well that’s a bit unfair and I would go back.


Well the little Olive Tree Cafe is very pleasant and is not overpriced for good value food. I’m not sure they know the difference between ginger and garlic but they serve a handsome plate of soup


… and the scone is absolutely the best one I’ve enjoyed in a good while. Just the right balance of cake-iness and biscuity-ness. Soft and moist inside, crumbly on the outside. The size of a Manhattan Hotel (sad memory).


They also give you a decent pot of tea for two which would serve three. I like my top ups.

But even better. You can use their car park for free while enjoying a lovely walk to Randolph’s Leap on the River Findhorn nearby.


Yes that is a look of sheer terror on her face and her knuckles are white with the power of her grip on that fence.

She didn’t fall….

… but she dropped a pound coin!!

I retrieved it though….


Clearly I don’t give up my money that easily..