A great activity for a wintry day

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Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— A friend who wishes to remain anonymous gave this old recipe for "Spud Nuts" to me. She said the recipe appeared in the Craig Empire Courier around the 1960s.

The recipe makes a whole lot of spud nuts, depending on how big you cut them, so it really takes more than one person to make them.

First, the ingredients: 1 quart milk, 1 cup butter or shortening, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup mashed potatoes, 2 packages yeast (not the fast-rising kind), 1 cup water or potato water, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 12 cups of flour. The ingredients for the glaze appear later in this column.

First, take the eggs out of the refrigerator so they can warm up.

Then, scald the milk. Add the butter or shortening. Let the mixture cool.

While it cools, dissolve the two packages of yeast in 1 cup of warm water or potato water. The recipe's contributor says she uses potato water because the dough rises faster.

When the mixture cools, add the sugar, mashed potatoes, yeast, soda, baking powder and vanilla. Mix well. Then let the mixture rise until it gets foamy and it appears the yeast is working.

Next, add the eggs, salt and flour. My friend says it may not take all of the flour. Mix in a little at a time. Knead the dough a lot so it's like bread. The more you knead, the better the dough will be.

Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. Cut off about a fourth of the dough at a time and roll out about 1 inch thick. Cut with a donut cutter. Save the holes. Let the cut spud nuts rise for about 30 minutes.

Fry in hot grease. Years ago, cooks used lard. You can use olive oil, peanut oil or corn oil. It takes about 2 quarts.

Use some of the spud nut centers to test the oil after it is heated. My friend warns to be careful with hot oil so you don't have a fire.

Fry the spud nuts and let them cool a little before covering with glaze or sugar. If you freeze some spud nuts, put the sugar or glaze on after they have thawed.

Fry the spud nut holes separately.

The ingredients for the glaze are 1 pound powdered sugar, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix the ingredients in a pan and cook a little. Then keep it warm for glazing.

My friend says, "It takes somebody to fry, somebody to glaze, somebody to sugar and somebody to eat."

I'll bet it isn't hard to find the last somebody. What a great activity for a gathering on a wintry day!

I think it will take some experimenting to get the dough and oil temperature just right. Also, if you get too much flour from the spud nuts in the oil, you will have to strain it and start over.

Yum! What a great recipe. Thanks so much!

Send your recipes to me at Box 415, Craig, CO 81625, or call me at 824-8809.

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