Today is National Doughnut day. It happens every year on the first Friday in June. The holiday honors the Salvation Army "Lassies" of World War I.
According to the Salvation Army, in August, 1917, fighting raged near Montiers, France, as soldiers huddled in camp - hungry, weary and drenched by 36 consecutive days of rain. In a tent near the front lines, Salvation Army lassies made doughtnuts by filling a refuge pail with oil. They made the dough with left over flour and other ingredients on hand, and used a wine bottle as a rolling pin. With a baking powder tin for a cutter end a camphor-ice suck tube for making the holes, doughtnuts were fried - seven at a time - in soldier's steel helmets on an 18-inch stove.
Rain fell continuously that day, causing the water-soaked tent to finally collapse. However, the 100 doughnuts made that first day were an immediate success. Soon, as many as 500 soldiers stood in muck outside the resurrected tent waiting for the sweet taste of doughtnuts and, before long, 9,000 doughnuts were being made around the clock. The tent became the first 24-hour doughnut shop.
Word spread and - although the basic recipe for making the doughtnuts greatly varied from unit to unit - before long, Salvation Army lassies were making doughnuts wherever the war was being fought.
In honor of the day, the LA Times has published a list of its favorite doughnut shops including some Chowhound favorites.
For a great doughnut "report," check out sku's Chowhound post here:
When you are driving around today, look to see if your local doughnut shop is offering free doughnuts to solicit donations for the Salvation Army or for another needy cause. Word on the street is that Krispy Kreme is handing out free doughnuts today.
Come back here and post what you find....
If you find them, please be generous. If you can't find one, you can always donate directly on the Salvation Army's webpage.