Saturday, April 03, 2010

Christ is Risen.....have a doughnut?

Growing up the U.K., doughnuts were considered an Afternoon Tea food. You would have sandwiches (white bread, with the crusts cut off of course) and hot tea with milk or lemon. The doughnut would be served as a sweet pastry at the end of the meal, usually as one choice among many, the Egg Custard, the Vanilla Slice and the Apple Turnover were all other options that made an appearance at our house.

Occasionally the doughnut would migrate to regular tea time, but the idea of eating a doughnut for breakfast never crossed our mind, doughnuts were not to be consumed before at least midday. When I relocated to Lubbock, Texas, and discovered doughnuts being served as a breakfast staple I was mystified. Some cultural differences took a great deal of getting used too. But I soon embraced the mystery of the fried dough breakfast and began to consume my fair share as a way to break fast - this was of course before my love affair with the Kolache entered the picture.

One thing that did mystify me however was the appearance of the doughnut in church, usually as an enticement for somebody to enter the Sunday school room. Most of the churches I attended in the U.K. never served more than hot tea with a plain biscuit (that's cookie for you American readers). Occasionally a more progressive church might serve chocolate biscuits if their budget could cover it, but Rich Tea Biscuits or a Plain Digestive was the usual level of snackage at most churches in the U.K. It seems to me that doughnuts are almost a requirement for worship in the U.S. Every Easter our worshipping staff has involved discussions about how many doughnuts to order, where they should be placed around the church and what type of doughnut is best. Should we order cake doughnuts? Chocolate? Glazed? Filled? I never realized that part of planning Easter Worship would involved estimating doughnut consumption. I guess nothing says 'Christ is Risen' quite like deep fried sugary dough.

Is it the shape I wonder, maybe subconsciously by consuming a doughnut we are consuming the stone that was in front of the tomb? Is it our way of declaring that not only is the tomb empty, but we are making sure it never gets blocked again? I wonder what the symbolism of sprinkles are.

Maybe it is us declaring our 'disdain' for the flesh by eating these fried carbohydrate bombs. We know our flesh will fail but our Spirits will live forever. Somehow I don't think Bavarian Cream was what St. Paul had in mind when he told us to 'Put to death the deeds of the body'.

I guess it's just as well that there is no Scriptural Prohibition against doughnut consumption. It could cause a severe drop in Church attendance if the only snack foods allowed were sauteed kale and pickled beetroot!

So this sunday I will dash between services trying to avoid small children with a doughnut in each hand and sugary smears across their faces....and I will try to remind myself that I don't need to eat a doughnut because their are better things I can do with the calories.

And then I will go celebrate the end of Lent by having my first Dr. Pepper since we broke up in February. Doughnuts are optional for me....but celebrating Easter without a D.P.? Inconceivable!


Katy said...

I grew up in a small church and my father was the president of the Board of Stewards. I understood that to mean it was his job to bring the donuts to church every Sunday. When we would beg for donuts any other day of the week my dad would explain that people only eat donuts on Sunday. At church.

Jaime said...

I was playing Taboo once with a group of friends from church. The word that came up was doughnut. The clue giver said Sunday School. Everyone in the room got the right answer immediately. Apparently whoever wrote that card didn't go to church.