I got some good news today. It called for a celebratory moment, so I opted for a doughnut.
Some folks hoist a glass to mark an occasion. I like my rituals chocolate-frosted and not likely to lead to any test in which I must blow into a tube at the police station.
Once upon a time I would have headed for Dunkin’ Donuts, but in Portland, Oregon, that just is not the done thing.
Here one goes to a real bakery. I did not want to make do with some gluten-free, high-fiber nonsense in the shape of a doughnut, so I opted for the Helen Bernhard Bakery. All you need to know to verify the veracity of this place is that the counter and baking staff, all Women of a Certain Age, wear white uniforms. Any baker there would sooner cut off an arm than show up without a hairnet.
I got my chocolate-frosted cake doughnut, brought it home, and I cut it up with a knife to make it last. I placed it on an attractive plate.
I lifted it in a toast: “Good times!” Down the hatch.
All this brings to mind my short list of things that make bakeries so wonderful:
1. No ingredient list is ever posted with calories or fat grams.
2. Customers do not help themselves. (Laypeople do not know how to properly use those little sheets of bakery paper or tongs. Only trained professionals should get near those tools.)
3. No one ever asks, “Do you want a bag?” And in fact, any order with more than four cookies goes into a cardboard box. Tied up with string. (See No. 2; string is another thing that the customers should not handle.) This is an especially pleasing moment now that so many stores act as if handing over a paper bag is like skinning a bunny.
4. The names of the products are accurate. When they say “butter-cream frosting,” you know exactly what you’re in for.
5. No one gets surly while waiting in line.