Dec 08, 2020 Moments of Joy Arthur Ashe offered words of wisdom when he said "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." It has been a tough one....a year of change, but transformative on many levels. While acknowledging the incredible challenges for all of us in 2020, I wanted to end this unusual year on a lighter note in the hope that 2021 will bring a reprieve from all of this heaviness and offer more moments of joy. We have had to deal with considerable grief from losses in all shapes and forms, but in some instances we have had incredible opportunities to spend more time with those we love, and by contrast, so little with others we care so deeply for. We have had to rethink how we work, how we socialize, basically, how we live. Many have reached for their usual comforts and crutches, others have sought to help where they could even if all it meant was making or wearing masks for the good of all or staying home to stop the spread of this merciless virus. It has been a mind boggling reality, but perhaps perfect timing in a world filled with underlying cries for change and a necessary time-out for a planet out of control, with the hope of resetting for a healthier, kinder, more peaceful future. Wherever you are at, moments of joy need not be complicated, expensive or few. They weave into the daily fabric of our lives and noticing them makes times like these somewhat bearable. So let me share a few of those moments for me. I don't remember when it started but I was always a dough girl. Fluffy, pillowy light confections like a fresh loaf of bread or doughnuts, without fail, stole my heart. So imagine my elation when I recently discovered that a healthier doughnut, if there is such a thing, could be made in an air fryer! Who needs another piece of hardware in the kitchen, my minimalist self asked? Well my law of 3's led me to this joyful discovery. Over a few years, on three separate, unsolicited occasions, the air fryer topic made its way into conversations. Although clearly not a fast mover, that was my cue to pay attention, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Well, a total game changer I would say, when I picked up this Ninja beast. My best guess was that it would be great for fries, fine for meat and ho-hum for dough. I was imagining a doughnut more like a bread stick imposter which undoubtedly would send me craving for a dozen at my favorite doughnut shop. Lucky for me and my loved ones, the outcome blew us away! All my daughter could say was YUMMMM.....YUMMMM....YUMMM with that sparkle in her eyes. Fresh, soft, doughy comfort, a welcome treat, a momentary distraction for all and a huge victory for me since my goal for healthier options has always been a guiding principle. How can a doughnut be healthy you ask? Well, let's put them in the "healthier than" category for the occasional treat. The nature of the ingredients has a lot to do with this characterization. Selecting organic, non-GMO, free range ingredients where possible with the minimal use of healthy oil, three tablespoons to be precise, reduces the toxic load commercially prepared goods often hide. The fact that these can be made on a whim, reduces emissions from the car driving to the doughnut shop, reduces the risk of spread by staying home and makes them more of a blissful, accessible commodity than a must-have repentful addiction. As life would have it, I did not include this recipe in my earlier book, Bake Something, The Book of Sins, Easy dough recipes made from Scratch. I do however cover it in my upcoming compilation, Nourish, Real and Simple, Everyday Recipes Made From Scratch. Although you could argue that there is little nourishing about doughnuts, I would say that with the stars and stripes we have earned this year, anything that provides you with this level of joy is nourishing, if only for the soul. Here's wishing you all health, peace and many moments of joy for 2021!