Literary Post: Homer Price. Doughnuts Made With Minimal Labour-Saving Devices.

I have to admit: I’m rather appalled at how few of my friends, including friends I consider fairly well-read, have the slightest inkling who Homer Price is. I first made my acquaintance with him through an old school reader in which his first adventure involving Aroma the Skunk and some interesting radio robbers was (slightly abridged). Afterwards, the book was on my shelf as much as it was on the library’s. Maybe more.


At any rate, one of the most iconic stories in the book involves Uncle Ulysses’ newest labour-saving device, a doughnut machine, that has a technical glitch and won’t quit making doughnuts after a rich lady comes along and mixes up a gigantic batch of doughnut batter one night while Homer is alone in charge of Uncle U’s lunchroom. The machine was a new-fangled contraption that dropped the rings of batter into hot fat, flipped them over, and pushed them out a chute into a bin ready to gather up and eat.

In a whole doughnut
There’s a nice whole hole
When you take a big bite,
Hold the whole hole tight,
If a little bit bitten
Or a great bit bitten,
Any whole hole with a hole bitten in it,
Is a holey whole hole,
And it just plain isn’t!

I realise I already featured a Robert McCloskey book in my Literary Food Series, but who can pass up doughnuts?

I have two things to say about doughnuts:

  • I reject the spelling “donut”.
  • Baked doughnuts are da bomb.

So, with those two points in mind, here’s a doughnut recipe for you. This is (rather greatly) adapted from a recipe I first tried during home ec.


This is a picture of my first test batch of doughnuts. They were exactly like churros. See the end of this post for what to do if you want to recreate the churro doughnuts.

Preheat your oven to 400. Spray your doughnut pan(s).

With a handmixer, beat together:
2/3 c vegan non-hydrogenated margarine
1 c sugar
2 T tapioca flour
1/2 c water

Add, stirring by hand just until blended:
3 C flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c non-dairy milk

Put batter in pans, spreading evenly with a spoon. I had the batter come up pretty much to the rim. Put in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes. While they are baking, prepare the coating (described below) if using. Otherwise, just remove them from the pan when they’re done and allow to cool on a rack, or eat them while warm.

Optional coating:
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c melted vegan margarine

While the muffins bake, melt margarine in a small saucepan and mix sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Immediately after taking the muffins out of the oven, dip them in the margarine and then the cinnamon-sugar. This amount is enough for dipping just one side. If you want to dip both sides, just double it.


I promise this recipe only makes 12.


Nomming on a sample doughnut from my 3rd and final test batch. Light, fluffy, perfect.

If you want a flavour/texture like churros, make the following changes: reduce water to 1/3 cup, fill doughnut pan slots only 1/2 full, bake at 350 for around 25 minutes, dip in the coating, and eat.


Categories: book-inspired food, breakfast, dessert, recipes, snacks, vegan | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Literary Post: Homer Price. Doughnuts Made With Minimal Labour-Saving Devices.

  1. Yum! They sound scrumptious!


  2. Mischelle40

    I read that book in elementary school. In a whole donut there’s a nice whole hole. I am 51 now and I still remember all the words!


  3. Donna

    Stumble across this on my way to find an answer to the question of why Robert McCloskey’s story of Homer Price’s Doughnut uses the word receipt (as in cash register receipt) in place of the word recipe (as in a cooking recipe). Anyone else notice this conundrum? Type-O?
    On another note…looking forward to trying out your doughnut recipe. Thanks.


    • To the best of my knowledge it is just an old-fashioned word for recipe. I have seen it a few other places like that.


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