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The History of the Doughnut

The origin of doughnuts as we know them is as hotly contested as the oil they're fried in. From bombolone [bombo-lone-ey] in Italy to munkki [mun-ki] in Finland, many cultures around the world have their own versions of these sweet, fried treats.

It doesn't matter who first decided to fry dough and change the course of culinary history, but the Dutch were making olykoeks [ol-i-kooks] as early as the 1600s. As Dutch immigrants came to America, other cultural influences led to what we typically consider doughnuts today.

Early doughnuts had one problem — the outside would often burn before the center could cook thoroughly. The Dutch solved this by stuffing the center with fillings that didn't need to be cooked. In 1847, an American ship captain named Hansen Gregory largely took credit for removing the center and creating the doughnut's iconic ring shape. But it was likely his mother who put whole hazelnuts or walnuts in the center of the dough to create the hole. This increased the surface area's exposure to hot oil, allowing the inside to cook through.

In 1920, Russian refugee Adolph Levitt invented the first automated doughnut machine for his New York City bakery. Around a decade later, The New Yorker magazine described his process: "The doughnuts float around in a ... glass-enclosed machine, walk dreamily up a moving ramp, and then tumble down into a basket." Levitt sold doughnuts and his machines around the country, bringing in an incredible $25 million a year. That's about $476 million today.

Demand for doughnuts skyrocketed in the following years, making way for both large chain bakeries and small specialty shops. Currently, more than 10 billion doughnuts are produced in the U.S. each year.

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Also in this issue...
Celebrate Best Friends This Month
Incorporate Physical Activity Into Family Routines
Stay Cool in the Summer Heat
Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Celebrate Best Friends This Month

Whether you call them BFFs or besties, June 8 is National Best Friends Day, and there are many ways to celebrate. Here are some ideas to show your best friends you care.

If you're lucky enough to live close by, plan a friend date.

  • Share time over coffee or a meal at a favorite cafe.
  • Attend a play or concert, then stop for a treat afterward.
  • Dedicate an afternoon to shopping at your favorite stores.
  • Invite them over for dinner, a game night or a movie marathon.
  • Get active with a walk, hike or swim.

If you're separated by miles, let your friends know you're thinking of them.

  • Share a photo on social media with a caption expressing your feelings about your friendship.
  • Send a heartfelt card, personal gift or their favorite flowers.
  • Set aside ample time for a phone call or video chat.

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Incorporate Physical Activity Into Family Routines

Less than 25% of children 6 to 17 years old get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to Encourage a more active lifestyle for your family with these tips.

Make it fun. Find a sport your child enjoys and involve the whole family.

Plan. Give children an opportune time and place for exercise. Limiting screen time can help.

Provide equipment. From hula hoops to jump ropes, toys encourage physical play. Also, ensure they have appropriate protective equipment.

Engage. Play catch, swim or dance with your child, and have fun together hiking or biking.

Model behavior. Children who see their parents being active are more likely to be active themselves.

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Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

As we welcome the warm days and brilliant sunshine of summer, it's important to have strategies to stay comfortable. Consider these cool tips to beat the heat.

Dress for the weather in light colors and flowy, lightweight fabrics like cotton, and be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. When things really heat up, enhance the power of a small fan by placing a bowl of ice in front of it, allowing the air to cool as it flows over the ice. For an even quicker cool down, place a cold, damp towel on the back of your neck or submerge your feet in a tub of cool water.

The sun's rays are most intense from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you're going to be outside during these hours, it's best to find a shady area. Once you've found your spot, stay cool with some fun water activities. Play water baseball by filling up water balloons and taking turns pitching and hitting the balloons with a bat — or keep it simple with an old-fashioned water balloon team challenge.

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tbsp. lemon zest (about 3 large lemons)
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and blend. Next, add egg, blending again. Add lemon zest and juice. Mix thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, combine salt, flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Spread powdered sugar in a shallow dish. Scoop dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar, then place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 11–13 minutes.

Makes 18–20 cookies

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