Hello, and welcome to Sweet Tea Tuesday. Here’s a cold glass of tea to sip on. Slide that rocking chair over here and let me tell you about the best donuts ever to grace a palate. Dunkin’ Donuts? Are you kidding? Krispy Kreme? They’re okay in a pinch. I’m talking about a donut so good that it’s a tradition. You think I’m full of it? Don’t take my word for it. When I Googled Optimist Club Celebration Donuts, the The 5 best festival foods in Middle Tennessee link ranked it number one. They have their own Facebook page called Shelbyville Optimist Club World Famous Horse Show Donuts.
The Tennesse Walking Horse National Celebration is held at the end of August and early September, with the World Championship held on the Saturday night before Labor Day. My father used to take me there every year after school on Friday, and we’d go to the Friday and Saturday horse shows.
The thing that was consistent every year was the unbelievably good donuts from the Optimist Club. Now these are not donuts for the faint of heart. If you’re looking for light fluffy donuts, you’ve come to the wrong place. The dough is poured into a vat about the size of a wash tub, and then a trigger is pulled by the “cook” and a perfectly round donut plops into the bath of hot oil. Now the donut is perfectly round when it goes into the oil, but it takes a shape all its own before it pops up to the surface and is scooped up and placed into a plain white box.
You can smell the donuts all over the celebration grounds. It pulls you in and when you bite into the deep-fried doughy goodness, you’re hooked for life. When my dad asked me if I wanted to go to the celebration a few years back, I told him that I would love to go as long as we can get some Optimist Club donuts. The picture below from the Facebook page says it all.
So what festival foods do you remember as a kid? What memories do they bring back? Have you been back since you’ve grown up?
Let me fill up your glass with some more sweet tea, and tell us all about it. ~clink~