My habit is to have a Timbit at Halloween or occasionally a few bites of an old-fashioned plain fry cake but, that wasn’t always the case. This morning, the first snow of the season coated the landscape in sparkling white as though the hand of a baker had worked overtime garnishing his wares. Suddenly I was struck by how good a puffy, pristine, lighter-than-air, cream-filled, Freddy’s donut dusted with powdered sugar would taste.
Through 6th and 7th grades I’d occasionally attend Central Presbyterian on Jewett Parkway with my friend from across Lincoln Park, Georgia Harter. Just before starting 8th grade, she moved to Lincoln Boulevard in the heart of the village of Kenmore while I marched into the new Ben Franklin Junior High School. Our paths diverged and our friendship fizzled. Georgia’s family church was a grand example of solid craftsmanship with acres of pews and trimming of natural wood from top to bottom. It even had a bowling alley in the basement. After services, parishioners congregated in the social hall where long tables held trays of every variety of freshly-baked Freddy’s Donuts imaginable. Like a hound dog, I inherently knew to bypass the puffs with yellow, goopy, pudding centers and went straight for the cream filled ones. Two for each of us disappeared very fast. Georgia and I de-sugared before circulating to try and strike up conversations with cute boys.
Freddy’s on Main Street held up its end in the peanut stick department, too. Once when longtime bestie, Sandy Wheadon blew into town for a class reunion, our tradition was to hasten to Anderson’s for roast beef on kummelweck, a dill pickle for her, eye-watering gobs of horseradish for me. One year we figured it was time to find the best peanut stick in town so, we started at Freddy’s, scenting the car’s interior with peanut deliciousness and crumbly residue. We continued along to Jet Donuts on Sheridan Drive before testing the wares at Park Edge, Loblaws or any place that sold possible contenders. Of course, Freddy’s took the honor but to be absolutely certain, we circled back for one last donut apiece and more crumbs to the car’s cabin.
My nostalgic donut shop drawings appear in Breaking Bread in Buffalo along with almost a hundred sketches of local eateries. All were created onsite during the lock-down of 2020 to honor eating establishments that kept us fed during the darkest days of the pandemic. Contributions will be made to the Food Bank of WNY so check out this labor of love at: https://bobbin-olive.com.