My ten year old is not a very sophisticated eater but she has a very specific idea about what is the perfect dessert.
No matter what I do, Yasmin prefers sugar, flour and salt. Progress has been made though as Sushi, octopus and bison are not strange to her anymore, but when it comes to her perfect meal, nothing can compete with Thai donuts. The pursuit of them is relentless, an insatiable need only satisfied by looking forward to the next opportunity to taste one.
Thai Donuts (Pa Thong Ko in Thai) are usually eaten for breakfast in Thailand but here in the United States are part of the dessert menu. They are basically fried, chunky sticks of dough that are eaten dipped in condensed milk; sometimes with other sauces like strawberry or chocolate.
All my effort to rear an adventurous, healthy eater and my daughter’s idea of heaven is flour, water and sugar fried in oil and then dipped in condensed milk?
And yet…yet… there is something kind of magical about these donuts. I have been caught stealing one or two from her plate. This dish is so basic yet so comforting: these little pillows of dough remind me of something my grandmother would have given me to cheer me up when I was sad.
Maybe it is not about my daughter’s donuts. Maybe its about my trying to control the urge not to grab the plate and devour them one by one, dipping each in the unholy nectar of condensed milk: its about me not being able to do that now because I am not ten years old anymore.
Yasmin is like a mirror, reflecting me when I was her age and coming to the realization that the taste buds that need education are not only hers but mine.