I grew up in an area of the United States where we didn’t have many (or any!) snow days. When we moved to Kentucky and my kids started school, I couldn’t believe the amount of snow days they had – for an area that typically doesn’t get much snow! If we get any little bit of snow (or sometimes even a forecast for snow), school is often cancelled. Our area of Kentucky has lots of small country roads, a small amount of equipment to deal with snow and it’s not safe for school busses to travel in those conditions. I had previously taught school in Utah where we had many feet of snow every school year and never had a snow day once. This was a big change!
Our first year in Kentucky we implemented a family tradition to help us look forward to the beginning of “snow day” season and the fun it can bring. Enter: Snow Day Doughnuts! My kids look forward to this tradition every year now and are always begging for snow long before it’s in the forecast.
A little superstition for you: In Kentucky, the night before snow is predicted in the weather forecast, kids come home from school and do these three things:
- Put a spoon under your pillow
- Wear your pajamas inside out
- Flush three ice cubes down the toilet
Kids head to bed and pray that tomorrow will bring snow.
For my kids the first snow day of the year is particularly special. Not only do we have a day off school and snow to play in, but we make Snow Day Doughnuts! This is the one time a year we try our hand at making doughnuts…fun for everyone. An enriched dough (that means butter, egg, and milk or fat) that is fried and dipped in icing? Sign me up!!!
I usually research a few recipes the week before it calls for the first snow (thank you Google) and make sure I have the ingredients on hand. We mix up the dough in the morning, play in the snow for an hour while it rises and then come inside to cut out the shapes we want to make. It’s usually a combination of regular round doughnuts, doughnut holes and filled doughnuts.
A few words of caution:
- When you roll your dough out, be strategic and use up as much space as you can the first time. Doughnut dough doesn’t do very well being smooshed back together to roll out again (not like sugar cookies).
- You don’t need a doughnut cutter, a round glass works well. We’ve found the cap of a plastic water bottle is also great for cutting the hole out of the center of the doughnut.
- Make your “scraps” into doughnut holes OR roll them together to form a roll shape for a “filled” doughnut–they may look a little craggy, but they will taste good.
The kids go out to play again while the doughnuts rise a second time, and I text friends and neighbors to invite them to a doughnut and hot chocolate party at our house. I really think this is one of my kids favorite days of the year. After a few times sledding down the neighborhood hill, a couple snowball fights, snow angels, you name it, the kids start straggling in.
I keep a pot of hot chocolate on one burner and hot oil on the second. As the oil heats, I test a few of the doughnut holes and try to keep the temperature steady. If they burn quickly you’ll know you need to lower the temperature. If they take too long to fry (longer than 30 seconds per side) you’ll know to turn the heat up.
Once your doughnuts are fried, it’s time for the fun part. Toppings!!! We whipped up some vanilla icing and chocolate icing and put out a bunch of sprinkles for kids to go crazy with. There’s nothing better on the first snow day of the year than a fresh, home-made doughnut and a cup of hot chocolate…except for sharing it with friends that is!
Did you have snow days as a kid? What is your favorite snow day tradition?