How far would you drive for a doughnut? In my case, the answer is 300 kilometers or 186 miles: the distance from Edmonton to Calgary. Last Saturday four of us jumped in a car and made a day trip to Calgary to sample Jelly Modern Doughnuts. It was a bit of whimsy on a warm sunny day.
I think every culture has some version of a fried dough confection. I remember my Ukrainian aunties making a fried dough ball loaded with raisons. It seemed to take forever for those raisons to cool down enough to eat but it made for a fresh and tasty treat once they did.
On a daily basis, Jelly’s pastry chefs put their talents to work creating home made delights with a modern twist. Instead of a hole in the center, there’s a depression filled with all sorts of creative concoctions like Mexican chocolate cream topped with a candied slice of jalapeno or vanilla chai cream topped with edible flower petals. Even the basic jelly is filled with homemade raspberry jelly. I thought it was my favorite until I remembered the one with real lemon curd and icing. It’s tangy with just the right amount of pucker for a lemon fanatic like me. With a group you get to do some sharing. Thank goodness. It’s hard to choose one when they all look so artful and delicious.
For anyone concerned about us having a day fueled by doughnuts and a 3 hour drive home on a sugar rush we did have a proper meal and got in some great exploring and walking too. We ended our day in Prince’s Island Park. It was glorious to be in nature with kids, dogs, hula-hoopers and other strollers like us. There was a jailbreak glee in the air. We were all busting out of a long winter.
On the drive home that night I began thinking how we weren’t driving for doughnuts we were actually driving for excellence. Something simple and abundant like doughnuts was elevated by someone’s passion and care. I first tasted them almost a year ago when I had a short stay in Calgary. Tales of this cute bakery cafe had the others keen to make a trip some day. Excellence can do that. It can be a magnet. It can create an experience in relation to the thing itself and around it. Excellence begets excellence. I’m excited when I find someone doing something really exceptional because it adds depth to my life experiences. What would you go the extra mile for? Do you go the extra mile for yourself in your own endeavors? To me it’s not about perfection it’s about taking a step beyond the status quo and out of mediocrity to create something a little more personal and special. It requires effort on both sides of the equation. I make the effort to support it in others and strive for it in my own life. Excellence is about passion and passion always resonates for me , even in a doughnut. .