Not That There’s Anything Wrong With Doughnuts

by Carilyn on October 16, 2014

Bacon, Eggs and Chili Jam 002

Growing up as a competitive swimmer on a traveling team, I spent a lot of time “on the road” (I’ve always wanted to use that expression – Helloooo, Willie!) going to swim meets throughout Texas and the Southwest – Dallas, Austin, Amarillo, Tucson, Albuquerque. For about seven years, it felt like I was away from home every other weekend. (This can’t be true, I’m sure, but I can’t get anyone who remembers exactly how much we traveled.) Of course, with all this time away from home, my mom couldn’t always go with me. She had three other kids, after all. So, I was often a bit “unattended”, especially when it came to food.

As an adult athlete, I now know the importance of eating a well-balanced diet for optimal performance yadda yadda, blah blah blah, but at the time (the ’70s and ’80s), I did not. When I was home, this wasn’t a problem. My mom, a really good cook, made breakfast every morning and dinner every night. I didn’t know, or care, at the time that I was eating exactly the way you are supposed to eat. I just knew it tasted good and it was on the plate in front of me at meal time. I was a kid, and that was enough.

When I was “on the road” (see how I got to use that again?), however, I was in charge of my stomach. And my stomach wanted doughnuts. And French toast. And more doughnuts. Before every swim meet, I would scarf down a couple of doughnuts or a plate of French toast at a Coco’s or Denny’s and then go swim for eight hours. Just thinking about it now kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

One weekend, though, when I was in Amarillo without my mom, the woman who was my “guardian parent” put her foot down. “You are not eating that before you compete. If you want to win, you need something more substantial than that. There is nothing in doughnuts besides sugar and fat.”

Uh, yeah. And that’s a problem because…?

Mrs. Tatum would not let me leave the table of whatever random breakfast chain I was being held hostage in until I ate some eggs. Eggs! What was she trying to do to me? I pouted for about five minutes, but then realized she was serious. I had to either eat the eggs or miss my events. Gulp. So I did the only thing I could figure out to make the eggs palatable enough not to hurl them back up – I smothered them with hot sauce and put them between two pieces of buttery toast. It worked, but just barely.

Now, the stupid moral of this story is that Mrs. Tatum was right. I PR’d in every one of my events. I’m guessing it was simply that I didn’t bonk. I had something “substantial” in my body, and my body was grateful.

Today, I always eat some protein before long events and after any run. I’m still not a huge fan of eggs, but everyone else in my family is, so I had to figure out a way to update the protein-dense wunderfood. For years, I just continued to dump salsa on top of my eggs, but then my eggs were just watery and spicy. This bacon and eggs with chile jam quickly became one of my favorite ways to serve them because the jam adds a little sweet to the heat, if you know what I mean, and it doesn’t make the eggs watery. I make the jam ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, so the whole dish is easy to throw together after a Saturday long run – even Tim can do it! But make sure you prepare extra jam – it is great on fish, burgers, fried chicken or mixed into cream cheese. Heck, it might even be good on doughnuts!

And Mrs. Tatum, wherever you are, thank you for changing the way I eat. It takes a village.


**Prepare the eggs in the style of your choosing. I’m the only one in my family who likes my eggs scrambled, so I make fried and over-hard for the rest of my crew. The jam is divine on those styles of eggs, too. And I’m guessing it would be great mixed into hard boiled eggs, but I’m not trying that for you. Gross. As for the bacon, I like to make it in a 400 degree oven, on a baking sheet covered in foil. This is just a much simpler, cleaner way to make it – no grease splattering everywhere, and you just put it in and leave it until it’s cooked – about 10 minutes.

Chile Jam

1 cup fresh chiles (I used cherry peppers here, but I’ve also used long, red chiles and jalapenos, or a mix)

3 Tbsp. sugar (more to taste, if necessary. I don’t like my jam super sweet, but some people do. Don’t hesitate to add more sugar if you like it sweeter, just be sure to make sure it dissolves fully.)

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Coarsely chop the chiles and put in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and vinegar and stir. Allow to simmer gently, stirring often so the sugar won’t burn, until the mixture has thickened – about 10 minutes.

Put jam in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.



Congrats to Cynthia A. for winning a copy of The Glass Kitchen! I will send you an e-mail to confirm the details.


Debbie October 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

I am going to try your chili jam this weekend!!

Char October 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Yeah it’s funny when adults know best. But it’s even funnier (as in strange funny) when a teenage girl learns a lesson from one and actually applies it. Actually, that’s miraculous.
Char recently posted…InspiredMy Profile

Kim October 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I was the same way at track meets. Since I ran the 2 mile (at the very beginning of the meet) and the mile (next to last event) I had the day in between. I either laid out on the metal bleachers or spent the time running all over cheering for my teammates. The only thing I ever ate during the day were Hershey bars and orange slices. Crazy to think about that now!!!
Kim recently posted…It’s the Little ThingsMy Profile

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: