“But the little idiot from Lisbon Falls went ahead and married him anyway,” she said, laughing, then took her foot off the gas. Here was Patel’s Market on the left—Texaco self-serve pumps on clean black asphalt under blinding white lights—and she felt an amazingly strong urge to pull in and grab a pack of cigarettes. Good old Salem Lights.
And while she was there, she could get some of those Nissen doughnuts Manda liked, the squash ones, and maybe some HoHos for herself.
My youngest died at six of pneumonia, the Squads took my husband. Last of all, the Major stole my Ray as a prop for his Walk. I could see Ray wanted me gone from the start line, so I left him there with nothing but a half dozen Hermits wrapped in foil. I scrounged every pantry in the neighborhood for a few of the walnuts he liked so much and folded them into the batter along with the raisins. I like to think they helped.
Makes 24 bars
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. In a pie plate, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer on high speed, cream the butter and remaining ½ cup sugar until fluffy, 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until glossy and pale yellow, 1 minute more. Add the squash and buttermilk and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
On a generously floured work surface, turn out the dough and flip it to coat with flour. Using your hands, gently press the dough into a 1-inch thickness and, using a 1½-inch biscuit cutter, cut into rounds. Gather the scraps, press them out again, and cut more rounds until the dough is used up.
In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm 3 inches of vegetable oil to 360°F. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
Working in small batches, add the dough rounds to the oil and fry, turning once, until puffed and golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Monitor the oil and maintain a steady temperature. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked doughnut holes to the prepared baking sheet to drain. When cool enough to handle, toss the doughnut holes in the cinnamon-sugar.
Serve the doughnut holes warm or at room temperature.