When the days of fall grew shorter, my Mom served dinner around 4:30-5 p.m. instead of the regular time at 6:30 p.m. This meant someone in the family usually ended up whining about being hungry before 9 p.m.
Now the great thing about being a kid way back in the ancient days of the 1970s was that no one was concerned about the nutritional value of a late-night snack.
My family's favorite, and easiest, was to make pan-fried doughnuts out of canned buttermilk biscuit dough.
It was a way for us to leave the mesmerizing television set in the living room, and do something together as a family.
My parents manned the stove.
Mom would get out the cast iron skillet that was passed down from my great-Grandmother Christenberry. She used that skillet to make the best-fried chicken I have ever eaten.
Dad would get out the vegetable oil (filling the pan half way) and several paper bags to drain the doughnuts on after cooking. Grandmother Christenberry considered it blasphemy to use paper towels when frying chicken or doughnuts.
To make sure there was enough for breakfast the next morning, my sister and I would get three cans of biscuit dough out of the refrigerator and start cutting it into shapes with mini cookie cutters. We liked to cut stars in the center of the biscuits and then fight over who got the most "sort of "star shaped doughnuts to eat.
While our parents cooked the dough golden brown on both sides, we would shake one cup of sugar and four teaspoons of cinnamon inside a paper bag to coat the cooked doughnuts after cooling a little bit.
There was always a fight over who got the first doughnut from the bag.
As we got older, my sister and I got more creative with the dough. We cut strips, braided it and even tried making animals out of it.
One thing never changed though, the fun of all of us sitting and talking at the kitchen table with a glass of milk still makes me smile.
Although time and the reality of life has taken many of the people from my childhood away from me, I have not forgotten the warm memories I experienced with them.
Now, I admit it is a guilty pleasure to fix the doughnuts with my children.
I can enjoy sharing a few childhood memories of the past, and a few delicious doughnuts, with my children while talking about people they will never meet in this lifetime, but have learned to love through the simple food we once shared.