On many mornings over the last few weeks in Kerrville, Texas, I have stopped by the Daily Donuts shop and grabbed a breakfast of coffee and a donut. The pastry I ate on every visit might be known to readers in some parts of the country as a custard-filled Long John.
It’s called an E-clare by Daily Donuts.
I made a regular enough pilgrimage to the shop that the proprietor caught on to the routine: an E-clare and a small coffee for here. She would ask “You want the same thing you always get?”
She asked the same question on Friday. And the answer was the same, but came with an extra piece of information: “Yes, why would I do anything different on my last day here?”
The donut lady hails from Cambodia. Here’s how my first visit went. I was sitting at one of the tables. It was around 9:30 a.m. and I was the only one in the place. Most people who came into the shop were picking up donuts or breakfast sandwiches to go. She asked from behind the donut case: “Why aren’t you at work?”
OK, I suppose it was a fair question, even if a little cheeky. I offered by way of explanation a vague story about working as a freelance journalist. I like to imagine I deftly turned the tables, as a journalist will, by asking questions of my own: Was she the owner? Not exactly. It’s her aunt who owns the place. Does she live in Kerrville? No, Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg is a town about 25 miles north of Kerrville, settled by German immigrants.
My followup question: “So you’re German?” No, she said, giving me a quizzical look, “I’m from Cambodia, why would you think I am German when I look…” Her mid-sentence laugh told me she understood I was kidding.
On my last day, she tossed three donut holes onto my tray at no charge, a kind of goodbye wave in the shape of donuts. Then she reached across the counter and shook my hand. “Be safe,” she said.