When my parents were on one of my Dad’s business trips to New Orleans when I was just a little girl, they discovered a delicious little place called Cafe du Monde. The cafe was famous for their coffee and beignets- french doughnuts. They didn’t try to coffee obviously, but they fell in love with beignets so much that they decided they wanted to make them for Christmas every year.
Those were the days before Amazon Prime. Ordering the beignet mix took more than a click of a button. I remember my mom would send for multiple boxes by handwriting an order form, writing a check and mailing it off months before December so that the beignet mix would arrive for our Christmas breakfast. It was cheaper for her to order many boxes since the shipping was the same, so often she would gift the extra boxes to neighbors and friends.
After our presents were opened on Christmas morning, my parents would work tirelessly in the kitchen creating a huge feast of thick-sliced bacon, fresh oranges, beignets, scrambled eggs, and hot chocolate.
Flash forward to 2003. I was a freshman at BYU, living in Heritage Halls, which no longer exists. I had brought a box of beignet mix from home so that I could make them for my roommates. I planned to make them on Sunday morning before Finals week started and we all went home for Christmas. The Saturday night before, I realized I didn’t have any powdered sugar. I didn’t have a car at BYU and the Creamery was closed. So I went knocking to the apartments in Fugal and Whitney Hall to see if anyone had some I could borrow.
It turns out Brandon Sunday of Whitney 238 had a bag to spare. I borrowed it and promised I would bring him a plate in exchange for bailing me out of my predicament.
For some reason, I never ended up making beignets the next morning. I don’t remember why. After returning back to BYU after Christmas, Brandon and I ended up in Brother Skinner’s Geology 101 class together. He remembers that I was wearing a white-ribbed sweater. I sat down on the second row before he shouted over to me to come sit by him. I had only met him a few times…of course borrowing powdered sugar and I had gone to his sunday school class a few times. He was such a good teacher.
Throughout the semester, we became good friends. I had a sense he liked me and it scared me. I liked lots of other guys and he was just a silly freshman. Before one of our tests, I promised I would make beignets and we could study together. I made them, but he totally fell asleep while we were studying. Haha.
We started dating in Fall of 2007. He was madly in love and I was slow (but secretly knew I would probably marry him.) For Christmas, I gave him a bag of powdered sugar among a few other things to repay him for the bag I borrowed in 2003.
And now here we are….into our 11th year of marriage on Christmas Eve. We’ve got 4 little ones under 7 who keep us laughing, crying, and sleep-deprived. I was still in my pajamas after sleeping by the tree the night before. We have decided to make beignets on Christmas Eve so that we can relax on Christmas and just play, but our beignets from Cafe Du Monde are still very much a part of our family. (And unlike my mom who had to mail order them, I only have to drive 2 minutes to World Market and can grab a box for $4.)