Mikaela's Wake Up Call

Tomatoes and Donuts

No, they don’t go together for your morning or midday meal.  But both represent a passion in some of our lives.  It just depends who you are!

In respect to all things healthy and green this spring, let’s talk tomatoes first.  Not my first choice… but I know how many of you out there are chomping at the bit to get those juicy, plump red orbs out in the world.

Our As Seen on TV test tonight focuses on a product that promises to grow 30 pounds worth of tomatoes off the vine and do it “4 weeks earlier.”  The Topsy Turvy makes easily excited gardeners everywhere salivate, but does it really work?  Normally, a little tender loving care goes a long way in the garden and not some NASCAR-speed growing technique.  But NBC 4 garden expert Tom McNutt helps us see the light and gives us the best practices to use tonight on NBC 4 at 6:00.  A direct quote that can give us hope with this product:

“I would like to have invented this and the hula hoop both.”


The company has probably made millions off of this.

I won’t give away all of his “best practices” for this tomato tool here since the story airs later, but I will share a few.  Don’t put it on some quick decision hanger that you picked up at the dollar store.  You need a solid eye bolt that can hold some pounds and you want to put that piece of hardware into a nice sized wooden beam.  If you’re using the Topsy Turvy for the second year in a row, make sure you have slow release fertilizer mixed in with that dirt.  Again, full story tonight and full disclosure from Tom and a local user on NBC 4 at 6:00.

It’s always nice to relax on the weekends, give yourself some TLC after strenuous work weeks.  There are probably some places you go on your days off for a quick bite, a quick errand, or for quick entertainment.  The drive through down the street, the dry cleaner on the corner, or the movie theater a mile away.

Then, there are places you go that become a destination and legend in your own mind.  Someplace you hear about through friends, build up in your mind, and turn into this gigantic to-be-had experience that you place on your calendar.

For me, during the more pregnant months, that had been Jolly Pirate Donuts.  A grad student at OSU and her husband frequent the 24 hour joint in Grove City and when I’ve heard stories from her, I instantly crave the smell of coffee grounds scented like gasoline and those University of Missouri moments I remember where all I needed was coffee and conversation into the wee hours of the morning.

I distinctly remember a Saturday morning sometime in February where it was spitting ice outside and I was up with the roosters craving this hallowed donut place and knowing that my husband would sleep in until 8:00 a.m.  I would have no chance in making it to Jolly Pirate.  I considered going by myself.  And then, I thought about my driving.  Not long before that moment, I had ended up off the road in a snow bank.  Scratch JP.

With my delivery date just 10 days away, now is the time to seize the day!  I should be taking part in more TLC, not less. At least, that’s what I thought on Saturday morning.  I knew I wasn’t in any condition to walk the 5K at Race for the Cure and was feeling a little sorry for myself—missing the team I walk with usually.  So, I woke Marcus up nice and early and told him what we were going to be doing.

We were going to Jolly Pirate.  He growled at me. I told him, the early bird gets in this case gets… no leftover donuts!


Yes, a few Jolly Pirate Donut locations do still exist locally. The one we went to this weekend is on the corner of Harrisburg Pike and Southwest Boulevard in Grove City.  One of my viewer friends on Facebook couldn’t believe it.  But as you can see, I have the pictures to prove it.

You walk into the place and the menu sign from 1975 or somewhere thereabouts is still dimly lit at the counter.  Women who average the age of my grandmother are quickly shuffling around in uniforms that take me back in time to the Days of the Diner.  An almost-transistor radio brings an alarm-clock like sound into the giant room, paired only with soft conversations over coffee between families and friends.  Saturday morning it was Independence Day.  Martina McBride.  Very fitting.

And of course, we had to eat our donuts on our Styrofoam square plates at the bar.  Marcus and I saddled up to the bar with a newspaper in one hand and a big cup of coffee in the other.  A man crawled up next to me and one of those waitresses in the clean cut and collared uniform said… Hey Harry, getting Butter Rum today?  A regular.  Not surprised at all.

The creamer in my coffee, so smooth you want to give your mom or grandma a call to brag about it!  It came out of this strange contraption, which I am still trying to find on Google Images… so I can name it properly.  It’s the metal object in the center of this picture.


Not too far from it, a beautifully bloomed red rose in a coffee cup.  This is the donut and coffee shop of old.

The line was out the door by 9:00, and I guess that what sticks out to me most.  In the midst of our ultra-convenient, uber-fast paced world… people are still looking for a taste of another time.  A sweet donut.  A smiling face.  A destination in your city that you can rave to your friends about the next time you see them. 

You want a place where you can step back and enjoy life, away from all the distractions that hold us hostage every week.  It could be a donut shop or your own backyard garden.

Posted by  on 05/17 at 09:39 AM



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