I honestly don't think I even consumed a dozen donuts (I just can't type doughnut even though it seems more proper) in all twelve months of 2007–they're not my sweet of choice–but I made up for it over New Year's weekend. And the reason for that uncharacteristic behavior is simple: Tim Hortons. I know they're all over the United States now, but if something isn't in the immediate tri-state area it's still exotic to me.
My donut binge began unwisely at a LaGuardia Dunkin' Donuts. While picking up a 6am coffee, I couldn't resist an artificially strawberry-flavored pink glazed specimen. That might've been a mistake.
I still can't say whether it poisoned me or the tiny plane was the source of my stomach distress, but I was queasy an hour later when disembarking in Buffalo. However, I didn't get violently ill until after popping the two Tums James gave me that tasted like they were made of shampoo, apparently from sitting in the bottom of his toiletry bag for months.
We stopped at a Tim Hortons (which is great because it makes use of what I call the white trash S. Tim Horton is the hockey player. Tim Horton's would the hockey player's restaurant. Tim Hortons is just colloquial. I cringe when I hear people say Barnes & Nobles, Nordstroms, JCPenneys and the like, though just recently I caught myself saying that I worked off Williams St. when it's plain ol' William) on the outskirts of Buffalo and the tragedy was that I was too ill to indulge in a timbit, apple fritter or any of the Canadian chain's specialties. My queasy stomach temporarily stood still when REM's "Driver Eight" came over the speaker while I was hunched over the toilet bowl in one of their bathroom stalls because it was an odd song to be playing. Eh, and then I threw up in their parking lot and repeated that lovely performance two more times during the two-hour drive to Toronto. Sadly, I never got to sample their excessive coffee, breakfast sandwich and donut combo.
Luckily, I perked up enough to later enjoy a maple-glazed Boston cream donut at a mall where strangely, the anchors were Wal-Mart and nofrills. Maple bars, a total NW staple, don't even exist in NYC; people have no idea what you're talking about if you bring them up.
On our third Tim Hortons excursion I got a butter pecan tart. I forgot about these mini treats that seem to flourish in Canada. They're like tiny individual pecan pies with a thicker richer crust. You can also find plain and raisin topped versions in any grocery store.
We love Tim Hortons so much that after our first visit to Toronto in 2000, we named a plush toy rabbit (James's mom is always giving him pointless and inappropriate gifts) Tim Horton. I don't know what ever happened to him, though this very second there is a nameless stuffed animal reindeer and giraffe in the living room.
Tim Hortons * throughout Canada and random U.S. states