Ancient History

Follow Me?


Humble Pie: It Tastes Like Burning

Voodoo Doughnuts is one of the most famous doughnut peddlers in the world. They recently opened their first shop outside the Portland, Oregon area in the heart of downtown Denver. The line to buy doughnuts stretched down streets and around corners for weeks. We decided to let the fascination mellow, so we waited. One early spring morning, Tommy, Aidan, and I got up before dawn to beat the crowds, finding we still had a 20-minute wait.

We stood in line with a crowd comprised mostly of young 20-somethings who hadn’t gone home yet after a night of partying. They talked quietly, as if it were painful to move their jaws and eyeballs. We shuffled along, moving up until I noticed a sign: CASH ONLY. So that’s why an ATM stood in the corner. I told the kids to hold my place as I apologetically picked my way back through the line to the machine to obtain $40 for cereal-covered deep-fried pastries. This should have been the first indication I had no idea what I was doing and was completely out of my element.

I returned to the kids just in time to place our order. With eleven people, I usually get two dozen doughnuts. The best deal seemed to be a Voodoo Dozen, which is 13. Because I needed 26 doughnuts, the clerk told me she’d pick out a wide variety of classics and the fun/novelty offerings. I simply told her no peanuts or tree nuts and she worked around that. She also avoided the more, uh, controversial doughnuts in their lineup. Voodoo is rated PG-13. Soon, we were driving home with two pink boxes brimming with sugar sugar sugar and a little something extra.


At home, the 26 doughnuts were met by a clamoring horde. We opened the boxes and they dove in. Ollie sat patiently in his high chair, waiting for a “dough-ny.” I waded through the technicolor choices to find what I thought was a chocolate cake doughnut rolled in cinnamon sugar. He loved the cinnamon cake doughnuts from the store. It was perfect for him! I tore it up into bite-sized chunks and filled his sippy cup with whole milk. Breakfast, served!

They look so innocent

They look so innocent

He eagerly picked up a piece and put it in his mouth. I watched him make an odd face. He chewed slowly and watched me. I smiled back at him, letting him know how awesome his life was at that very moment. He was the luckiest toddler, ever. He took a giant swig of milk, paused, and with my encouragement picked up another piece. He ate, slowly, puzzled, examining each piece. I refilled his cup, which he couldn’t get enough of and told Aidan to keep an eye on him while I went to check on the other kids, who were eating in front of the TV.

“Mom? Ollie’s eyes are watering…” she called from the kitchen.

I returned. His face seemed bit red, too. I noticed he wasn’t eating any more. I picked up a piece and offered it to him. He shrank away. So weird, I thought. I looked at it more closely. I smelled it. I popped it in my mouth. I spit it out in alarm. What kind of doughnut was it? I found the Voodoo website with the doughnut line-up and scrolled until I saw a photo and description of what he had been eating.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Chocolate Cake doughnut dusted in cinnamon sugar and cayenne pepper!

Huh. Cayenne pepper. I had fed my sweet, curly-topped doe-eyed baby boy a breakfast food rolled in cayenne pepper. And it wasn’t just a little sprinkling of cayenne, like you might top a deviled egg with if feeling jaunty. No, it was Cayenne, what dragons eat if their fiery breath isn’t hot enough to melt steel to forge a sword to defeat a dragon. Such a conundrum for dragons at times, no?

I felt awful and was certain I was the latest frontrunner to win the traveling Worst Mommy Award. I picked him up and held the sippy cup to his mouth. He drank and drank. Then, I gave him a banana, figuring bland, sticky banana would be a good antidote. Soon he was running around, playing. He didn’t have any tummy distress from his ordeal. He was fine. I felt horribly guilty for making an assumption based on the appearance of a pastry. It would be like finding out the cheese in a danish is actually mayonnaise, but with a disturbing tingling sensation.

You’d think this would make him suspicious of gritty cake doughnuts, but it hasn’t. He still trusts me but I have learned to not trust me, so much. I know what humble pie tastes like. Mexican Hot Chocolate.

(P.S. None of this is Voodoo’s fault)

6 comments to Humble Pie: It Tastes Like Burning

  • Ahh! I’ll actually be at Voodoo in Portland this weekend and might just give this one a try- I love cayenne!! But awww. Poor Ollie!


  • amyptucson

    Oh, I dunno. I think a teeny little bit of it might be Voodoo’s fault. Still, I’m glad they didn’t accidentally put in peanut filled donuts.

  • That’s nothin’. When we were at Bruxie Waffles, my kiddos thought sriracha sauce was ketchup. It did not end well. #FellowMotherOfTheYear

  • I don’t mind if any place offers really great food. But the hipster element surrounding Voodoo Doughnuts (like the crowd that waits forever at one of those trendy brunch restaurants) makes me laugh.

    There’s a benefit of getting older and seeing through stuff like that.

    Glad your little one bounced back so nicely!

    • Gretchen

      We haven’t been back. Not our scene. The Lamar’s down the street is pretty great and none of their offerings are used in pepper spray.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>