After wetting our appetites with a Dirty Snowball, Mrs. Blognut and I trounce around Portland all afternoon anxiously awaiting our 9:00 PM vow renewal. We stop in one of the city's umpteen vintage clothing shops (I think it was Red Light) and walk out with a gorgeous blue polyester blazer and an equally poly black neck tie to go with my jeans (entire vow renewal outfit = $10). Around 8:30 that night, we put on our formal wear and head over to Voodoo. In the car (a rented Ford Escape), Mrs. Blognut says to me, "Can you believe we've already been married an entire year!? I wonder how many doughnuts you've eaten during our first year of marriage?" "I lost count last October," I respond.
When we arrive, the place is packed. Middle-aged couples, swarms of hipsters and the occasional homeless fellow, mill about the doorway. All brought together by the unifying power of the Nut. We step inside the tiny store space and check in with the Donut-Lady behind the counter. The next thing we know, a man with long red hair wearing an orange lei and a straw hat comes frantically running out of the kitchen as if peaking on some doughnut-fueled psychedelic sugar high. "Hi I'm Tres, like the number three in Spanish. So you're the ones getting married, huh?" "We're already married, we're just getting our vows renewed" we tell him. "Well let's get on with the wedding!!" he says, as he runs in the back to grab his "supplies."
So this was our first meeting with Tres Shannon, who cofounded Voodoo three years ago with his Doughnut-Partner Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson (whom Mrs. Blognut made the vow renewal arrangements with via email). With no prior Nut-Experience, the two of them enrolled in "Doughnut-School" in Los Angeles where they learned how to "handle a rolling pin" and apparently fed a maple bar to Brad Pitt. You can read the complete Voodoo story here.
Tres returns carrying a big pink box and asks us to stand under the Holy Doughnut (see The Biggest Doughnut We've Ever Seen in Part 1). "Open it," he says. It seems Mrs. Blognut and the boys at Voodoo had conspired to create an enormous Nut-Representation of our cat Dominic. The three of us stare down into the box at what is most definitely the finest Doughnut we've ever laid eyes on.
"Life is like a doughnut," says Tres, "well, actually more like a cruller."He then asks us to each hold one side of the box while we tell the story of how we met. I won't get into the mushy details here because afterall, this is a Doughnut blog and I intend not to lose focus. He takes the box from us and sets it on the counter beneath the giant Doughnut-Altar. He then has us hold hands. "Now look up at Isaac for spiritual guidance" (or something like this – I can't remember what he said exactly). We look over our shoulders and for the first time notice a velvet painting of Isaac Hayes hanging above the front door. After staring at Isaac for a few seconds, Tres retrieves a Frosted Cake Doughnut with colored sprinkles and instructs us to feed each other a bite – which we do. The cake is moist and solid with creamy frosting and loads of sprinkles - simple and delicious.
Dominic in a Box.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that throughout the ceremony, this panhandler who'd followed us in, continually asked us for "a couple dollars" to mend his "flat tire." After Mrs. Blognut and I had each finished our respective bites of doughnut, I called him over and gave him a bite too – though I didn't feed it to him.
At this point a huge crowd of hip emo-kids stroll in looking for a Doughnut-Fix. Tres then holds up our hands and announces to everyone that a wedding is taking place and that they are welcome to watch. "Man! You're getting married in a Doughnut shop. That's so cool!" says one of the hip kids. Then he gives me a high-five. Tres now has us hold hands again and say a few more words about each other. When we're finished he announces us husband and wife. As we kiss he throws a handful of Fruit Loops in the air deeming them "Tiny Doughnuts." And that's it! We've now been rehitched at Voodoo Doughnut.
We stick around for a while talking Doughnuts with Tres and the steady stream of patrons. "We're going to be featured on Jay Leno on Wednesday," Tres tells us, "And Anthony Bourdain stopped by to do a feature for one of his shows." It seems everyone wants a taste of Voodoo. "You want to see the 20 foot man?" he then asks. "Sure," I answer. The three of us step outside to a now jam-packed side walk. In the street sits a school bus, atop which a free-jazz band blows and spews a cacophonous mixture of Ornette Coleman and Captain Beefheart. In front of the bus stands an enormous metal robot-looking man-puppet pounding away on a Fender and being controlled in marionette fashion by two rope handlers at his feet. A young girl runs around with a cymbal attached to a rope periodically crashing it to the ground (surprisingly, somewhat rhythmically). And then, in a nod to another Pacific Northwest ax-grinder, this 20 foot Voodoo Chile sets his guitar aflame and watches it burn while horns wail behind him. For the grand finale, he hoists an organ and slams repeatedly his giant steel hands crudely against the keys. Before long, the organ too gets set on fire. The weird part is that we later find out that Mrs. Blognut used to work with the man who created the 20 foot man, back when we lived in Virginny.
20 Foot Man Playing Fender.
Once back at the hotel, we dive into the Dominic Doughnut - it's a buttermilk cake Nut covered in rich, white vanilla frosting, but with orange on the head and tail to match the real kitty. The dough is the most dense we've encountered in a doughnut - almost scone consistency, but not as dry. It's absolutely the perfect doughnut, partly due to taste and partly to circumstance. We savor it for the next 3 days, starting each morning with a giant bite of Dominic.
Look for Part 3 this weekend, when the Doughnut-Binge begins.
Vanilla Frosted -
Dominic Doughnut -