Cinnamaldehyde and “The Look”

I went to the grocery store today to grab some whole spices for our laboratory project. I don’t usually buy my spices whole because I found it intimidating, but I think I want to try it next time because the chemicals that give spices their flavors are quite volatile and tend to evaporate or degrade while ground spices are sitting on the shelves.

So I’m at the checkstand with my little baggies of cinnamon and cloves, sandwiched between an off-islander buying what must be at least 40 pounds of assorted meats and a harried looking woman with a cartload of things that only barely qualify as “food”. The checker gives me a smile then looks down at what I’m buying.

“Oh this is cool. What is it?”

It’s cinnamon. Cinnamon, people. I get frustrated sometimes by the mental disconnect in this country that surrounds food. People don’t even know what real food is anymore.

I don’t say that, of course.

“It’s cinnamon, the spice. It’s for my chemistry class.”

She raises an eyebrow. “It smells nice.”

“Yes, that’s cinnamaldehyde, it’s a volatile organic compound that we’re studying…”

Then I see it. It’s the look- that vacant glazed-over look that I seem to inspire in people the world over. You’d think I was from Mars the way people stare at me like deer in the headlights.

“…well, anyway it’s for class.”

She says nothing but returns to smiling and scans my little bulk bags of spices then places them in the plastic shopping bags.

“Wait, wait, I don’t need a bag. I mean, they’re already in bags…”

She just gives me The Look.




I made spice cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting for Halloween (I didn’t get to snap a pic, but use your imagination!) and I have leftover frosting. All this talk about cinnamon has got me in the mood for cinnamon rolls, plus Lee has asked for cinnamon rolls for his birthday, and it’s coming up so I have to to a test run!

I am going to try this recipe: Best Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns by Jeanine from The Baking Beauties. I will report back with the verdict! The recipe seems solid, but working with GF dough can sometimes be a challenge.


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