Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I finally got around to transforming my remaining sticks of cinnamon - from the Indian spice section, where the spices are fresher and much cheaper -- into powdered cinnamon to use in baking. This takes approximately 83 seconds to do, and it's amazing how long it's taken me to find the exact 83 seconds available to do it.

First I hit the bag with a hammer, I love hitting things, to reduce the sticks to splinters as you see here, in the coffee grinder.  

Pausing only to swoon at the wonderful scent that comes off cinnamon as you hammer it, I scooped the lot into my old, and I mean old, about forty years old

coffee grinder, and grind it until most of the racket has stopped, which usually tells you it's done.

Here's the resulting powder: fairly coarse grain, which is how I like to use it, not wanting a finer powder, but if I did I could have ground it a bit longer.

And the kitchen smells wonderful. One of the great bonuses of playing with your food is the smell that comes off garlic as you mince, or ginger as you peel and mince, or lemons as you zest, and here, off cinnamon as you hammer and grind. Oh, and that heavenly scent off fresh guava cut open.  Not to mention all the interesting verbs that get involved, too.  Now I have a fresh supply of cinnamon.  I do clean the grinder between batches, but I don't mind very much if a slight flavor from the previous batch gets into the next.

To date, this little grinder which cost me ten dollars all those years ago and is still going strong, has processed: coffee, cinnamon, almonds, walnuts, chickpeas, split peas, barley, oats and lentils. 

And it's a lot faster than the mill of the Almighty, come to think of it.  You know, the one that grinds slow, but exceeding fine..I do think of these Biblical ideas as I work on elemental forms of cooking.  Even if I'm using an electrical appliance in the process.

I like it when my shopping list is like that of a medieval peasant: wood, wine, boots, that kind of thing. Well, a pretty well off peasant, really.


  1. Well, now i know what I will be hungry for this afternoon! Bakery across the street will be just the thing.

  2. Sometimes I sprinkle cinnamon into a pot of water and let it simmer for an hour or two...house smells so warm and lovely!

  3. Now I have a hankering for a batch of cinnamon buns....gee, thanks.


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