.

.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

I Found My Thrill


Are you singing yet? If not, why not? Let's have a  rousing chorus of  "On  Cinnamon Hill"
What do you mean, those aren't the lyrics? 
Oh yes they are, I said 'oh yes they are' - at least in my house.
A few  weeks ago, when I was breakfasting in Starbucks  in  Belgravia, ('breakfasting' sounds so  posh for  what was actually, wolfing down  slightly odd  tasting porridge from a paper bowl,) I was almost apprehended by the Old Bill.
If I am not at home and in full of  control of my porridge ( made traditionally with salt and water please) then my bowl begins and ends  with shake upon shake  of cinnamon. Back in the northern shires, I often take  Starbuck's cinnamon shaker to my seat and  sprinkle and chat with gay aplomb. 

Not in London you don't.


There I was holding  court when a  glowering woman whirlwinded towards my table.  Apparently Starbucks had gone into lockdown, the cinnamon shaker was missing and the Met police had been alerted and were frisking customers before they left. 
"There it is, everyone has been looking for this" 

'Everyone' stared at me and I thought, if only  this was the late 18th  century, I'd be  iron manacled off to  the  Aussie land of sunshine  on a  free ticket and  be having tea  and a brow mop with Faux Fuchsia & Heidi in 8 weeks time.



Cinnamon Hill are based in  Lancashire and mail their wares all over the world,  the sacred geometry of their bespoke cinnamon grater caught my eye and I felt a moral imperative to know the difference between the taste of Saigon and Ceylon Cinnamon - hot and spicy versus lemony snicket.
The Ceylon cinnamon won hands down for me,  though it was a bit more brittle  and I did  end up with  the odd chunk of bark  in my food - possibly an overly dry stick or a lack of what Boris calls "wristy abandon" on my part.

For everything you have  ever wanted to know about their  cinnamon which is a world of flavour away  from the  tasteless desiccated husks that I've used until now : shake it like a  polaroid  baby.

Meanwhile, its all a bit desolate now isn't it? January schmanuary.
Let's all try to keep our  peckers up.

54 comments:

  1. so pretty! i love the smell of cinnamon. the starbucks porridge.. oh yes. that oatmeal has saved me from a few breakfast binds but it is odd, isn't it? lol. happy new year my dear Tabs!! i wish you all the best in 2014! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's different here too, ours is made with powdered milk and sugar!
      This cinnamon is amazing, I had no idea that it needed to be fresh.
      All the best to you too Phipi

      Delete
  2. mmmm. i eat oatmeal with fresh apples and cinnamon every morning too. love the idea of grating fresh cinnamon in. thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet I have been known to eat porridge three times a day, sometimes I get really tired about thinking about what to eat, so I just hit the oats.

      Delete
  3. I need to try my oatmeal with fresh cinnamon. I am a porridge nut too, Tabs. I like it even in hot weather, I just mix in different things than I do in the winter.

    I'm almost done a closet purge. I could use some oats to restore my energy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Desert Flower - I don't have a single drawer or cupboard that has not been scrubbed out in the last two days, nothing makes me happier than a tidy, clutter free life.

      Delete
  4. I love cinnamon - had cinnamon toast this morning! I have all manor of cinnamon sticks and a nutmeg grater, which I suppose will do in a pinch and a now thinking of something Moroccan for supper....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had cinnamon toast - how very Mallory Towers of you!

      Delete
    2. oops, should be one l in Malory.

      Delete
    3. Tabs, you must try cinnamon toast if you haven't had it, one of life's simple pleasures!

      Delete
    4. Love Malory Towers (and the Twins at St Clair....midnight feasts!)...and also adore toast with butter, cinnamon & brown sugar - it's an easy snack for the kids - but I often end up making some for myself too!

      And thanks for the inspiration - I'll be having cinnamon porridge for breakfast tomorrow :-)

      Delete
  5. I live in a high density tourist area so in my local starbucks there are 3 - count 'em 3 different and separate choc and cinnamon shakers bc there truly is an uproar if one of those things aren't at the cocktail bar!! They even had to make that sugar area wider due to the traffic congestion.

    Asian cinnamon is more used for savoury dishes like soup or in marinades for red meat and they don't really make that many desserts anyway but my Greek MIL sprinkles cinnamon over her roast potatoes and it really works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's hilarious, I had no idea of the fightin' that would ensue!

      Over roasties? Ok I am so trying that one.

      Delete
  6. Im in love with that beautiful plate with the potted palms! I love porridge with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a sprinkle of maple syrup. Now I am sooooo hungry! I must try this cinnamon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cynthia - that was my wedding service but I stupidly got rid of most of it after about 7 years - the itch - I really regret it now.
      Coconut oil - oh boy, I love it, I could get fat as a pig on that stuff.

      Delete
    2. You gave that china away!! Oh my heart aches for you, one can never have too much good china. You should do a post on "things I shouldn't have got rid of" - I'm sure all your readers will have something to add.

      Delete
  7. At first glance I thought they were cigars, and you had been frog marched out of Starbucks for illicit smoking!

    Where has all the anarchy gone?
    You can't even move a cinnamon shaker without forms filled in, in triplicate, and a letter from your mum.

    I say Bollocks to Starbucks!
    Would be nice if they coughed up some tax they owe UK, and put some coffee in their coffee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha, my mum used to write me letters to escape gym all the time, can't believe I go willingly now 5 days a week but those gym teachers were horrid!

      Delete
  8. What a fun post! Currently I was just sitting down to enjoy my Sunday oatmeal with heaping piles of cinnamon on it, like you, and see this post, how funny! And would you believe a friend of mine sent me a package of goodies from that company!!! They sent me the grater earlier, great also for nutmeg on egg nog, now I KNOW where they got that too! Love those cutting boards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, what yumsville awaits you! How beautiful is that grater?

      Delete
  9. Cinnamon was my former oatmeal topping. I now use a drizzle of Canadian maple syrup....love the warm and cozy feeling one gets eating oats. I prefer steel cut oats. How about you Tabitha?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Of all the spices to keep one's pecker up, Cinnamon has to be up there as the best, particularly in this dismal weather, which the Daily Express cheerily announced is lasting for a Month! (I am not a reader, just spotted the front page in Waitrose)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Storm doors shut tight, the weather is crazy.

      Delete
  11. That grater is beautiful. I think it would be a really great gift for my sister. She has a nutmeg grinder I'm always scheming to steal from her. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a lovely set Tabs (that sounds rude doesn't it?) I LOVE the smell of cinnamon in candles etc but I don't like it on anything I eat (how strange am I ?)
    Hope you are well lovely lady.
    Sending hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V - it does, very funny, hope you had a lovely New Year.

      Merry Wife- I hava teeny tiny nutmeg grater, I take my life into my hands when I use it.

      Delete
    2. Nutmeg contains myristicin, a natural compound that has mind-altering effects if ingested in large doses. The buzz can last one to two days and can be hallucinogenic, much like LSD.

      Bad weather and a nutmeg grater...

      Delete
  13. Okay, your terminology throws me sometimes...thought for a minute cinnamon was the new Viagra. I thought we were sluggards united but now you want me to grate my own cinnamon?! Must be good..

    ReplyDelete
  14. No incidents at Starbucks here today! Well, it is -47C with the windchill here, so traffic was not as busy. p.s. I thought those were cigars too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've always heard fresh nutmeg is amazing and would make sense that goes for cinnamon as well. The cinnamon would be outrageous in Mexican hot chocolate and that grater is a work of art!

    ReplyDelete
  16. There's nothing like fresh cinnamon (or nutmeg). Yum! Although you can keep the porridge, I've never been able to like it, as hard as I've tried (not sure why, I do like muesli etc).
    I wish they still were transporting felons to Australia - we'd welcome you with open arms and Sunscreen. You'd be here just in time for the real heat of Summer, when we get a run of 37C plus for a week or two.... although that probably sounds so cosy compared to the rain, cold and grey gloom you're in at present xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi - it was 24C here today and we're supposed to be in winter!

      Delete
  17. That is hilarious!! I hate to eat out of those cardboard bowls. I like cloves and brown sugar on my porridge. I got turned off to cinnamon because hubs puts so much in his, I'm sneezing from the other side of the table.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love cinnamon too! Must go check out Cinnamon Hill, esp. for that grater. I know freshly grated is the way to go but I am lazy and usually use the powdered stuff. We definitely something to keep the spirits up, we are getting a second major winter storm in Toronto tonight. We had a major blackout across the city with the last one, which was barely 2 weeks ago!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Louise, I'm really lazy too but the flavour is so different that it's worth it, plus the grater is just so aesthetically pleasing.

      Delete
  19. Everywhere, I put cinnamon everywhere, which tend to irritate some people around me :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What is the make of your wedding set? I love it!
    And I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meg, it's by Phillippe Deshoulieres.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  21. I see that I've been remiss dumping ground Vietnamese cinnamon on my grub; it never occurred to me to grind my own. I do nutmeg on my microplaner-- no skinned knuckles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lane, I hardly ever use nutmeg, hmm pomme dauphinoises, that's it I think.

      Delete
  22. Tabitha, this post just made my day. Just cracking up here with my morning tea. Too funny about the Starbucks thing. Ours doesn't even have those shakers out. You have to ask for them.
    My 96 year old grandma swears by cinnamon and flax seed in her oatmeal every morning.

    No one mentioned the banning of cinnamon in Denmark and cinnamon rolls. That was all over the news here...The cinnamon is somehow toxic? Apparently the American Cinnabon company has a proprietary cinnamon that is not tainted. (Luckily for all the fat Americans that pig out there. Like they were worried.) Love that grater!
    Happy New Year!
    xKim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim, really? That is so funny, kept under lock and key at your end!
      Oh I love flax, I eat masses of it, it's delicious.

      Delete
  23. Vietnamese cinnamon for me, please. Supposedly a teaspoon per day of cinnamon helps to lower cholesterol. (It's never been an issue for me, but wanted to relay that factoid.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Une femme, oh yes, cinnamon has masses of health benefits, I should have added a link to them.

      Delete
  24. I love the picture of the cutting boards and grater. Vanilla is another favorite of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  25. CINNAMON TWIST Thank heavens you would still be able to grate/ shake in manacles. First homey cinnamon buns and Cymru pie vents over at DaniBP. Now you with the arcanely elegant, morning must-have culinary tool. I feel a case of implement drawer hoarding coming on.

    As une femme says, think cinnamon is also a good support for glycemic control (ironic given it shows up most often in sweets) and diabetes mellitus (think that's the one.) Trust you to spiff up porridge Scot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comments are always so well written and funny!

      Delete
  26. I am typing this from under a blanket on my sofa, in the early afternoon ... I'm not sick, just hibernating! Brr, eurrgh, grr, mhrr. In between hibernating and eating platefuls of hearty food I've been spring cleaning and decluttering - my flat and my CV. Still, dismal.

    [shuffles of to put some cinnamon and a dash of honey in her tea, a sort of chai latte if you will ... feels instantly better]

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I was once down in Granada looking at some land up in the hills, an old estate with a falling down plantation house and ruined gardens. Squatters were living in the ruin, a mix of whites and blacks all poor as mice. They were scratching out something by harvesting the cinnamon that was still viable on the property. It has never tasted the same to me since then. On the way down to the town I saw two drunks in the middle of the road swiping their cutlasses across the pavement, sparking them. They did not fight and I did not buy the property. Grim place Granada but as I am currently freezing I wouldn't mind a few days there for the sake of old times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, parts of it are really really grim, I'm not a big fan of that part of the world, the disparity between rich and poor make it too much on the edge for me.

      Delete
  28. Very delicious and versatile is dear cinnamon. It also provides some particular benefit to health, but I cant remember what:.. suppresses appetite, assists brain function, balances hormones...I will have to look it up.

    ...apparently it's not brain function.....

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ditch Starbucks and give TomTom a try in Elizabeth Street next time you are hoofing around Belgravia. I love to greedily guzzle their flat whites whilst trotting between clients. Gail's also do a gorgeous velvety cup of flatness!

    ReplyDelete

Marquess of Queensbury rules apply and please
remember your manners.