So I just received a lot of cinnamon sticks.
I didn’t appreciate that it would be quite this many. So now I am exploring what to do with them all. I believe they are of the Cassia variety so need to limit my intake to < 1 teaspoon per day. They can last 4 years well packaged but not sure how old these are. So I started googling around for ideas.
The first site I found suggested using as a stirring stick for your coffee, tea, cider, and cocktails, breaking up a cinnamon stick to infuse a pot of coffee or tea and flavoring your broth with a few cinnamon sticks. So I set some next to the coffee pot to start stirring my morning coffee with them. Tom is not excited about putting the sticks in the coffee grounds for brewing coffee, but I may try it sometime when he is not going to drink it. I will try it when I make broth, but unfortunately I have just made a bunch of it so that idea will have to wait.
The second site suggested boiling cinnamon sticks with oranges to give your home a refreshing smell so I am now simmering some used orange peels with a package of sticks. The house smells wonderful!
The third site asked “What to do with two pounds of cinnamon sticks?”. Some ideas were mulled wine, chai concentrate, make cold brew coffee and add the sticks to it overnight, throw some in your dresser drawers/closet/shoe rack, place in the bottom of laundry hampers and trash cans (under the liners), use them as fire starters, Indian food, potpourri as Christmas gifts, make cinnamon whiskey liqueur, cinnamon tea with just water and let some sticks boil with it and serve in a cup with sugar and milk, making cinnamon extract with vodka for baking, and making mulled apple cider.
The fourth site suggested adding a cinnamon stick to savory dishes, such as stews and curries or being stood on end and fastened together to act as candle holders.
I started exploring recipes as well. I found one for cinnamon tea that was more specifics about qualities to use.
I even re-joined the New York Times Cooking site to find recipes. The first I found was for Cranberry liqueur. This is handy since I have some cranberries languishing in the refrigerator. Then there was Mexican-Style Pot Roast With Raisins And Almonds which was highly regarded. This is good because we are trying to use the last of our meat, and there’s a pot roast left. I also have plenty of almonds and raisins leftover from my holiday baking. Next I found Cornish Hen Biryani. I thought I could use this with our small chickens or maybe the two pheasants in our freezer. The recipe calls for fresh coriander leaves, but apparently this is the same as cilantro.
Then my attention turned to finding a recipe for Chai Concentrate. The first one sounds good but calls for using dried edible rose which I do not have right now. It also only lasts 5 days in the refrigerator. The next recipe mentions how to make chai latte. You heat the concentrate first, add to a mug, then top with frothed or steamed milk. It also mentions that you can pour the concentrate into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Add the chai ice cubes to a glass and fill with milk. The concentrate recipe itself is similar without the rose. The next recipe uses dark brown sugar, honey (optional) and maple syrup (optional). They are mention optional Spices: Allspice, Fennel Seeds, Crystallized Ginger, and Vanilla Bean. I am not sure how authentic these ingredients are but sound intriguing.
So that is my exploration of what to do with all of these cinnamon sticks. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I think I will stir my morning coffee with a stick and make chai concentrated and cranberry liqueur tomorrow. I will slowly work on the rest of the ideas.
P.S. So far the cinnamon tea and chai concentrate are excellent. The cranberry liqueur became cranberry jelly so will go to the pigs. Two out of three isn’t bad!
P.P.S. I failed to mention that I found a recipe for Cider-Roasted Pork Loin With Pickled Apples and Chiles on the NYT Cooking site which called for cinnamon sticks as well. So I made that Saturday February 11 for dinner. And it was tasty. I will not bother with the pickled apples and chiles next time but the rest was tasty. Not very cinnamon at all.