Cinnamon roll conviction

May 6, 2012. A lovely Sunday morning. Partly cloudy and a Midwestern spring warm. As I started to grind coffee beans, I contemplated what breakfast to accompany. An omelet with organic greens on hand. And a cinnamon roll on the side. My appetite smiled. My craving conviction kicked in, and a mini-adventure began.

Packaged donuts from the convenience store across the street wouldn’t suffice. Only a fresh baked cinnamon roll thick with icing would. The cinnamon roll might be blocks away or miles away. I prepared to find it.

Hair in ponytail, capris pants, light jacket, maryjane earth shoes. I brought sunglasses but not the case, as the sun had boldly upstaged the clouds before I stepped out.

I headed east and found a Polish bakery that offered delicious pastries; stepped in to ask if they had cinnamon rolls. They didn’t.

I proceeded further east, a good 10 blocks from home to encounter a bakery and cafe that proved popular to Sunday brunchers. How charming, I thought as I passed the hostess stand to the bakery case. There I discovered cinnamon rolls!

Flat ones, about hockey-puck height, with medium diameter and thin frosting glaze– at $4 per! My brows furled.

Perhaps the noisy people behind me who sat at tables and lined up for pastries were fooled by this price, not I.

The $4-per cinnamon roll could be demanded by likes of Ann Sather’s, Cinnabon, and by privately owned bakeries that offer a tall, memorable cinnamon-rich swirled pastry. This establishment merely offered an insult to my intelligence. I not only demurred surrendering to purchase their pseudo cinnamon rolls, I vowed not to patronize their bakery or cafe at-all.

Back to the street, clouds covered the sky. I took sunglasses in hand, pointed westward toward home. Kept my eyes open for another bakery or cafe.

Stepped into a couple cafes to inquire if they had cinnamon rolls; they didn’t. Stepped into another Polish bakery; by now hoped my craving might compromise. “Do you have anything cinnamon?” I asked the Polish lady behind the counter. “Cinnamon,” she repeated, and replied, “No.” I picked up a fresh baked, plastic-wrapped cake that seemed to have swirls of cinnamon. What’s this? I asked. “Plum,” she answered before I finished.

I thanked her, and considered the plum as well as a raspberry swirl cake next to it. They’d be delicious another day, and I’d be back that day. Yet now I craved a cinnamon roll.

I stepped out of that corner Polish bakery. A couple of Polish men stood outside, chatting in Polish before they paused to gaze at me. Perhaps they sensed the vortex in my cinnamon roll search. My sunglasses were back on, safer propped on my nose than in my fist, as I waited for the light then crossed the street.

I backtracked to a Dominick’s grocery store outlet, ceding to a chain bakery that might respect that cinnamon rolls first needed to be,
second needed to rise tall. I went straight to the bakery counter, to see it displayed croissants and cookies. I beckoned the teenage girl behind the counter “Do you have cinnamon rolls?” She referred to a bakery kiosk toward the front of the store. I hurried there to find muffin options. Turned to see she had followed me. “Guess they’re not here,” she said. “We’ll be making more cinnamon rolls soon.”

How long did she expect me to linger? “Could you give me an idea how soon?” I asked.

She looked at her watch. “About an hour.”

I considered it for a weak moment, and realized ’twas time to grasp a white flag.

I checked Dominick’s packaged donuts offers, and selected a three-donut combo box, plain, powdered and cinnamon. To boot, it beat the donut offers per the convenience stores across my home street. The cashier called me sweetheart as I made the purchase. I wished her a fabulous day.

Back outside and proceeding home, clouds covered the sky. I held bag with box of donuts in one fist, sunglasses in the other. My maryjane earth shoes accommodated a healthy pace. Thunder grumbled above.

I arrived home, plopped my sunglasses on the kitchen counter as a downpour splashed beyond the windows. I started the coffee, made the omelet and served a donut on a small side plate.
‘Twas a comforting compromise without surrendering all day to locate a perfect cinnamon roll. I’d gotten walking exercise, eliminated significant prospects to make way for the next cinnamon roll search, and discovered interesting cafes and bakeries to re-visit.
And that donut, that’s the said compromise in all this, was cinnamon-sugar coated, and tasted delicious when dipped in fresh brewed coffee.

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