I love cinnamon. I love the spicy smell that fills your nostrils when you walk into the kitchen, stumbling onto an aroma that is so uniquely, undeniably cinnamon. I'll take it on ice cream, cookies, Mexican hot chocolate, and I've even ventured into the savory side of cinnamon when my palate first discovered the world of Indian curries. But today's kitchen adventures provided a reality check to my American roots-cinnamon as a sweet spice, not savory.

By 7:14 p.m., I was already up to my elbows in American bliss, tossing tart and crunchy Granny Smith apples with bright lemon zest, sugar, nutmeg and of course, the sexy star of the show: cinnamon. I heard once there was a study done that showed cinnamon as the number one scent that um...ahem...gets men going (I'm certain it was a landslide over motor oil and sawdust). Well for whatever floats your boat, I've never known any man to turn down an apple pie, American or not.

Ordinarily, I'd got out of my way to make the crust from scratch, whirling bits of butter into flour until it forms that so-smooth-you-wanna-smack-it ball in the bowl of the food processor, but this pie was for no one of consequence: my mother's boss' birthday, who just so happens to be the same principal that gave me hell when I wanted to drop AP French for photography my senior year. So for that, sir-you'll have a Pillsbury pie crust for your birthday.

Joyeux Anniversaire. Psh.

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