Free Baked Cinnamon Garbage




Introduction: Free Baked Cinnamon Garbage

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

A local bakery used to throw out a lot of cinnamon bread. When someone comes back from that dumpster you hear "Any cinnamon?". But sadly no, there's never any cinnamon bread in those dumpsters anymore.

However, they do throw out a lot of dough when they're done filling the breadpans...

photo by Nagutron

Step 1: The Hunt

Dumpster Dowsing is a rare skill or rather a talent.

You must unhinge your third eye's lower jaw and swallow the universe with your mind, then dissolve yourself in it.

If you're a master of Filipino psychic surgery, you probably have this gift.

Today it's easy. The dough has risen enough to sploosh up through the loaves and reveal its cinnamony baby cheeks.

Step 2: The Kill

Heart hammering, I crept into the monster's den and reached under its warm body to grip the bag of treasure without waking it.

In a single move I flung its infant out of the cave still wrapped in black plastic placenta. Pungent cinnamon afterbirth went everywhere.

I fled down the trail with my prize. No footfalls echoed my own.
My huge eyes darted for signs of Hyenas (Pixar security guards) and Warthogs (Anglo bread drivers who say "shouldn't be doing that". The immigrant drivers love it when you save bread from waste)

Step 3: Back at the Lab

I put the shmoo creature in a cozy bin in the kitchen and rounded up every ovenproof vessel for an orgy of baking. There was a whole lot of cinnamon stuff in the bag, far more than would ever go in the bakery's loaves. I put the pans in at 375 and the smell was unbelievably good.

Step 4: Testing on Humans

Moe-Zarticus came from his alcove to sample the hot stuff.

"Mwff!" He declared, "Mwumwumff!"

after a minute we still hadn't heard whether he'd died or not, so we all feasted.

Step 5: The Food of Philosophers

I continued to bake cinnamon stuff for days afterward. I found a muffin pan in a storage-unit dumpster, so I started making what Eric called "Cinnamuffin Rolls"
Whenever the delicious smell filled the building people would come rushing to feast.

Sometimes I overheard dialogue:

"But why am I eating this?"
"Because it's delicious."
"but it's garbage..."

As I'm fond of saying "A dumpster is like an art gallery, they can put anything in there, and to get the most out of it you have to look really carefully."



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    121 Discussions

    You know where food comes from originally , right? It just grows on a big pile of shit and dirt that's left out in the sun. Or it's squeezed out of or chopped off animals that sleep in shit, have sex with other animals and never take a bath.
    The fact that something is in a dumpster rather than your mom's fridge tells you little about whether it's good to eat. Most refrigerators have food in them that's years old, and such pathogens as Crohn's disease. A commercial dumpster that's emptied frequently does not.
    You have to look at it, smell it, and use your animal skills to decide if you want to wash it, or cook it, or whatever.

    I loved this instructable! Tim if I was not happily married I would come courting.

    geez... do you guys know why they threw it out in the first place?
    I can just imagine " Oh no, I accidentally dumped bleach into this batch" "Well throw it out then! We don't want people to die from eating our food!"

    this honestly kinda scares me a bit but it looks yummy

    This makes me feel much better about dropping that sammitch and then picking it up and eating it yesterday.

    Do you pick up lets say an uneaten, wrapped, perfectly good sandwich or do you just not mind a half-eaten burger hastily dumped into the dumpster section for eggshells, dust, a used tissue, lint, and a stray-cat named Carl? No sarcasm intended. And not a rhetorical question.

    3 replies

    Eating trash is just like going to an art museum. They put all kinds of stuff in there, and it's up to you to figure out what you like or don't like. Or like looking for food in your Mom's fridge. That jar of mayo with the hieroglyphics on it might have been there from when the fridge was a space sarcophagus landing from planet Norge. You've got the animal senses to smell and detect what might kill you and what might make you vigorous and give you a shiny coat.

    I can't stqnd waste!  What a pity this is!  I'm glad you're getting something out of it.  I understand the liability concerns, but com'on, people have lost jobs and are hungry.  Couldn't they put it in another "clean" dumpster where they know people will get it but officially it's being stolen?.  It's not like they're going to lose business.  The wealthy don't Dumpster Dive!

    Stupid question and I didn't read all the comments to find out if you already answered a similar question but, how do you know that the cinnamon wasn't in that garbage bag because it fell on the floor or the blew a snot rocket in that batch or something similarly disgusting? Just wondering. Also if anyone is in the mood look up the book   "the art and science of dumpster diving" by John Hoffman, Good book, fascinating really. 

    dude--you know that garbage bags are made with insecticide in them to discourage pests, right? are you making this from dough that's directly inside the bag? it looks delicious, but...i'm a little worried about you and your friends!

    6 replies

    why would garbage bags have insecticide on them it seems pretty wasteful to me to spray plastic bags with insecticide i dont think that would be a wise use of a company's funds when they could just bang out some plastic and call it a day

    to keep pests away from the garbage while it sits outside and waits for collection day. i've never read labels, but i took some classes through the community college and the health department here a few years ago when i was thinking about making my catering hobby a real business, and this is where i heard about the pesticides in trash bags. (the context being that caterers need to find solid ways of transporting equipment, tools, supplies, and ingredients, and trash bags aren't allowed because of this pesticide.) i suppose that it could be an urban legend, but i wouldn't take my chances with food.

    That's not true, if it were, why would mothers make trash bag ponchos for their kids? I'd like to think that we aren't accidenally poisoning our kids by keeping them dry in a pinch.

    How many parents do you know who take classes in ecology before deciding on a rainy day to use a trash bag as a makeshift poncho?

    I doubt they took the classes for that sole purpose, but three. Going to the beach and doing marine biology lessons with little kids is surprisingly fun as well. I miss being a kid now...

    Ah, you should move to a beach area so you can relive those times (as if it were just that simple)! Sadly, I now have to live it vicariously through college-aged step-kids and my own kids--all of whom's lives are MUCH more exciting and culturally varied than mine EVER was as a kid! You're right, though--it's more fun to be a kid: then people also don't look at you quite as strangely when you actually ACT like one. No one takes you quite as seriously when you're little.