First, you make love. What does this have to do with making cinnamon rolls? Everything. It’s the most important part. Cinnamon rolls are supposed to be sweet. If you have any built up passion in your system at all, it will throw off your taste buds. You won’t be able to sense the hidden fire that the cinnamon holds and therefore add too much when concocting the mixture that makes cinnamon rolls—cinnamon rolls.

One time, my Tia took on the task of baking my favorite pastry when her husband was away at war. He had been gone six months, and of course, she was faithful. She hadn’t even pleased herself on those nights where she was so frustrated that sleep had eluded her. When my Tia mixed the cinnamon and sugar, she had so much pent-up desire that she could not taste the cinnamon at all.

She added the spice until every bit she could find in the house was in her mixing bowl. “Well, that’s going to have to do,” she said.

When I took the first forkful in my mouth, not even the frosting — which was cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a little milk — could not tame the fire in those rolls fresh from the oven. I choked and gagged, and tears ran down my face. I had to drink a gallon of milk before the symptoms abated.

“What’s wrong, mijo?” My Tia asked when she saw me react as if I had been sprayed with mace. “It needs more cinnamon, huh?”

Luckily for me, she didn’t make cinnamon rolls again until the morning after my Tio came home, three months later. They were perfect. I ate three of the giant rolls and would have eaten a fourth if my Tia hadn’t of stopped me. “That’s enough,” she said. “You’ll get diabetes.” My Tia was always afraid I would catch some disease.

You see. That’s why you should always make love first! Why don’t you just use measurements, you ask. Well, how do you know how much you are going to need, for one thing. Plus, what do measuring spoons know about cinnamon rolls? Nothing. That’s what.