I started some Christmas baking today. First up was Grandma Vopne's Swedish Christmas cake. I made it in 10 small pans, for gifts. It's kind of a white fruit cake with a few cherries, white raisins, coconut and almonds. Then Ma's Molasses Cookies for my husband and my mother's favorite sugar cookies. The last get rolled in a log and put in the fridge for another day. I am not much of a cookie baker - too fussy for me. I will do childhood favorites, remembering the times of baking with my mother and grandmothers, from recipes like Aunt Chrissy's Grandmother's Sour Cream Cookies and Dad's Favorite. Sometimes I'll even make New Year's Cookies, which are difficult to get the dough just right and then must be individually made on molds, one of which my great-grandfather carved out of wood for my great-grandmother. They are wonderful if you get them right and very impressive as the small ones are about 3x5" and the hand-made mold ones are about 4x6". They are something like springerli cookies in taste, but a bit like pie crust in texture.
To go with this great surge of activity I need tea! I just got some samples from Foxfire Teas http://www.foxfireteas.com/ and I am going to try their Foxfire Blend. It is a lively mix of organic Darjeeling, Keemun, Assam and Nilgiri. The small black and brown leaves give off a pleasant aroma of fresh tea. I brewed the tea up for 4 minutes with boiling water. It's giving off an aroma that reminds me of piquant steamy milk can washing solution. Remember, I grew up on a dairy farm before things were so mechanized. For me, this is a cozy, comforting smell, as I loved beng in the barn - anything was better than housework!
Surprisingly, the tea is a very light bodied, light amber colored brew. It is very pleasant, without having any particular characteristics that stand out. Foxfire says this is an "all day tea" and I would have to agree. It could be a gentle awakener and would certainly go with most foods without being intrusive and it's gentle enough to be a pleasant afternoon companion.