The countdown has begun...one week left before the big event. I have just made my last round of 5 dozen cookies. This is my perspective and mantra for this coming week: “Keep calm and drink tea.”
Dozens Of Cookies
In my freezer are at least 16 dozen assorted cookies. My kitchen is a mess, my freezer is full and my hands are chapped from all the dishwashing. I love to bake. I love to bake cookies, breads, cakes, and pies. I will usually listen to music while I am in baking mode. This week however, I have been watching Holiday movies while sipping tea and baking cookies. I have made 4 different types of cookies ranging from molasses cookies to candy cane cookies. I make the cookie dough, place the cookies on the cookie sheets, and bake them. Something happens though when I remove the cookies from the oven…They don’t look like the picture. Either they spread too much on the baking sheet, they are brown on the edges, or worst yet, fall apart when I try to remove them off the cookie sheet. The candy cane cookies in particular are difficult to remove from the baking sheet without breaking. Through it all, I have reminded myself to “keep calm and drink tea.”
I have matched my tea with the type of cookies that I have made. While baking the molasses cookies, I sipped on Apple Kugel black tea. Nothing pairs better, to me, than apples and molasses. The tea is a black tea with an apple and slightly spiced flavor profile. The spritz cookies were paired with a Lung Ching green tea. The creamy and vegetal flavor profile of the tea pairs nicely with the buttery and rich nutty almond of the cookie. The marshmallow holly cookies were paired with Marzipan rooibos tea. The thick mouthfeel of the tea plus the naturally sweet almond and honey flavor notes of the tea were a wonderful accompaniment for the marshmallow-y sweetness of the holly cookies.
And last, the candy cane cookies. As I have mentioned earlier, these cookies are very time consuming to make and even more difficult to remove from the baking tray after they have been baked. I needed a strong tea to steady myself as I attempted to carefully, almost with surgeon like precision, remove the cookies from the tray without them breaking. These are cookies that I will be serving at the event. They can’t be broken, crumbled or mangled. I chose to steep adorable tea hearts, that are pressed black tea from the Yunnan Province of China. One heart makes a smooth, and rich cup of black tea. The smoothness, caramel, honey, and sweet hay notes were a pleasant contrast to the peppermint in the candy cane cookies. The cute heart shape of the pressed tea was a reminder that I need to be kind to myself when the cookies don’t lift off the baking sheet perfectly. It will be ok, life will carry on even with broken cookies. I needed to remember my mantra for the week, “Keep calm and drink tea.”
I think I am ready for the big event. I have made a list, placed decor and table service in one location to take to the event. I have packed emergency supplies (safety pins, tape, rubber bands, duct tape, needle and thread), and packed up my tea that I will be serving the day of the event. I have checked the seating chart, confirmed the time helpers and family need to be there. Stickers are placed on the back of my tea air pump pots so that there is no confusion about which air pump pots are mine and not the event center’s. Casual clothes are already packed for me to change into after the event to help clean up and tear down the event.
I can not forget to pack up and bring to the event my tea mug and my own stash of tea to sip on while setting up the event. I need to remember to pack up and take with me serenity and peace, along with graciousness and hospitality. Lastly, I must bring with me my sense of humor. I know something will go wrong, for invariably something always does go wrong. If I remember to laugh and keep a tea perspective of “keep calm and drink tea,” I will have a more relaxed and fun time.
During the holidays and eventful days, remember to keep calm and drink tea. Until next time,
About The Author
Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea. No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!