Even though the holiday season has ended, its winter! If you're like me, you love to collect items of the season. The castoffs of trimmed pine trees create fabulous wreaths, pine bows, Garland, and… Fir sugar! I read about it several years ago, and it's a fabulous way to preserve the fragrance of the season. It turns out, that you can eat it. I've used it to decorate cookies, the rims of glasses, and left simmering on the stove for a fabulously scented home.
I love to get organic balsam fir trees from the local supplier in November. They're grown in better soil and there won't be anything toxic sprayed on the trees. Even if I don't get a tree, he knows that I will come to get needles that have fallen off in the process of trimming trees.
What you will need:
1/4 cup Pine needles (about a 2" diameter bundle)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cup mixing bowl
Rinse & dry your needles. If you get branches like I do, pluck the needles from the branch. Combine 1/4 cup of needles with a half cup of sugar and process in a food processor or spice grinder until smooth and bright green. Whatever you use, be sure to wash the blade immediately with hot water. If you don't, the sap from the needles will gum up your blade. After grinding, transfer the fir-sugar concentrate to a large bowl. Add another cup of sugar to dilute it, mixing it well with your hands. Store in glass containers like mason jars, attractive spice jars, or reuse glass jars from food items.
Sprinkle your fragrant sugar on the tops of sugar cookies
Wet the rim of an aperitif glass with water and dip into the sugar (you can make the same fir blend with salt, and have a very spicy margarita). Fill your glass with icy cold vodka.
Sprinkle on freshly baked bread
Simmer on the stove to fragrance your whole home