we have some friends who live in holland and recently came to the states for a visit....and they brought fabulous gifts with them! this is a small tin decorated with images of traditional delft blue tiles, and on top is a festive orange and blue bow (orange is a royal color and blue a popular color in the netherlands), blue, white and red ribbons (the colors of the dutch flag), and a tiny pair of ceramic clogs that have become easily recognized as part of the traditional dutch culture.
and if all of that isn't inspiring enough, it's what's inside this little treasure tin that truly makes me so happy...a stack of stroopwafels! known to make its first appearance in the town of gouda during the time of napoleon, a stroopwafel is a delightful concoction: two paper-thin waffle-style cookies the size of a coaster held together by a rich, ooey-gooey cinnamon caramel filling inside. my little dutch boy says that the real way to enjoy a stroopwafel is to set one on top of your cup of espresso or cafe au lait...the steam will slowly warm and slightly melt the filling inside...unless you're like me and can't wait that long!