While out West, Dad and I found a number of unique places to visit, between bouts of baking and general adventure. Growing up with a Norwegian Mom, I learned to bake at an early age, and there isn't a Christmas that goes by where I don't make a bunch of cookies and breads to share at work or with friends.
But why wait for Christmas.
Cardamom Bread (recipe in comments for now).
Green and black cardamom are used as flavorings in both food and drink, as cooking spices and as a medicine. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. The smell while it bakes is just incredible.
I understand it is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, but where I learned of it was in my Mom's Norwegian kitchen were it was used as a flavoring in waffles, cookies and many Nordic breads. Cardamom bread is most commonly served around Christmas, but I could not resist making some on one of these chill Fall mornings. Dusted with sugar before baking and served with coffee for breakfast or as a dessert bread, it's worth the trouble.
Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight but little is needed to impart the flavor. Ground Cardamom can be found in any spice aisle at the grocery. If you wish to buy and use whole Cardamom seeds for more intense flavor a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground. If you buy the pods, store them whole, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor.