Monday, December 14, 2009

St. Lucia Day

I first read about the Swedish traditions for celebrating St. Lucia Day when my little sister collected the American Girls books. I was in high school and therefore too old for those books, but since I have always been a big history nerd I read them in secret. So if my mom hadn't given them away, reading Kirsten's Surprise would be a great way to illustrate the tradition. I really appreciate the idea that this is a day where the children do something for their parents to help balance out the receiving that children enjoy during the season. At two, the littlest W isn't ready to prepare buns and coffee and tea for us so for the last several years I have been playing the role of the oldest daughter.
This year I purchased Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf which contains several recipes for the feast of St. Lucy including lussekattor or St. Lucia cats. These saffron buns are a traditional Swedish recipe. The recipe was challenging, I'm not sure if I killed the yeast or what, but I really struggled with the dough. Part of the problem may have been that I made the dough and formed the buns the night before to save myself some time in the morning. I'm hoping I'll be more successful next year!

With three of us having breakfast in bed together I needed two trays to get everything upstairs. I used all my white lines that I could find to create a snowy& wintery effect. That sweet little battenburg lace scone holder my parents brought back for me after a trip to Quebec. The tea cozy was another souvenier from my mom; she knows I love tea things and she always manages to find a new treasure for me. The little mug Mr. W's parents brought back for him after their trip to visit family in Norway. I figure it contibutes to the Scandinavian theme. I decided the trays needed a bit more color; fortunately for me we have a douglas fir tree in our back yard. So within two steps out our back door I found a fir bow that I used to spruce up the breakfast trays.
After I read Kirsten's Surprise I saw the St. Lucy wreath in the American Girls catalog. I coveted it for my future children but it was much to expenisve for me to purchase at the time. Later when I was in college and considered purchasing it I discovered that it was no longer offered in the catalog. I have searched for a long time, but it isn't an easy thing to find. I finally found them at Scandia Imports in Beaverton. I bought one with a green plastic base rather than gold. This year I bought some fake greenery to wrap around it to make it look more like an evergreen wreath with candles in it. The littlest W was decidedly uninterested in putting it on his head. Technically little boys dress up as "star boys" and wear white with a cone hat decorated with stars and carry a star baton and the little girls dress up as St. Lucy. Do you know how challenging it is to find white anything for little boys? After they hit 18-24 months all their clothing suddenly becomes covered with skulls and crossbones. I think maybe some red and white striped jams from Hanna Andersson might be in order for next year. In any event here is the wreath on no one's head.
And here is the wreath I have on the front door for Advent

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