Today is the day Scandinavian's celebrate St. Lucia or Christmas, God Jul!
The youngest girl in the family will bring her parents and grandparents coffee and saffron buns as she wears the traditional candle lit wreath to guide her way symbolizing St. Lucia who after losing her sight still guided her followers. We will celebrate tonight with song and food too honour St. Lucia for her sacrifice.
The children will put out porridge with a raisin tucked inside for the Tomte ( as a Norwegian we call him NIsse) so he will leave us presents and make our livestock safe.
We make delicious saffron buns, much like a cinnamon roll.
ST. LUCIA BUNS
preheat oven to 375F
1/2 t. dried saffron
3 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup dried candied fruit rinds
1/2 cup currants
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg yolk
Soak the dried saffron in the boiling water for about 2 hours (you can omit this step by using powdered saffron). In a large warm bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Put remaining sugar, salt and butter into the scalded milk and stir until everything is melted. Strain the saffron and add the saffron water to the mixture.Cool milk to lukewarm and pour it into the bowl. Beat the egg into it. Coat the currents and candied fruit rinds with 2 tablespoons flour. Gradually work the remaining flour into the yeast. Add fruits; turn out onto a floured board and kneed for 10 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough in a butter bowl and roll it around to grease well. Cover with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 – 1 1/2 hours). Punch down and put onto the board and kneed a few times.To plait the wreath: Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll them out into 24″ long rolls. Start plaiting from the middle,alternately putting the right and left roll over the middle roll. Finish the other half alternately putting the right and left roll under the middle roll. Tuck in the ends and let rise. Brush with whisked egg before putting them in the oven, then place on greased cookie sheet and let rise
for 1/2 hour. Bake in a preheated 375F for 15-20 minutes for wreaths.
For more celebrations visit the ST. LUCIA BLOG PROCESSION and see some lovely traditions.
I cannot wait until my little baby granddaughter can wear the St. Lucia wreath ( battery operated of course) and I teach her about the wonderful traditions of our Norwegian heritage.
God Jul to all of my Scandinavian family & friends. Enjoy the wonder of St. Lucia today.