Saturday, December 13, 2014


Today is December 13th. the shortest day of the year and the day Scandinavians, like me, celebrate Saint Lucia Day!

The Scandinavians have celebrated the Lucia-night (Lusse-nat) since the 16th. Saint Lucia is the patron Saint of the blind. 

We start the day with the eldest girl in the family wearing a wreath crown with candles, the wreath is made from Lingonberry branches which signifies a new winter and the candles signify "Light" which is what the name Lucy or Lucia means.  The girl leads the other children to bring hot coffee and Saffron buns, Lussekatter,  to their elders to warm them on a cold winter's morning.

Here is a delicious recipe for Lussekatter Buns from LUCULLIAN DELIGHTS.


 25 g/0,9 oz fresh yeast (1 tsp instant yeast = 10 g fresh yeast)

200 g/ 7 oz butter

500 ml/2,1 cup milk

1 g/0,01 oz saffron powder

200 ml/0,85 cup sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp salt

around 1 500 ml/6,3 cups flour, 2/3 normal flour and 1/3 light wholewheat flour

1 egg

dried cranberries (or raisins)

    Crumble the yeast in large bowl, add the sugar, cardamom and saffron and let the yeast ‘melt’. If you stir now and then, it melts quite quickly. I know this is supposed to be bad for the yeast but I never had a problem  so you choose if you prefer to mix the yeast with a little warm milk instead before you add it all.
   Melt the butter in a pan, add the milk and warm it up to finger warm, strictly speaking it should be 37°C/98°F

   Pour the liquid on the yeast, stir well and add most of the flour and the salt. Work it really well before you put it away to rise for an hour. Now if you choose use wholewheat flour, you might have to add a little more but be careful not to add too much as it makes a stodgy Lussekatt and that is not nice.
   Put the dough on a table dusted with flour and work it until it is smooth.

   Divide the dough into balls slightly smaller than your fist and make ‘serpents’ that you form like the letter S.

   Put the buns on baking sheets with parchment paper on and leave rise for about 40 minutes.
   Whisk the egg and brush the buns with it before you add the cranberries.

   Bake in a pre-heated oven (225°C/440°F) for 10 minutes. Leave them to cool on a rack before you start eating them.

After a day of celebration everyone sits down to dinner and after Tomte, our little Christmas Knome, comes with gifts if you have been good.  This little forest Knome has a wickedly playful personality and if you don't give him something to eat, he loves porridge, he will play a trick on you.

A blessed God Jul to all, I am off for some more hot coffee and another delicious Lussekatter roll!