book review, Something To Do

Swedish Santa Lucia Traditions | Lucia: Child of Light

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My house is buzzing with excitement as my family and prepare for Lucia Day on December 13th.

On this special day, many Swedish people celebrate the legacy of Lucia and the coming of the light with coffee, saffron buns, ginger snaps, and wonderful singing. In addition to the story of the Svensson children, the book also includes the Lucia Song, recipes for ginger snaps and saffron buns, a short story of the Lucia legend, plus two patterns for the Lucia gown and star boy outfit.

And of course Swedish children’s books that embrace this ethnic holiday also have a special place in our house hold. Over the years I’ve shared several family favorites, and Lucia Child of Light is one of those books. Here is a new Swedish Santa Lucia Books and Traditions for me to share with you. Enjoy!

Swedish Santa Lucia Traditions | Lucia Child of Light

Lucia child of light

Out from the long dark winter comes a young and beautiful maiden with a wreath of candles on her head. Surrounded by her court of candle holding friends, wand holding star boys, and all of them singing of the hope and assurance that the light will return once again.

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I took this book with me as I moved all over the globe just to make sure that I could share the story of Lucia wherever I went. It is and was my manual about the how’s and why’s of the St. Lucia celebration. Along with recipes, this book contains really fun tips to make sure that your Lucia celebration is fun and beautiful. Also included is the Santa Lucia song in both Swedish and English.

Swedish Santa Lucia Traditions | Making Glögg

Not in either of the books we have highlighted here,”Lucia,child of light”, or “Lucia Morning in Sweden” contain the very famous beverage we drink on this day as well. Glögg is a hot spicy drink which is drank throughout the whole holiday season but a huge pot of it is always brewing on my stove top for Lucia.

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Glögg

· 4 cups of apple or grape juice

· ¼ cup of sugar

· 18 whole cloves

· 8 whole cardamom pods

· 1 cinnamon stick

· 1 piece of fresh ginger 1 inch long

· Serve with raisins and almonds

 

In a cooking pot pour your juice of choice and add all of the spices. Turn the heat onto medium and cook until the sugar has melted. Cover and leave it standing for an hour. Strain off the spices. Right before serving reheat and place in a thermos, glögg pot or slow cooker to keep it warm. For serving place into a cup or mug and top with raisins and almonds.

I thought I would share our tried and true family recipe for saffron buns. If you get the wrong recipe the buns turn out to be like stones. The recipe in the book is similar to ours but we do some prep work that guarantees the success of our buns. It seems I’m a little biased about Lucia buns. I want everyone to have a postive and beautiful experience.

This book sets the mood just perfectly.

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Swedish Santa Lucia Traditions | Saffron Buns or Lussekattor pronounced “Lucy cat-tor”

Lucia Saffron Buns

Ingredients:

·1 package of dry yeast

·¼ cup of warm water

·¾ cup of milk

·1 ½ cup stick of butter

·1 tsp of saffron threads

·½ cup sugar

·¼ tsp of salt

·1 cup of raisins

·2 eggs

·31/2 to 4 cups of flour

·1 beaten egg

 

Directions

1.    In a bowl place one cup of raisins in warm water covering the raisins. This is called “plumping”.

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2.    In  a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water.

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3.    While the yeast is proofing, in a pot scald the milk and then add the butter into the milk and heat gently until it has melted.  Once melted, take off the burner and let it cool until it is luke warm.

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4.    Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lay the saffron threads on a pieces of parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Once the saffron is toasted, take it out of the oven, fold the parchment paper over and roll over the saffron with a rolling pin until the saffron is in a powder form.  Add the saffron to the milk and butter mixture.

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5.    Add the milk,butter,saffron mixture as well as the sugar, salt, eggs and drained raisins to the yeast mixture. In your kitchen aid or other mix master, beat until blended.  It should be smooth and satiny.

6.    Mix in half of the flour.  Once it is blended add the remaining flour gradually until each addition is blended well.  After all of the flour has been mixed in, let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

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7.    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny.

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8.    Place the dough in a  lightly oiled bowl , cover with a dish-towel and let raise for until doubled. This will take about 1 hour.

9.    Place parchment paper on  two large cookie sheets.

10.   After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 32 equal pieces.

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11.   Cover all pieces with a dish-towel .

12.   Taking a piece of dough, roll it into an 8 inch rope. Shape it into a bun, S shape, snail or pretzel.

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13.   To make even fancier shapes take two 8 inch ropes and make crosses, butterflies, or twisted ropes.

14.   As you finish each shape place it on the cookie sheet. Once a sheet in completely full, cover with a dish-towel to let it rise for 35 minutes.

15.   Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

16.   Beat and egg in a bowl. Using a pastry brush paint the egg wash over the buns completely.

17.   Sprinkle with pearl sugar (optional)

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18.   Place in oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

19.   Buns are done when they are golden brown.

20.   This recipe makes about 20 buns.

 

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Don’t those look yummy?

If you would like more information about the Santa Lucia holiday traditions, Santa Lucia inspired crafts and even more Swedish treat idea, grab my FREE pdf download HERE. Even though the official Santa Lucia holiday is passed (December 13th) there’s no better time than the present to share these ideas, traditions and treats with your family. Consider it my gift to you this holiday season. Thank you and ENJOY.

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