I have celebrated Lucia the 13th of December ever since my family moved to Sweden. This is a truly awesome experience.
I am also proud to say that I once was a Lucia when i was a child. I did not have real candles in my hair, obviously. But I had a cute plastic one that I was so happy with.
Saint Lucia comes when the night is at it’s darkest symbolizing the light. Whenever you would see Saint Lucia back home, she wears candles on her head and holds another candle in her hands, to represent the hope and light after darkness. It’s a truly magical experience! Every city or village mostly have their own Lucia’s in school, at church and even at some work places too. I find this comforting in that special dark winter morning to see a beautiful Lucia with her maidens and the angelic choir songs. To me it is a sign of the dark, cold winter with the light and sun soon coming back.
So when Saint Lucia’s day comes around. I have to bake. And bake I did!
But I also made medisterkaker. Medisterkaker is something of my Husband’ s favorite food. His mom makes these little pork patties before Christmas every year, and since we are staying in Ireland this time I wanted to make some for him. It is basically finely minced pork sausage with a heavier minced pork mixed together with eggs and milk and some spices. It is a very simple recipe and usually calls for 50/50 ratio of the pork to have a nice flavor balance. You fry these patties with some butter, and in our house we eat them more while we fry them as they are so good! We save some for W’s lunch to school to put on his sandwich when they are cold and he just loves it!
Grandma L’s soft rolls
So while I was frying the medisterkakor I had a batch of Grandma L’s famous bread rolls on the rise and later popped in the oven, as every year we cannot be without them. They are just to good to be without. I made them smaller this time around though but they turned out nice, soft and fluffy inside and not too sweet.
But to add to this, no Lucia day is complete without Lussekatter or Lussebullar. Saffron buns! I love me some saffron buns. This year I tried a new recipe that was perfect! I used a bit more quark than the recipe called for but they turned out so nice and soft with a deeper yellow color. I know a few bakers love adding extras to make the buns even more yellowy but over the years with some practice I found the right technique for my buns.
To give these lussebullar a lovely yellow color I let the saffron steep for an hour or so in the melted butter, then add the milk mixture and briefly heat it up again so it’s “fingerwarm” before I mix it with the flour and fresh yeast. The flavors and smells is just gorgeous and lifts my mood up so much during this time of the year. It’s summery yellow and sweet with little small raisins that reminds me that even if winter is here my sweet tooth is here to stay. Almost every Swedish bakery during this day sells Lussebullar.
And of course, no Lussebullar is complete without mulled wine. So Christmassy! So lovely. I LOVE my mulled wine. Seeing this makes me want to grab another one lol.
I can’t wait to have more of this, I will freeze some and some will stay out for us to munch on tomorrow. K has pneumonia and he is getting better ever so slowly but he is resting a lot. I am happy he is doing okay now and he got some sweet stuff to at least cheer him up today.
Hopefully next year I can celebrate Lucia next year back home, who knows maybe that will happen!