In the Swedish culture (no there is not an ounce of Swedish blood in our family line) it is traditional for the eldest daughter to wake the family at dawn wearing a white dress with a crimson sash and a wreath of candles upon her head. She bears gifts of sweet breads and warm drinks in imitation of St. Lucy who gave away her dowry to the poor because she wanted to consecrate her life to Christ. Refusing to give up her virginity to the man to whom she was betrothed resulted in her martyrdom in the early 4th century.
Mary Clare was extremely excited about playing the role of St. Lucy and did a fabulous job! She wore a flower girl dress from last spring, I tied a red ribbon around her waist and I made her paper crown in about 15 minutes last night.
For our feast we made elaborate treats just like they do in Sweden, including Lussekatter- St. Lucy Buns and St. Lucia's Braided Bread.
Okay, I just lied. Yes I did make the above breads for breakfast, but they took me a combined 30 minutes. Don't tell anyone my secret... on second thought, tell who ever you want. I give all credit to my sous chef...
yep, the dough boy.
For the buns I did the following:
I took a rectangle of the crescent roll dough, rolled it up and then formed it into the shape of a S. I also put a Crasin in each bend of the S and baked them according to the package directions.
For the braided bread I used the cinnamon rolls:
I used my kitchen sheers to cut the rolls into a spiral so they could roll out into a line. The first six rolls made for even cords, with three in each group. For the last two rolls I cut off a portion of the bottoms to make a 3rd cord that was the same length as the original two when put together. Then I braided all the cords into a circle and baked them according to the package directions.
We put icing and candles in the braided bread and then lit the candles and said a prayer. The kids blew out the candles and we feasted with hot cocoa!