Monday, December 13, 2010

St. Lucia Buns / Lussekatter

We got our first good snow of the season last night ( super early and uncommon for Nashville) which is really helping me with my Scandinavian fantasy. Today( in any place that's awesome) it's Saint Lucia day which is something that I only learned about this year.

St. Lucia's day (as best I can figure from what the internet tells me) is one of those holidays that is much more fancy and lovely if you don't go digging around to find out the details. The only thing I knew about it before was from an American Girl book called "Kirsten's Surprise" which I don't think did much to educate me other than burning into my brain the picture of the blond girl with candles in her hair and how quickly that could all go horribly wrong.

On the surface, it's a holiday thats traditions have been sort of lumped together with Christmas because of its' timing and candles and food. On the other hand if you're like me and overly curious you google around and read the story you find out it about  the patron saint of the blind who got her eyes cut out in the name of religion. Cute right?

Even so, I am a thoroughly nosy person and I love to learn about other cultures and their traditions. And gory details or not on St. Lucia day (or Christmas time in general) the lovely Scandinavians eat St. Lucia buns or "Lussekatter" which is what I made today and totally geeked out while doing so.



Aside from the fact that I have a total crush on Sweden, this was my very first time getting to use saffron! Saffron is the single most expensive spice by weight, the jar I bought was I think $18, so baking with it feels sort of like baking with diamonds (God help me if I ever get a hold of a truffle). Dealing with something so expensive my first impulse was to tread lightly, but with this recipe it was basically impossible. It's so rough and hands on I felt like a kid with a jar full of play dough which was really amazing, I love the feeling when you can really just get your hands dirty.



sexy buns

As for the taste, I don't know what to think. It's the first recipe I've tried (I plan to try a few) and I've never sampled any others so the jury's still out. It's kind of sweet and savory at the same time, the texture made me what to dip it in something like soup but the flavor's so unique I can't imagine what kind would suit it. So I'll just say I liked them.

One think I do keep wondering about, are they supposed to look like eyes?


  1. I have no idea what they are supposed to look like, but the look yummy. Maybe butter on top would have browned them better? But it's definitely crazy that saffron is so expensive. My mother is Persian and cooks with it all the time, guess I never paid attention!

  2. I know all about lussekatter and you did a very good job! Congrats!


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