For many years I have wanted to seriously celebrate St. Lucy Day. I love the videos of Swedish children processing while singing Santa Lucia led by a girl wearing a wreath of candles on her head. We have celebrated this day with things like cinnamon rolls in the past. This year I finally made St. Lucy Day Swedish Saffron Buns.
The name Lucy means light. In certain countries during this time of year, there is very little light and Sweden is one of those countries. According to Evelyn Virge Bitz's A Continual Feast, Sweden's darkness during this time of year is why it celebrates a saint who symbolizes light. Saffron is used in foods celebrating St. Lucy Day because it makes the pastries yellow--symbolizing light.
As demonstrated on the Catholic Icing page, I shaped the buns into a backward "s" shape. Because raisins are not universally popular in our house, I topped the buns with red decorating sugar. By the time the dough had risen, been shaped, risen again and baked, it was time for the girls to get up for school. As the oldest child, Meg had the honor of serving her sisters the buns in bed. I made her a makeshift crown of tissue paper and candles made from construction paper. The buns were incredibly tasty.
To keep our Swedish theme going, I made Swedish meatballs for dinner. I followed this very simple recipe from Betty Crocker and it was quite the hit with the family. I will definitely be making Swedish meatball periodically through the winter. It is rare to find a recipe that everyone enjoys.
If you haven't watched a Santa Lucia procession, please watch the video below. It is beautiful.