Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy Saint Lucia Day

In Sweden, they celebrate the feast of St Lucia by sending the oldest daughter down to the kitchen to whip up some buns (with saffron and cardamom) and deliver breakfast in bed to all the adults in her white jammies with her head encircled with a flaming centerpiece. Sounds like fun, huh?

I have a 2 year old so flaming centerpieces are right out. She put the raisins on the buns and was happy to carry the tray, but that was about it. She looks adorable in her white flannel dress.

I could eat these buns all day.

Saint Lucia Buns

1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 strands of saffron
1 tsp ground cardamom pods
4-6 cups bread flour
1 package (2.5 tsp) dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water

To top buns:
Swedish pearl sugar or 1 tablespoon granular sugar
pinch saffron

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1/2 tsp salt and let foam until doubled. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Add butter to milk, heat until melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add salt, saffron strands, and 1 tsp ground cardamom.
3. Mix butter/milk with eggs, slowly, tempering the eggs.
4. Add sugar and 1 of the cups of flour.
5. Add the yeast and the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is no longer sticky and wet. Knead for 5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle dough with flour and let rise until doubled (2 hours-overnight).
7. Turn out on floured board and shape into S shaped or }{ shaped buns and allow to rise again on baking sheets, 30 min-1 hour.
8. Brush with beaten egg, decorate with sugar and saffron (optional nuts and raisins).
9. Bake at 350 F for 10-20 min until golden.

I would like to check one bag and one child please.

We’re getting ready to remove ourselves to our holiday residence at my in-law’s house. On the way, I’ll be stopping briefly in Chicago. I’m very excited! There’s a lot to do before we leave. My daughter and I head out on Friday, my husband the 18th, and the cat, sadly, has to stay home this year. Poor cat.

I didn’t bother decorating since we’re leaving so soon, but I did put up some christmas lights. A certain kid loves them, asks me to turn them on a lot. I usually ask her to do something for me and then I’ll turn them on. That’s where we are these days, EVERYTHING is a negotiation.

I’m worried about the airports and the cars, the new beds and the restaurants. She’s a different kid since we last went anywhere else, she understands more, but her patience is maybe a bit less and she’s far less containable. I’ve been so very lucky with her on airplanes that I’m starting to fear that the other shoe is about to drop. Will this be the trip where TSA has to pry my 2 year old from a plastic tub? Will the passengers on this flight be staring at me with the “oh god, make it stop” faces? Will this be the trip where my ipad battery dies the moment we get into the car?

All these very real fears of parents all over haunt me.

As much as non-parents like to believe that a) travel is just for them and b) all children can be brought down from the throes of meltdown, I have some bad news for them. Kids go places. Especially on the holidays. They have every right to be on the plane as any other ticket holder. (The logic that some adults have that adults are worth more than kids baffles me.) Kids have complex and shaky emotional scaffolds, they haven’t learn to repress, delude, and compensate through years of turmoil and boredom like adults have. If one prefers to see it in a positive light, they are more honest. Loudly honest. So, not all bad behavior by kids on planes can be stopped with any simple procedure. If the parent isn’t even trying, that’s one thing, but we like to hear our kids scream even LESS than strangers do. Trust me.

Anyway, I’m hoping I can negotiate my way from here to there with my 2 year old. I have an arsenal of stickers, apps, videos, and snacks with which to bargain. And if all else fails, I suppose I could tell her Santa’s watching…