We're not Swedish (not that we know of), but we decided to celebrate St. Lucia day regardless. It gives us a chance to taste different foods and have a meal that is not quite the ordinary. Plus, it is a chance to educate Isabel about other cultures & traditions.
The above picture is of the St. Lucia Rolls that I made. They were pretty tasty. These rolls seem to be the cornerstone for any St. Lucia meal, other things vary from family to family, but these rolls are a must.
You can go search about St. Lucia, but I will give you the short version of the story. St. Lucia is from Sicily and lived during a time that the Emperor was persecuting Christians. The Christians hid in underground tunnels to avoid persecution, but as a result were starving. St. Lucia (not a saint until after she died, of course) would wear a crown of candles to light her way as she traveled these tunnels with a basket of these rolls to feed the Christians. She was killed by the Romans because she was feeding the Christians. Apparently they tried to burn her to death, but that didn't work (guess fire was her friend) and then they killed her with a sword.
Andy & Isabel made a St. Lucia candle crown (out of paper) earlier today. But we did light all the candles in the dining room and ate among them. It is nice to eat with candles burning.
So, I mentioned Swedish above, but St. Lucia was Italian. Well, as it turns out the Swedish really celebrate this holiday, much more than the Italians.
To round out the rest of our meal I made a warm vanilla pudding sprinkled with cinnamon (tastes yummy to dip these rolls in this), some Brie cheese (also yummy on the rolls) and sausage & cheese plate, some wine, & a Margarita pizza. I think next year I would just expand on the meats & cheeses and make another kind of bread thing in addition to the rolls.
What's funny was that as I was researching (today) other foods to serve with the rolls, it mentioned many of the same foods we ate last night at our dinner party (like a Christmas ham & meatballs, which we had both plus many other yummy things.)
Our next fun meal will be next Sunday for the Winter Soltice. For that meal we have invited some neighbors over to join us. Isabel & I will make a Yule Log Dessert as the feature item. Plus, we'll eat by candlelight. The difference for this meal is that we will eat only by candlelight as I will turn out the overhead lights. Plus we'll have some mulled wine and some lasagna & spaghetti. When I researched the Winter Soltice it seems that the only thing that is a must is a Yule Log of some sorts, whether it be a real Yule log in the fireplace or something edible. I'm going for something edible. Plus, candles are a must too.