Baking Buns

I wish I could say I am the picture of calm. I often am not. Today I had both kids home “sick,” although they don’t look very sick to me. In some ways it was good to spend my time thinking about things other than my textbook deadlines. I tried really hard to be the domestic goddess. I sewed, cooked, cleaned, laundered, and baked—with yeast. I have been successful. I also have lost my cool several times.

And now that it is 4:53 p.m., I would like to walk out the door wearing high heels and not come back until tomorrow morning. I would like, for a while, to be a dancing, on-my-own, free-as-a-bird goddess.

Just saying.

Instead, let’s talk about Santa Lucia and the festival that we’ve been preparing for this week. Lucas’s class will be visiting all the grades in the school, singing songs and delivering Santa Lucia buns to every student and teacher in the school. Lucia was a pious girl who ended up tortured and suffering. She is thought to have brought food and drink to poor people in Sweden and the Swedes love her.  (When Ian lived in Sweden, he participated in a Santa Lucia festival and sang songs to his college profs wearing a pointy Star Boy hat.)

But I digress.

The traditional Lucia festival was held on the 13th of December, which the Internet tells me was the winter solstice during the middle ages. The festival is, at heart, a festival of light designed to honor the darkest moment of the year in the hopes that by doing so we can encourage the light to return. In Sweden, the oldest girl in the family rises early, bakes Lucia buns, wears a crown of lighted candles, and with her siblings, serves her parents buns and sings traditional songs.

Lucas has a special role to play in the Lucia festival. He is the youngest boy in his class, so he will be dressed as a gnome, in an all-red gnome outfit with a pointy hat. The hat I made from scratch out of wool felt. I sewed a little gold star on it for a decoration. Then I went hunting for red sweatpants. Target, K-Mart, Penny’s, and even Wal-Mart do not have red sweatpants. I went to the thrift store and found some that were rather too big, but, for $1.98, possibly not too, too big. I chopped off the extra length on the legs, hemmed them, and then doubled the waistband an inch or so in the back, and stitched it together. I had hoped I might be able to open the elastic waist, cut it, and cinch it tighter, but it was stitched down all the way around. Still, I think now they won’t fall off him.

I volunteered to bake Santa Lucia buns, so that was today’s major project. I am happy to say they are edible! I’m not a big bread-maker. I don’t know how many years it’s been since I made a yeast bread. The kids helped and when they were done, we sampled a couple. Pretty tasty. But it seemed to me the dough did not rise as much as it should have. I probably should have practiced before baking for reals.



One Response to “Baking Buns”

  • Liz
    December 26, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    my waldorf girlfriend and barn-sleeping buddy made Santa Lucia buns and brought them to us, waking us with candlelight. <3 Utterly magical.

    Evangeline graduates the program this year so one of the rest of us will have to make the buns next year for the barn owls.

    this is an wonderful smile and an awesome photo.


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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