And I know every year it's something. I do know it. This year I started the lussekatter Saturday morning, with the snow pouring down like rain outside. This year's was a double batch, because once I counted up the people who could use some light in their darkness and the people I would see soon who would just plain like lussekatter, it seemed like a double batch was the way to go. And some things are no harder to do in a double batch than a single--chili, for example, or brownies.
It turns out that lussekatter are not in this category. Once I mixed the dough up and looked at it, I could see that it would rise and overflow the largest mixing bowl, so I had to divide it out into two largest mixing bowls. This was not easy. Lussekatter are made with egg and milk, which are friendly stuff in bread, and the knead happens after the rise. I had just finished making this dough go together, and it didn't want to be apart again after all that. Also the saffron from Penzey's wouldn't grind in the mortar and pestle for sour owl crap, not with or without a sugar buffer, and there's enough saffron that I had to grind in two batches anyway, and grind, and grind, and I began to feel I was back in my materials science summer research project again, only that was ceramics, not saffron, and really, one should be able to feel the difference and not just smell it. (Thanks, Penzey's.) And then it had to be kneaded in two batches, because either one was large enough to threaten to eat me, so just when I had gotten to the point where the one batch would behave itself and cohere and act like dough, I had to turn to the next bowl over.
Twice as much really isn't just as easy. It is, in fact, twice as hard. And since I have the kind of personality that hurtles itself forward going, "Come on, it'll be just as easy!", I've had to learn a lot of these over the last few years with the stupid vertigo. A lot of the things I labeled "just as easy" were, in fact, significantly harder.
But several of them were worth doing anyway. And this year, as the snow filled the yard and the driveway and the Metrodome, it was worth putting in the energy doing twice as much. Some of them will stay near and some will go far, but there are so very many people who need little tokens of light and love. And me, I need to sometimes do a bit too much to be the one to make them. I need to put in the time and the work and the pummeling and the singing. I need to sometimes say, yes, I know the limits of my energy and my strength, and this will be twice as hard, and I am doing it anyway. Because this is a thing worth doing.
Not every time. But some of the time.
Happy Santa Lucia Day.
Santa Lucia Day 2009 2008 2007 Part 1 2007 Part 2 2006