And here it is Santa Lucia Day, and I have made the lussekatter.
I think if I made them more than twice a year*, it would get into a rhythm faster, a routine, a place where I would never say, "This is not going to work." But lussekatter. They are not for every day. They are for Santa Lucia Day.** And as a result, I always have the stage of "oh no this has gone horribly awry." On the other hand, if I didn't make other breads, I might also not despair, because I would have a healthy cushion of ignorance: "Is this normal? What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino!*** Onwards!" But instead I make a lot of other breads that are not white breads, and they are much more substantial, and so I peer dubiously. I keep saying that I have come to accept that the peering dubiously is part of the process, and yet I don't think I really mean it. There are all sorts of things that are part of fighting back the darkness year after year that you think you're prepared for, and then you're not, but you do it anyway. You do. What else is there?
This year, exactly half of the lussekatter did not rise further in the oven. They just...didn't. Usually they do, the other tray did, and this tray didn't. This is not a sign. This is not an omen. What it is, is a little dense maybe, a little chewier than we expected. But they taste fine, and I don't know what I could have done differently, so I am resolved not to worry about it. Flattish saffron goodness: fine.
So okay, you people. I've done my part. The sun can come back now; I'm ready. Whatever you have to do on your end to keep the world turning, you go on ahead and do it. It's time now. Happy Santa Lucia Day.
*The first time in each calendar year is for timprov's birthday. He doesn't like cake. Everybody should get the baked thing they want for their birthday. His is lussekatter. We'd move his birthday, but he finds mid-December no more congenial than mid-February.
**And Tim's birthday.
***My family would be nearly unable to speak if we couldn't communicate in punchlines. This is one of the rare occurrences where the punchline is assumed instead.
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