Well, actually it was St. Lucy’s (Lucia) day. But as the whole family will be scattered all over the globe for Christmas, with one brother-in-law with his wife and in-laws in the US and the other one with my in-laws in Switzerland, we decided to bring forward the feasting and feting.
Against my self-imposed Christmas Rules, the tree was brought in more than 10 days before Christmas Eve. In the morning of la grande fête, the tree had to be decorated; and whilst the Nordman fir was getting increasingly dressed in deep purple baubles and golden and silver sparkly this and that, my own attire got less and less. I was breaking out in cold sweat and basically stripped down in front of the Christmas tree. To the very delight and amusement of Big M, who encouraged my efforts by serving ice-cold champagne.
Thank God for my in-laws, who not only arrived earlier on the day to slave away in the kitchen (let me add that I was dressed again at that point) – my mum-in-law even spent the night before preparing Lussekatter – the traditional saffron buns served during Lucia. The whole family loves Lussekatter. With the exception of myself. I just think they taste like butter gone off big time. It’s the saffron overkill that completely puts me off. And no matter how much I love my family; I couldn’t bring myself to bake something I detest so wholeheartedly. Thus, thank you, dearest mum-in-law, to keep disappointment away from this house!
The jury is still out whether little L is a Lussekatter fan or not. After a little bit of prodding, pulling and licking, the bun was thrown on the floor. That’s mummy’s girl!
Traditionally for a Swedish Christmas, we had a Julbord – a buffet-style meal with both cold and warm dishes. You usually begin with cold fishes (hering, gravad lax or eel) and then go over to Christmas ham served with gravy and potato mash, small meatballs, red cabbage salad, soft and crisp bread with different cheeses, pickled cucumbers, pepparkakor (thin gingerbread biscuits) with blue cheese like Stilton (which is absolutely divine!) and finish with a rice pudding-like desert. We skipped the rice pudding and had home made Christmas biscuits instead. When it comes to desert the Austrian traditions overrule the Swedish by far.
I think everybody left well fed and happy after a relaxed afternoon spent with eating and chatting and little-L-admiring. We have left St. Lucy’s day successfully behind us. Christmas is going to be very relaxed this year; most likely we are not going to get out of our PJ’s until the early evening.
I didn’t take a single picture of our feast. Must have been distracted by the food being a fabulous host to my guests.