December 13, St. Lucia Day, also known as the Festival of Light, is a day of celebration in Sweden, in the spirit of Advent and Christmas. Young girls are dressed in white robes with a red sash, with one girl selected as “Lucia” who wears a crown of lit candles (or battery powered ones), the others carrying a single candle. Processions with singing and revelry abound.
At home, the eldest girl dresses up in robe, sash, and candle crown, and delivers coffee and lussekatter, or S shaped saffron buns to her parents for breakfast. This was all explained to me the other day by a young Swedish woman named Lisa Persson in college here in Sacramento, a long way from home. She spoke of these saffron buns with such nostalgia, I just had to make some.
Updated, from the recipe archive. First posted 2004.
Rachael Ray has nothing on my mother. As far as this family is concerned, my mom invented healthful, delicious comfort food that one can cook in 30 minutes or less. This hamburger and macaroni dish has been served in our house at least once a month for the last 45 years. We even have a special name for it – HMO (Hamburger Macaroni Onions). Dad gets a song in his voice when he announces that we’re having HMO for dinner. You make brown the meat and make the sauce while the water is coming to a boil and the macaroni is cooking. So it takes less than half an hour to make. So easy!