This is the second of my holiday-themed posts on the Christmas traditions of St. Anthony Messenger Press (SAMP) employees. In case you missed my first post, I recently interviewed several SAMP employees about how they celebrate Christmas and strive to keep Christ in their hearts this time of year. In the coming weeks, more of their reflections will be shared. These stories are a gift from our family to yours.
St. Lucy’s Day (December 13) is the big day leading up to Christmas for Lucie Uline, the head of our call center in Cleveland. Her family kicks off the holiday season each year with the making of the traditional St. Lucy Wreath. Her mom, who made the bread each year, would shape it in the form of a wreath and glaze it and decorate it with red candied cherries, six red candles and a big red bow.
“At dinnertime, the youngest child in the family would walk into the dining room with the St. Lucy Wreath above her head and present the wreath to the family,” Lucie explains.
Lucie wants to share with you her mother’s recipe, which has been handed down through many generations.
11 Tbsp. butter
6 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 pkgs. dry yeast
2 cups milk
1 gram of saffron
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins (can be omitted)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2–2 tsp. milk
Grind saffron with a little sugar. Melt butter, add milk and heat to 130 degrees. Add salt and saffron. Mix dry ingredients and gradually add the hot milk mixture. Add the raisins. Knead the dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Knead again. Divide dough into three parts. Roll each into a rope and braid dough ropes into a circle onto a greased cooking sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool, then glaze with glaze mixture. Place on decorated plate and adorn with red candied cherries, six candles and a red bow.
Photo taken from Catholic Icing blog and used with permission.