Norsk 101: Lussekatter

Lussekatter:
A celebration of light on Lucia Day
(Lussekatter: En feiring av lys på Luciadagen)

Photo courtesy of Christie Ericson
Lussekatter on a winter morning (Lussekatter på en vintermorgen).

Language practice with Christie Ericson

December 13 (Den 13. desember) is my favorite day of the year (er favoritt dagen min i året). Not only is it my birthday (Ikke bare er det bursdagen min), but it’s also Lucia Day (men det er også Luciadagen)!

Lucia Day (Luciadagen), with its combination of (med sin blanding av) pagan and Christian traditions (hedenske og kristne tradisjoner), is above all a celebration of light (er først og fremst en feiring av lys). According to tradition (Ifølge tradisjonen), the eldest daughter in the house dressed up in (kledde den eldste datteren i huset seg ut i) a white gown (en hvit kjole) and wore a wreath with candles on her head (og bar en krans med lys på hodet). She sang the Lucia song (Hun sang Luciasangen) and served saffron buns or (og serverte safranboller eller) “lussekatter” to her parents (til foreldrene sine).

Lussekatter —“Lucia cats” are baked with saffron (bakes med safran) which gives them (som gir dem) a distinctive yellow color (en særegen gul farge). Common ingredients are (Vanlige ingredienser er): sugar (sukker), butter (smør), milk (melk), flour (mel), yeast (gjær), and ground saffron (og malt safran) or saffron threads (safrantråder).

Lussekatter are fun to bake (er gøy å bake)! Following the recipe (Ifolge oppskriften), mix the ingredients (bland ingrediensene) and then knead the dough well (og elt så deigen godt). You can use a stand mixer (Du kan bruke en kjøkkenmaskin) with a dough hook (med eltekrok) or knead by hand (eller elte for hånd). Put the dough to rise (Sett deigen til heving) in a warm place (på et lunt sted) until almost double in size (til omtrent dobbel størrelse).

Divide the dough into pieces (Del deigen i biter) and roll them into long “sausages” (og trill dem til lange pølser). The buns can be formed (Bollene kan formes) in many different shapes (til mange forskjellige fasonger). Some examples (Noen eksempler): Christmas pig (julegris), lily (lilje), golden wagon (gullvogn), priest’s hair (prestens hår), and Lucy cat (og lussekatt).

Place the lussekatter (Legg lussekattene) on a baking sheet (på stekeplate) and let them rise again (og la dem heve seg igjen). Brush them (Pensle dem) with a beaten egg (med sammenvispet egg) and decorate with raisins (og pynt med rosiner). Bake the buns until they are golden (Stek bollene til de blir gylne) and cool on a rack (og avkjøl på rist).

This Lucia Day (Denne Luciadagen) I will listen to the Lucia song (kommer jeg til å høre på Luciasangen) and eat (og spise) lussekatter by candlelight (med levende lys på bordet) while I celebrate the return of light (mens jeg feirer lysets tilbakekomst).

This article originally appeared in the December 13, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Christie Ericson

Christie Ericson

Christie Ericson is an academic librarian living in Anchorage, Alaska. She has a background in languages and linguistics and has been fulfilling her lifelong dream of learning the Norwegian language. She also serves as the cultural director and librarian at her local Sons of Norway lodge and is completely addicted to Selbu mitten knitting.

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