Dec 13 #Lucia- childhood memories of wearing a crown of candles

Today is Lucia Day in Sweden.

As I was the only daughter in our family, I was the one to wear the crown of candles (when we used live ones, we would place a wet rag on our head inside the crown- the crown being made of lingonberry bush or pine branches).

I had an electric candle crown and I remember the weight of it so well.   I was always so excited to get up early and dress in a white gown, with a red ribbon round my waist.  My mom would prepare me.  I would then carry a tray with coffee and gingerbread cookies to my dad.

At school, one girl would be chosen as Queen Lucia and other girls and boys were her entourage.  We would get saffron buns, rice pudding and lingon drink.

Here is a beautiful painting by Swedish artist, Carl Larsson, of his family celebrating Lucia day:

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My brothers and I, Christmas 1967, Grums Sweden

Lessons from Pippi- strength, generosity and gentleness…

Being Swedish,Pippi Longstocking has been an icon to me all my life.  Yes, there are troubling racist elements in the books and, my God, as a child I would lay awake at night worrying about Pippi living alone, but Pippi’s character is glorious and hopeful.  She’s ahead of her time- a give-no-fucks attitude combined with curiosity and caring and independence.  Her voracious need to learn and to interact.  Her love of the moment.

Don’t you worry about me. I’ll always come out on top.

My heart still yells COMRADE!  when Pippi needs her cave time to be home alone with her pets and think.

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My daughter-in-love, Emily Cowan,  gifted me this Christmas with a fantastic collection of Pippi Longstocking books!

I am obsessing over them!

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All the children sat looking at Pippi, who lay flat on the floor, drawing to her heart’s content. ‘But, Pippi,’ said the teacher impatiently, ‘why in the world aren’t you drawing on your paper?’ ‘I filled that long ago. There isn’t room enough for my whole horse on that little snip of paper.’
All the children sat looking at Pippi, who lay flat on the floor, drawing to her heart’s content. ‘But, Pippi,’ said the teacher impatiently, ‘why in the world aren’t you drawing on your paper?’
‘I filled that long ago. There isn’t room enough for my whole horse on that little snip of paper.’

  

  

Pippi is a recurring drawing subject…

Wheatpaste at 119 East Cordova, Vancouver

  

Pippi imagined as Tank Girl
Pippi imagined as Tank Girl

Claudia’s Cranberry Pie.

In memory of my sweet friend and dance partner, Claudia, I am sharing her infamous pie recipe:

Pie crust:
300 ml flour
150 g butter (room temp) YES actual butter
1 egg

Mix all ingredients and form into dough. Let rest wrapped in plastic in fridge about 30 min before rolling out.

Filling:
Mix together
450 g whole cranberries
Orange rind from two oranges (or lemons)
Squeeze the juice from the oranges onto top he cranberries too
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar

Brush pie crust with egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar

Bake at 350-375 Farenheit until cranberries sizzle with juices and pie crust is golden brown!

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This the season for pie! Cranberry orange with lemon zest! In honor of Claudia 1965-2007
This the season for pie! Cranberry orange with lemon zest! In honor of Claudia 1965-2007
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“Dear Camille…” Dedicated to Claudia Camille Wöber, my gentle dance partner and artist colleague.