Feast of Saint Lucy

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The Feast of St Lucy is celebrated in Sicily, Lucy’s country of birth and martyrdom, but it is a really big deal in Sweden where the story takes a different turn. I first encountered this tale while reading the encyclopedia in 6th grade. During the Middle Ages, the region of Varmland, Sweden was experiencing a terrible famine. Crops had been poor the previous summer and it was now winter. Grain stores had run out and there was no bread. A young girl went out into the cold, starry pre-dawn darkness. Across the snowy fields she walked to the shore of Lake Vännern. She saw a light in the distance, and it grew brighter. A boat was coming toward her — its sole occupant, a woman standing in a white dress with a red sash, her head surrounded by stars in the sky. When the boat landed, the woman showed the girl that the boat was filled with bread that she had brought for the people. The girl took some bread for her parents and ran back to the village to tell people what she saw. When the villagers arrived at the boat, the woman was gone, but the bread was enough to keep them alive. They all agreed that it must have been a miracle wrought by Saint Lucy. Since then, on December 13 [which prior to calendar reform was the shortest day of the year] the eldest girl of a Swedish family wakes up early to take her parents sweet bread and coffee for breakfast. She might wear a white gown and have a crown of candles in her hair. Towns and churches will choose an official Saint Lucy for municipal celebrations. From Mallorca to Minnesota to Malmo, Lucy will appear to bring light and cheer to a dark season.

The Scandinavians are possibly the inventors of smoked salmon, so it is fitting to enjoy it with our breakfast. Saint Lucy is also a famous saint in Italy, thus our dinner will be from there.

Powder Mill Scramble: 141 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 6 g carb [5.6 g Complex] 50 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  This recipe is from Jerry Willis’ “Powder Mill Pond Restaurant” where it was a favorite. Alas, that restaurant is not more, but you can enjoy this at home.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week  ½ oz smoked salmon ½ oz/ 2 Tbsp sliced scallion greens one clementine OR 2 oz melon  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 caloriesOptional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Whisk the eggs [salt and pepper may not be needed depending on the seasoning of your salmon]. Pour into a pan which has been sprayed briefly with cooking spray. Before the eggs set, add the salmon and scallions. Scramble to taste. Prepare your optional beverage. Plate with fruit of choice.

Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce: 265 calories 5.5 g fat 8 g fiber 10.4 g protein 42 g carbs [~30 g Complex] 196 mg Calcium   PB  This rich sauce with the wholesome goodness of whole wheat pasta makes for a delicious meal. And it is so simple. Don’t cut corners: you need the whole-grain pasta for the protein and fiber of the meal.

1½ oz whole wheat pasta ½ cup puttanesca sauce 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese 2 oz green beans

Cook the pasta less time than the package directs, so it will be al dente [having a little white in the center when you bite into it]. Drain the pasta and add the sauce to the pan. The pasta will absorb the sauce while they both warm together. Plate with the beans and top with the cheese.

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