Festal Kitchen

Advent brings several Saints’ days that cry out (to me) for celebration.  The ritual of observing these little feasts draws us along the weeks of the season toward Christmas.  This week, we have Ss. Nicholas and Ambrose.

And the Gadbois clan likes to celebrate with food.  St. Nick’s Day always reminds me of chocolate and oranges.  So that’s our menu for tomorrow.  What could be more special than chocolate for breakfast on St. Nicholas Day?

Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • 4 c of sourdough sponge (prepared the night before from 2c of starter, 2c of flour, and 2c warm water)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2T  sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1T warm water
  • 1T fresh orange rind
  • miniature chocolate chips
Combine ingredients and cook on a hot, oiled griddle.  Serve with whipped cream and chocolate-orange syrup. Makes about 40 pancakes.
*If you haven’t got a sourdough starter, you can make your favourite standard pancake recipe.  But trust me, once you have served sourdough pancakes, nothing else will ever compare.
Chocolate-Orange Syrup
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 c boiling water
  • 2 T. orange marmalade
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until it comes to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Makes about 2 cups.


St. Ambrose Day means something with honey, since he is the patron of beekeepers.  I found a scrumptious recipe, posted by Kelly at The Nourishing Home .  The combination of lemon and almond is what we call “Primrose” in our house.  More on why another day.

These pretty little cookies are gluten-free, dairy free, and egg free.  They are also raw!  Super duper!  Easy for the kids to help make, and a fun treat to take along to homeschool gatherings or potluck.  {Just be sure to label them in case anyone is allergic to nuts!}  I will be making a double batch.


Sweetness and Light

Every year on 13 December, before the morning sun lights the sky, Lucia comes wearing a candle-lit evergreen wreath, bearing saffron buns and coffee (cocoa for the children).  We sit in bed together, savouring this delicacy in the stillness of dawn.


A circlet of evergreen, lit with candles, symbolising the Light of the World and His eternal nature

Lucia {eldest daughter Cat}


Josie's first taste of Lussekatt.


The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

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