Good morning everyone. The festival of Santa Lucia, patron saint of light, was this past Saturday, the 13th. This coincided with the largest tides of the year following the Full Cold Moon on Friday and the moon at perigee on the 12th. The range in Portland was a whopping 14.1’ on Saturday! The moon also happened to be riding high on Saturday well above the celestial equator. With just a little snow on the ground here in Appleton the full moon negates any need for a flashlight while walking to the barn to check the woodstove. All is bright and moon shadows through the trees tell me how clear the night is. Light is a precious commodity this time of year. Time to bulk up on the D vitamins to ward off the cabin fever. Winter has yet to begin and already we crave light on these darkest days of the year.

We take great comfort from lights. My guess is that we are the only household in town that lights an outdoor tree all year long. I’ll put our string of LEDs up against a stark white 60 watt bulb any day of the week. So the festival of Santa Lucia is a good one for us. It gives us the excuse to light a few more candles. When out on the water we enjoy lights of a different sort but gain the same comfort when we see them. Of course, I am talking about lighthouses. The hope that seaside beacons bring to sailors coming into a snug harbor is no less appreciated than the lights we string on our tree or the precious sunlight that will soon be headed north once again. In an age when GPS receivers seem all too dependable I find a greater comfort seeing Curtis Island Light standing its watch in Camden or the sectored light at Goose Rocks guarding the east entrance to the Fox Island Thorofare. I have been caught on more than one occasion singing holiday jingles aboard the schooner. And now you know… it is all about the lights.

The festival of Santa Lucia also gives us an excuse to make cookies. Jen has eased up on a few of the spices in the traditional recipe. I will continue testing a random sampling.

Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

St. Lucia Spice Cookies

1 ¼ stick of butter
¬Ω c sugar
¬Ω c molasses
¬Ω c maple syrup

1 ¬Ω tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp cloves

1 egg
1 tbsp baking powder
3 c flour

In a sauce pan melt the butter, maple syrup, molasses and sugar on low heat. Stir in the spices. While the butter mixture is cooling, whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the egg to the butter mixture. In a small bowl mix baking powder with one tbsp of water. It should fizz. Add the baking powder to the butter mixture. Stir in the flour to form a smooth dough. The dough should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours. Roll out the dough onto a floured board and cut with your favorite cookie cutters! Bake at 400 for approx. 5 minutes. Enjoy!


  1. In New Jersey, we too appreciate our lighthouses. I am fortunate to live directly across Barnegat Bay from Barnegat Lighthouse, fondly known as “Old Barney.” The lighthouse was designed by Lt. George G. Meade, who later became a prominent Union figure in the American Civil War. Construction began in 1856 and Barnegat Lighthouse was officially commissioned and put into service on January 1, 1859. At 172 feet, she is one of the tallest lighthouses in the United States.

    Barnegat Lighthouse remained a first-class navigational light until August 1927, when it was supplanted by the Barnegat Lightship, anchored 8 miles off the coast.

    However a lesser powered light remained operational until January 1944 when Barnegat Lighthouse was decommissioned and its light finally extinguished.

    The good news is that on January 1, 2009, the 150th anniversary of its commissioning, Barnegat Lighthouse’s newly acquired beacon will be activated, and she will again welcome travelers to the Jersey Shore.

  2. Curt – the Barnegat Lighthouse is the first one I ever saw. I was too young to remember the first time but we went to the shore several times each summer while I was growing up. When my grandfather retired he built a home in Forked River and we went down to the shore even more often. I’ve not been back to the Jersey shore since graduating from college some 38 years ago. It warms my heart to know that “Old Barney” will be lit again. Someday soon, I must make a pilgrimage back to my home state and the place where I first touched the ocean and saw my first lighthouse.

  3. Barnegat light! Brings back memories. When I lived in PA, I used to vacation at the Jersey shore. A group of us would rent a large house near old Barney. It’s been almost 30 years since I’ve visited that area too. I may have make a little pilgrimage next summer and visit Barney, as well as my old childhood haunts in Cherry Hill and Philly. I’m so happy to hear that this beautiful lighthouse will once again welcome people visiting the Jersey shore. Thanks for that bit of information Curt.

Comments are closed.