A Very Hygge Winter

As a theme for the cold weather coming up, I’m going to do a recipe collection based on a couple Swedish / Nordic delights that are wonderful for keeping warm in the cold weather. I’m also going to include some favorites of mine from other parts of the world. The inspiration for this idea came from the discovery of hygge. Now, what is hygge exactly?

According to VisitDenmark.com, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is described in the following way:

In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life.

The interesting thing about hygge is that it doesn’t have just one meaning or purpose. It’s an idea, really. It’s a word that can be used to describe something, but it has such a broad meaning that two relatively unrelated things can both be hygge. Candles are hygge. So are warm wool socks. It can be used to describe an object, but can also be used to describe an environment or a situation. A candlelit dinner with rich food, wine, and close friends and family can be very hygge.

If you do some exploration on YouTube, there are some very interesting videos going into detail on helping people develop a sense of hygge. One of the most interesting is the following:

Not to spoil it if you’re just quickly skimming through, but one of the more unique and interesting hygge things mentioned in the video is a laundromat that is also a café, at 1:15. It’s a very hygge thing to take your laundry on a Saturday morning, and while it’s washing and drying, enjoy breakfast or brunch and coffee with close friends. Hygge is a good feeling… whether it comes from the simple things like a nice warm cup of coffee, nice socks, good food, or even the beautiful convenience of getting work done while enjoying food and good times with friends.

Swedish / Danish food, to me, is very hygge, because it’s tasty stuff with interesting flavor combos that just makes you feel good on the inside to make it and to enjoy it.

I’ll be featuring a few of the following:

  • Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Preserves (first got hooked on them at IKEA)
  • Chicken Rillettes (cubed, chopped, salted, cooked slowly in fat, then cooled to form a rich spread that can be served on toasted bread)
  • Gravlax / Smoked Salmon with capers, red onion, dill, and sweet dijon mustard (also an IKEA find)
  • Raggmunk (swedish potato pancakes fried in butter with fried thick-cut bacon or pork, served with lingonberry)
  • Saffransbullar (sweet yeast rolls flavored with golden saffron and dark raisins)
  • Irish Soda Bread (dense, crumbly, tart soda bread, with sweet red currants and orange zest)

I think I need to make a trip to the grocery store! Let’s get started on this!

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