I’m finally starting to feel better…I had my first full meal last night and although I’m feeling it a bit today it was definitely worth it! I went to dinner at my in laws. We started with some carrots and hummus, extra old cheddar, crackers and bruschetta. Oh, raw vegetables, how I’ve missed you!! Honestly that would have almost been enough but the meal rolled on and I couldn’t resist…I would have taken a picture but I dove right in before I even thought of doing it.
We had delicious, moist salmon and plump, tender scallops. Perfectly cooked. This was drizzled with a beurre blanc (with the addition of lime and Dijon). Steamed broccoli, sliced cucumber and tomatoes. A meal to savour. A meal to be enjoyed with all of the senses.
After dinner we sat around the table and talked for an hour. The evening was the very definition of hygge (pronounced hue-gah) to me…cozy, warm, good company and great food. There was the sound of happy chatter and laughter. Rain on the window. For that moment it didn’t matter what was going on in the world.
Hygge has been defined as “cozy togetherness”, “the art of creating intimacy”, “the absence of annoyance”. To me hygge is about atmosphere. While certain things help to contribute to the sense of hygge; candles, blankets, comfortable chairs, flowers, its about way more than things. It is an experience. One you can have with others or alone, just you, a cup of tea and a good book.
You can experience hygge after a day spent hiking. Tired and quiet, sitting around a fire. Perhaps, a glass of wine in hand. Listening to the wind in the trees. Gazing at the stars in the sky. Perfect.
The word “hygge” originates from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being”. From about 1300 to 1814 Denmark and Norway were one kingdom. The word first appeared in Danish writings in the early 1800’s. According to the European Social Survey Danes are the happiest people in Europe. They are the ones who meet most often with their friends and family. Apparently, they feel the calmest and most peaceful. The growing interest in Hygge is well founded.
According to Meik Wiking in the book “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way of Living Well” some important elements of Hygge are as follows:
:: Atmosphere- turn down the lamps. Use lamps rather than overhead lighting. Light some candles.
:: Presence- put down the phone! Be here now
:: Pleasure- coffee, tea, cakes, chocolate, wine, comfort food.
:: Equality- we over me. Cook together, clean up together
:: Gratitude- drink in every moment. Make memories
:: Harmony- peaceful interactions are what it’s about
:: Comfort- cozy blankets, comfortable pillows, fire in the fireplace
:: Shelter- Wherever you are. A tiny cabin, comfortable house, cozy tent. Hygge is about feeling safe.
Check out these books to find out more:
“How to Hygge” by Signe Johansen
“The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking
“Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness” by Marie Tourell Soderberg
“The Cozy Life” by Pia Edberg
“Scandinavian Comfort Food” by Trine Hahnemann
“Scandinaavian Gatherings” by Melissa Bahen
Wishing you a “hyggeligt” (hygge like) day!