LET’S HYGGE FEBRUARY 2023
[definition of hygge]
a quality of cosiness and comfortable living that engenders a feeling
of contentment and well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Add a little hygge to each month
I hope you are having a good start to the year. My theme this month is LAVENDER as I have so much of it in my garden! If it is currently winter where you live, this will hopefully bring you a warm feeling of summer. I find that working with lavender is wonderfully calming.
I hope you will enjoy this month’s projects as much as I have enjoyed making lavender-infused sugar, tea, delicious almond-lavender cookies, lavender wreaths, wands and creating pretty bouquets mixed with lavender. I am also sharing an enjoyable Netflix series where one of the episodes takes place in the middle of the lavender fields in France, as well as a stunning book about Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden. I wish you could smell the lovely scent of lavender from my garden! I hope this newsletter will add a little hygge to your February.
All you need is:
Small bouquets of lavender
A metal ring
Floral stem wrap tape to cover the ring
String to tie the bouquets to the ring
- Create small bouquets of lavender.
- Wrap the floral tape around the metal ring to prevent the flowers from sliding.
- Start by tying the first bouquet to the ring. Two loops of the string around the ring should be enough to keep the bouquet fastened.
- Continue adding each bouquet, looping the string to attach them and making sure to cover the stems of the previous bouquet as you progress.
- Finish by wrapping the string around the ring a few times, then tie a knot.
Making your own lavender-infused sugar is so easy, you might find you always want to keep a jar of it at hand! It can be added to lemonade, tea and baked goods. This homemade sugar blend is made from just two ingredients: raw sugar and dried lavender. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and you’ll be rewarded with a wonderfully scented sugar with a light lavender flavour.
1 tablespoon dried lavender heads, removed from stem
2 cups raw sugar, halved
Add 1 cup of the raw sugar and the dried lavender to the food processor and blend well for 15 to 20 seconds until the lavender is finely ground and mixed with the sugar. Whisk the lavender sugar together with the remaining cup of sugar. Lavender sugar can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.
This recipe is inspired by my friend Anette Eckmann’s original lavender cookies from her beautiful Danish book “Køkkendagbogen”.
MAKES 36 COOKIES
150 g butter
150 g lavender-infused sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
175 g almond flour
50 g flour
a little lavender for decoration
Line a baking tray with baking paper before you start making the dough. Beat the butter until light and creamy, then add the lavender sugar. Beat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the egg and stir together. Sift the flour into the dough little by little. Put the dough on the plate in small blobs with a teaspoon. Drop teaspoons of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, dipping the spoon into a glass of warm water in between each spoonful so that the dough slips off easily. Sprinkle a little extra lavender onto the cookies and bake them at 200 g for approx. 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the tray so that they hold their shape before moving with a spatula to a cooling rack.
HOMEMADE LAVENDER TEA
A cup of lavender tea can be the perfect way to end the day. Simply add lavender buds to a cup of hot water. I recommend half a table spoon of dried lavender buds for each cup of water. Like any tea, the length of time you let the tea steep has a big impact, so experiment to find the perfect balance. To serve add a squeeze of lemon and a drop of honey.
Emily in Paris is a very light and entertaining series on Netflix, which I must admit I have enjoyed watching. It follows the story of a Chicago marketing executive, Emily Cooper, who is hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing firm in Paris. Most of the episodes take place in Paris and it’s been so lovely to view the city and its elegant population. I was delighted to find that the 6th episode takes place at a château in Provence, in amongst the lavender fields. It was a stunning setting and I would love to visit a lavender field of that size one day.
Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden is a book that means a lot to me as I walked through the Secret Garden every day when I first came to Sydney. My first studio was a boathouse in Lavender Bay and to get there I walked my way through this special garden, the creation of which is a remarkable story.
For more than twenty years Wendy Whiteley has worked to create a public garden at the foot of her harbourside home in Sydney’s Lavender Bay. This extraordinary story of how a determined, passionate and deeply creative woman has slowly transformed an overgrown wasteland into a beautiful sanctuary for everyone to enjoy and has, in the process also transformed its creator.
Wendy Whiteley was Brett Whiteley’s wife, muse and model. An artist herself, with a finely honed aesthetic sense, she also created the interiors at the heart of Brett’s iconic paintings of their Lavender Bay home. When Brett died, followed by the death nine years later of their daughter Arkie, Wendy threw her grief and creativity into making an enchanting hidden oasis out of derelict land owned by the New South Wales Government. This glorious guerrilla garden is Wendy’s living artwork, designed with daubs of colour, sinuous shapes and shafts of light.
Creating bouquets is a huge joy of mine. I am lucky to have access to a lovely variety of garden herbs and flowers and wildflowers; carrot flowers in white and purple, yucca gloriosa, white scabiosa and lavender. I also love using herbs in my bouquets, I have even use the heads of artichokes!
Do you want to catch up on some of the previous months? Please head to my Journal here: https://lindbjerggraphic.com.au/journal/
Feel free to share “let’s hygge” with a friend…
I wish you a creative month of November with lovely projects and hygge!
I’ve compiled my family traditions into a digital flip book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS” for you to peruse and take inspiration from.
Spring is here and I am excited to start gardening again and have ordered my seeds – I can’t wait to see them grow.
I’d like to share a family recipe with you for Danish Kokostoppe. They are a delicious treat and very easy to make.