LET’S HYGGE JUNE 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 this little greeting finds you well and warm. We have had some very cold nights and windy days here and this kind of weather calls for soup! On most Sundays lately we have boiled a whole, organic chicken. I am impressed with how many dinners this provides for us, so I am sharing with you my basic recipe that will provide meals for a few days.
I am preparing for my upcoming trip back to Denmark and Italy. I want to take small, lightweight gifts with me and have thought that giving seeds from my Australian garden would be a sweet and very personal present.
I must admit, I am really enjoying the dark nights indoors and watching a good film. GURRUMUL, a documentary about the life of indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, left a huge impression on me. I knew his music, but not his story. This is a wonderful film that I can warmly recommend to you… as well as his music…
I hope you are inspired to either listen, create or cook something that makes you smile!
SEEDS FROM MY GARDEN – AS GIFTS
I collect seeds from my garden all year around. After having dried the seeds, I put them in the empty cylinders left over from whole vanilla pods. This keeps the seeds dry and easy to store. The small envelopes I have used for my seed packets were ones I found in a little Danish store some years back, but I have seen them online too. I created the logo for our house in the mountains and had a rubber stamp made of the logo. I adore rubber stamps and have a great selection!
The scent of the broth when boiling a chicken is so very comforting. This method of cooking a chicken easily gives us three meals: a soup, a salad and a curry. If you have children, keep the wish bone (see last image – the V-shaped bone) and let them pull on one side and you the other. Whoever is left with the longest part wins… and can make a wish!
HOMEMADE BOILED CHICKEN
Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 1 h 30 min
2 onions, cut into quarters
1 leek, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut in half
2 stalks, celery, cut in half
1 whole organic chicken
2 bay leaves
12 cups water (to cover 5-6 cm above the chicken)
1/2 tsp peppercorns
3/4 tsp salt
Prepare the vegetables. Cut the onions into quarters and the leek into large chunks. Cut the carrots and celery stalks in half. Place the vegetables, bay leaves and whole chicken into a large pot. Add cold water to cover (5-6 cm above the chicken). Add peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer – the lliquid should just bubble up to the surface. Cook uncovered for 1 hour. A skin will form on the surface of the liquid. Skim this off with a spoon and discard.
Remove the chicken and pick off the meat. Store the chicken meat in an airtight container, covered with some of the broth. Let this cool down for a few minutes then place the container in the refrigerator.
Adjust the seasoning of the broth and return the carcass to the pot. Simmer, uncovered, another ½ hour then turn off the heat. When the broth is cool enough to work with, strain it through a sieve, discarding the carcass and herbs. I cut the vegetables into cubes for the dog, mixed with chicken skin and leftover chicken. Transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate. Leave any remaining fat in the broth as a protective cover. You can skim this off when you use the broth.
Gurrumul is an Australian documentary film about the life of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (1971-2017). Gurrumul was one of the most important voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North-east Arnhem Land. I loved how the film utilized blackouts, forcing the viewer to imagine what blindness is like. The film also gives a stunning insight to the traditions and inclusiveness of Aboriginal culture. It is truly a remarkable film! You can watch it here!
The first time I heard GURRUMUL, was in 2013 at a concert at The Sydney Opera House. His voice was so captivating and vulnerable and like nothing I had ever heard before. As Gurrumul was extremely shy, his music and songs always spoke for themselves without comment or publicity. This is such a contrast to the way of most other artists. It’s wonderful to know that his voice has been able to captivate the hearts of so many around the world. I hope you will enjoy his music as much as I do! Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.
“Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes” by Nigel Slater was given to me by a reader of my newsletter. She visited me at my office and said that she “..thought this had my name written all over it”. I have read it like a novel from start to finish. It’s full of lovely, heartwarming recipes. I still haven’t seen any of Nigel Slater’s cooking programs but this book definitely made me what to! I am in love with the idea of a larder!
I have a sweet fondness for the native Wattle. It is Australia’s national flower. On my morning walks through the bush, I am greeted by an abundance of them now. They are still only in bud, but I actually prefer them at this stage to when they are in full bloom. The buds look like small stars and dry really well – they turn the most gorgeous terracotta red!
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.