LET’S HYGGE MAY 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
Autumn has arrived in New South Wales and it’s getting colder. I am loving the long, dark nights and the inside projects with the fire going. I really enjoy the harvesting and preparations for winter. Our youngest son, Carl built his own beehive and has just had his last harvest of honey before winter. All summer long we have watched the active bees collecting pollen from our lavender plants and the floral essence is reflected in the taste of their beautiful honey – such a delightful way to store a taste of summer. This is our first season with bees and so this month’s theme is inspired by honey and bees.
I wanted to show my support for the bee project by creating a nice label for the honey. I have had a lovely time drawing the illustration and graphics for these treasured jars. Making labels for your autumn’s harvest is a fun and very rewarding project. I share below how I created mine. Another joy that comes with autumn is preserving. See my tips for preserving fruit below. I hope you enjoy my autumn greeting and are inspired to start your own creative projects, ones that will spread norishment and joy to those around you!
HOME MADE LABELS
ALL YOU NEED
(I used 60 mm round labels with template code L7105)
Making a label for your “summer in a jar” is such a rewarding project. I bought my labels at the local newsagent but you can also buy them online. Following their instructions step by step, I found the AVERY website very easy to use. They have a huge variety of templates to chose from or you can, like I did, upload your own design as a pdf. You can either print the labels yourself or have them printed by AVERY and sent to you.
Preserving fruit is such a lovely way to extend the taste of summer. You can use any fruit you like, but for this project I chose pears as I find their flavour is enhanced by the spices. The sweet brine is delicious and packed with flavour. I serve the pears with vanilla ice cream, with blue cheese or I top my morning porridge with their juicy goodness. You can choose any spices you like!
PEARS PRESERVED WITH VANILLA POD, STAR ANIS, CLOVES AND CINNAMON
4 cups of water
7 spoons of honey, depending on the sweetness of the pears
1 vanilla pod and seeds
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 medium glass sterilized jars
SERVES 6-8 PERSONS
Peel and quarter the pears, removing their core. Place water, honey and all of the spices in a saucepan with the pears and bring to the boil. Gently boil until the pears are tender. Check their progress by using a sharp knife. I like mine to have a bit of a bite to them. Take them off the heat and leave them to cool a little. While the pears are cooking, sterilize the glass jars by pouring boiling water into them and onto the lids. Store the preserved pears in the fridge.
Honeysuckle – Kaprifolie in Danish – is one of my favorite scents. It takes me right back to my Danish childhood and playing hide and seek in the backyard gardens where there was always a lovely smell of honeysuckle. It grows wild where we live in Sydney. I often pick a branch on my walks with the dog to put in a little vase in the kitchen so that I can keep the lovely scent for as long as possible. No wonder it’s a favourite among bees too!
Whilst searching for a film with this month’s theme, I came across the award winning documentary Honeyland, which is the story of North Macedonian beekeeper Hatidze.
The film crew followed her for 3 years and the resulting documentary is outstanding. It is a quiet film, with few words, but it leaves a big impact. I loved the contrast between the rawness and beauty, the warm summer and ice cold winter, the anger and compassion and the harmony and the chaos.
Hatidze has never married – she lives with and takes care of her mostly blind and bedridden eighty-five-year-old mother, Nazife. They live in a small, remote shack with no electricity or indoor plumbing. Hatidze provides for the two of them by selling her honey a couple of times a year at a market to which she has to travel far by bus. Her honey is very sought after. She cultivates her own hives from wild stock and she always makes sure to divide the honey equally – half for her and half for the bees!
This natural balance is interrupted when a family of nomads invade her land and threaten her livelihood. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did. If you live in Denmark it is free to watch on here and if you are in Australia you can watch it for free here.
My son was given this beautiful book “Spoonful of HONEY” by a work mate. It’s a wonderful celebration of bees and their incredible work. It’s full of delicious recipes from all over the world, like “Pollen butter shortbread”, “Blue cheese and flowers with honeyed walnuts”, “Lavender, honey lemonade”. The book explores the role bees and honey play in nature and is full of information, stories, and ideas.
The award-winning author Hattie Ellis writes for The Times, Telegraph Weekend and Delicious, among others. Her book is a pure celebration of honey and bees and is a perfect gift for any bee lover. It’s definitely on my wish list! I may have to give my son this one back soon….
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 lovely month of May with time with your loved ones 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.