LET’S HYGGE MAY 2022
[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 have had a lovely Easter break. It has been wonderful to have my parents visiting us from Denmark and I have so enjoyed the house being filled with the laughter and talk from three generations. We enjoyed our time off work with the opportunity to talk, go for walks and cook together. So many of my childhood memories have been sparked and so the theme of this little letter is very much inspired by those memories.
We were lucky to have some sunny, warm Easter days which made the idea of pursuing projects outside really attractive. I took my collection of wooden kitchen utensils out onto the deck and gave them a good treatment of oil. They now look and feel like new and will last a lot longer too. The boys built a ladder over the fence for easy access to our goats. This ladder is inspired by the one I remember being at the children’s zoo in Copenhagen, there to enable access to the goat enclosure so you could pat and feed the goats.
The forecast for some cooler days and nights suits me well. I am writing this whilst enjoying the heat of the wood fired oven and the tea light candles lit. It is lovely to feel the changes of season and I am looking forward to time indoors, beginning new knitting projects and spending peaceful moments drawing. If you would like to enjoy a delicious warm dessert, I am sharing my all-time favourite Rhubarb soup sprinkled with “bread for the dolls”.
I wish you a lovely month of May and I hope that you will find joy in some of the suggestions below.
We have just adopted five goats to help us keep the grass and weeds down. They are wonderful, playful animals and a pure joy to watch. They are already very tame and doing an excellent job in tidying up! I adore the cheerful nature of goats – there’s so much more to them than just eating and sleeping. Here’s a few photos of our new, extended family!
I find it very rewarding to give my wooden kitchen utensils a restorative oiling. It’s lovely to sit in the sun and rub oil into each item with a cotton cloth.
ALL YOU NEED:
a neutral oil
a cotton cloth
a piece of cloth for the oiled items to dry on
As a child, one of my favorite desserts was my mother’s rhubarb soup. She served it with cubes of old bread caramelized in a pan with butter and sugar. These wonderfully delicious morsels of bread were called “bread for the dolls” because of their tiny size. On cold nights, this is the most warming and comforting of desserts. I have made it many times for my own boys and it is still a favourite of theirs.
Rhubarb soup and compote
1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
2 cups of water
1/2 cup caster sugar
1tsp vanilla paste
bread for the dolls
2 slices of left-over bread in cubes
30 g butter
3 tbsp caster sugar
Place the rhubarb, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender. Pour the sweet, rhubarb-flavored soup through a sieve. Taste to adjust the sugar. Keep the pulp in a sterilized jar to use for yoghurt, spread on bread or dollop on pancakes.
To make the doll bread, place the butter and sugar in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter has melted, stirring often, and then add the bread. Cook for a few minutes, turning the pieces, until they are caramelized and crunchy on the outside.
Leave the doll bread on a baking paper to cool.
To serve, pour the hot rhubarb soup into small bowls or glasses and sprinkle with doll bread.
I have spotted the first blooming wattle, the national flower of Australia. Memories of when I lived in Italy as a young girl came flooding back as this is where I first experienced the wattle’s elegant scent. My joy was great when I realized that Australia has a huge variety of wattles – more that 60 species around the Sydney area alone! I am looking forward to seeing the wattle bloom in our own little forest.
Music is brilliant to spark the memory. This Easter we have listened to a lot of older music, especially Leonard Cohen, Prince and Phil Collins. One of my favourites is Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight – it’s fantastic played at full volume!
My mother brought me the most beautiful linen pillowcases from Denmark. All of them were handmade by my grandmother and have the most exquisite of embroideries which she began stitching at the age of ten. When she was fifteen, she was deemed old enough to cut the textile from around the embroidery to create the beautiful cut work patterns. I cherish these pillowcases and I am so grateful for all the work that has gone into creating them. It is so heartwarming to see how good craftmanship can last generations and very special to rest my head on these beautiful linen treasures.
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 cozy May 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.