LET’S HYGGE NOVEMBER 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 trust this greeting finds you in good health. It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the Christmas season. I’ve compiled my family traditions into a digital flip book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS” for you to peruse and take inspiration from. This month, I’d like to highlight a tradition I initiated when the boys were young; creating an advent photo calendar for their grandparents. Each day in December, until Christmas Eve, their grandparents get to open an envelope containing a family photo. By Christmas they will have unveiled a collection of family images.
The seeds I sowed have sprouted and I’ve already planted out beans and zucchini in the garden beds. Beetroot, leek, pumpkin and corn are still awaiting their turn – they need to grow stronger before they find their place in the garden.
If you’re seeking a respite from the world’s sombre news, I recommend watching the Danish film ‘Ehrengaard – The Art of Seduction,’ based on Karen Blixen’s novel.
Christmas in Australia marks the mango season. This month I’m excited to share a delightful, nutritious salad featuring this exquisite fruit.
I wish you a delightful November. I hope this message inspires you to create, cook, read, or watch something that brings a smile to your face.
From the time the boys were born, I’ve crafted an advent calendar for their grandparents. It comprises 24 envelopes, each containing a photo from the past year. I adorn the envelopes with the date and decorative stamps or drawings. On the back of each envelope, I add a brief caption. The daily unveiling of these envelopes throughout December gifts the grandparents a charming collection of family images. I’ve continued this tradition even as the boys have grown, relishing the opportunity to revisit and highlight the year’s adventures.
Here’s a scrumptious and satisfying salad bursting with flavours, textures, and colors.
Summer Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Red Cabbage
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup cubed Daikon (Chinese radish)
1 cubed avocado
1 cubed mango
1 bunch of broccolini
1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint
ASIAN-STYLE GINGER & SESAME DRESSING
3 tablespoons smooth tahini
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cm fresh ginger, grated
1-3 tablespoons of water (adjust for desired consistency)
Whisk together tahini, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl until smooth. If it’s too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons more water for a drizzleable consistency.
Place the broccolini in a container, cover with boiling water and let them sit for 5 minutes. Drain and add ice cubes and cold water to cool them and preserve their vibrant green colour. Once cold, pat them dry and cut into 1 cm pieces. Add the shredded red cabbage, daikon, avocado, mango and mix in the herbs with the dressing.
My experience watching ‘Ehrengard – The Art of Seduction’ was delightful. It is based on the novel by the iconic Danish author Karen Blixen. The costumes and scenery, created by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, are highlighted in ‘Behind the Scenes.’ Director Bille August and Queen Margrethe II discuss their ten-year collaboration, immersing viewers in a fairytale universe with unique costumes and romance.
Explore my Christmas book, ‘Let’s Hygge!’ It’s a compilation of recipes, handmade decorations, favorite flowers, and cherished Christmas traditions. Contained within, I share some heirloom Christmas recipes, traditions from my Danish upbringing, and some I’ve cultivated here in Australia. My hope is to infuse a little hygge into your Christmas.
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.
I have been attending a one-on-one class in Abstract Sculpture-making using plaster. It was joyful to be creative without working to a brief.