LET’S HYGGE OCTOBER 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
Hello, I hope you are well! What a joy it has been to walk barefoot again and feel the warmth of the sun. It is lovely to witness the energy of everything in bloom and to see fine green leaves unfurling. I am excited to start gardening again and have ordered my seeds – I can’t wait to sow them. Like I have in past years, I will make a batch of small newspaper pots in which the seeds will be sown. I find it very rewarding to plant from seeds and to watch the small sprouts break through the soil and grow bigger and stronger every day.
The spring weather is calling for a light pea risotto, dressed with a lovely green pea-sprout/mint oil. I share my recipe for this dish with you below. The fresh mint in my garden is booming profusely which gave me the idea of creating my own mint oil, with the addition of leftover pea sprouts to give the risotto a vibrant green colour!
The documentary “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones ” was recommended to me and it’s been a very interesting and thought provoking program to watch. It has made me aware that the Danish phenomenon of HYGGE carries the qualities that are mentioned in the documentary. Take a look at the trailer and see if it is something you may like to watch too!
I wish you a lovely month of October. I hope this little greeting will inspire you to plant, cook, read or watch something that with make you smile!
I love plants that are gifted to me from someone else’s garden, as well as gifting some of my own cuttings to friends. I met an elderly lady on my walks with the dog and she had a rosemary bush that I admired every time I passed. One day I met her and let her know and she immediately gifted me a bouquet of cuttings. I had experienced trouble getting Rosemary to grow and was not very optimistic, but went home, stuck the cuttings in a pot with soil and her rosemary grew! It became so big, we planted in directly in our garden in a sunny spot up against a wall. You can see it in my picture – it’s now a meter high and wide. I give cuttings to everyone that admires it and have several pots going with cuttings to to give away. The lady I met has now sadly passed away, but I think of her every time I pass her rosemary!
The perfect dish to celebrate spring and my favorite colour – green! This recipe is a great hit in my family and has been on the menu for several weeks in a row now!
PEA RISOTTO WITH MINT & PEA SPROUT OIL
150g Arborio rice
1 large or 2 small white onions, finely diced
250g frozen peas
100g fresh sugar snap peas
500ml vegetable stock (alternatively 400ml stock+100ml white wine),(add a little at a time to see how much the rice can absorb)
100 g grated parmesan (a bit less if you do not what it cheesy)
Salt and pepper to taste
a few pea shoots for serving
MINT AND PEA SPROUT OIL
1 bunch of mint
1 handful pea sprouts
1 clove garlic
100ml extra virgin olive oil
MINT AND PEA SPROUT OIL
Wash the bunch of mint and pat dry. Strip the leaves from the stalks. Cut the pea sprouts into 1cm pieces. Add mint, pea sprouts, garlic and olive oil in a blender, pulse into a puree. Season with salt!
Add the olive oil to a saucepan pan and sweat the onions on a medium-low heat until tender and translucent. Do not allow the onions to colour or brown. Add the Arborio rice to the onion and stir to coat the grains in oil. Add half of the stock to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Ensure the pan retains a consistent heat and gently stir the risotto as it cooks – it should take around 20 minutes. As the rice absorbs the liquid and begins to swell, add the remaining liquid gradually as it absorbs. If you use frozen peas, add them now. When the rice is tender, remove from the heat and gently stir in the sugar snap peas and the fresh peas if you are using them. Mix through half of the mint oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve into a bowl and dress with pea shoots and an extra drizzle of mint oil. Enjoy
“Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” takes members around the world to investigate the diet and lifestyles of those living the longest lives. Travel around the world with author Dan Buettner to discover five unique communities where people live extraordinarily long and vibrant lives. I have watched the series with great joy and admiration. I has sparked an eagerness in me to focus on community and cherish the friendships I have. It’s a wonderful testament to slow living – taking the time to watch seeds grow, growing your own vegetable and harvesting them. It’s about simple but thoughtful living, filled with a strong sense of community and purpose. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Press image below or watch the official trailer here!
One of the communities that I cherish the most is my book club. It inspires me to read books that I would not have chosen myself, broadens my horizons and gives me the opportunity to discuss these books with others. This month we read “Jellyfish Age Backwards“ (“Jellyfish ældes baglængs“ in Danish). The book is written by the Danish Molecular Biologist Nicklas Brendborg, who tells the story of science’s years-long battle against aging and at the same time gives his suggestions on what is needed to extend life. All members of the Book club took away different things from the book – one vowed to eat more vegetables, one planned to start exercising more and I (as revealed earlier) would like to focus on my communities and set aside time for them even more. Try and read the book and see what you take away from it!
You can buy the english version here or the Danish book here.
I’ve compiled my family traditions into a digital flip book “let’s hygge CHRISTMAS” for you to peruse and take inspiration from.
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.