This past year, I have been intrigued by the idea of "hygge". This lifestyle concept comes from Denmark and is not easily translated into English. It is about an atmosphere more than one thing in particular. The atmosphere is a combination of not just the place, but the companionship and the situation. It could be your own home, but also a cafe, a walk in nature, a casual meeting with a group of friends, or even by yourself.
Trine Hahnemann, the author of Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge inspires and explains in more details. Hygge or Hyggelight is an essential part of the Danish culture. A home that is hyggelight is "a home that feels lived in, a home that reflects who you are and tells your story."
Hygge also happens at work for Danes, with simple rituals like sharing cake for all different types of occasions. Hygge is something that happens in every season, but winter can be pictured as more hygge filled season with details like candlelight to brighten the dark evenings. In the summer, eating outside with friends is a great example of hygge. I was very inspired while reading this book to take the time to include more hygge in our home and routines.
Scandinavian Comfort Food is filled with recipes that will bring that cozy feelings that accompany delicious foods. The recipes are organized in sections that reflect the way the author cooks and eats. From her everyday recipes to family meals, soups and salads, and holiday meals. There are vegetarian recipes and many with meat. The chapters on preserves and breads are both amazing and that is what I chose two recipes from the bread section to make first!
The first recipe was the Danish Flutes, which are similar to baguettes. I had never tried baking french baguettes before, but was curious to try Trine's recipe! It takes two days to make these but the instructions are very clear and simple to follow. The result was an amazing and tasty flute, with a crispy crust and a soft middle. I know I will be making these again! The recipe suggests using a strong white bread flour but I only had all purpose unbleached white flour, so that is what I used.
The second recipe was for meringue cookies called Walnut Kisses. With only four ingredients, it was another very simple recipe to follow. The result was a sweet cookie with a walnut crunch but that also melted in your mouth. I took a few with me to share with friends while watching the evening Christmas parade. One friend said she did not like walnuts but decided to give one cookie a try and ended up really enjoying it. The walnuts are chopped and give a nice contrast to the sweetness of the meringue.
I will be trying two soup recipes next, the Mushroom Soup for myself and for the family the Chicken Soup with Herbs and Root Vegetables. These should be great for our late autumn weather we are having lately.
Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahnemann can be found at:
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from Raincoast Books. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.