“Be good to yourself”.
This is what my yoga teacher says and it usually goes in one ear and out the other.
But this month I’m taking her advice, jumping on the bandwagon and trying to embrace the Danish concept of hygge. This involves attempting to create a general vibe of relaxation and wellbeing i.e. lighting lots of candles, cuddling up under warm blankets, drinking warm drinks…eating stews. I’m relaxing my punishing exercise regime (which sometimes enters the realms of self harm), letting some dust build up, and trying to ignore my ‘to do’ list.
I am also NOT having a dry January.
This recipe for warm, spiced milk, slightly sweetened with honey encapsulates the feeling that I’m trying to achieve. Although you may argue that hot chocolate laced with brandy would be better.
Waterstones was packed with books about hygge over Christmas and so it’s not surprising that I received one as a present. I really enjoyed reading it because it was entirely readable and intellectually unchallenging – which in itself is very hygge (have I annoyed you with my italics yet?). My honest view though is that we already have a perfectly good English version of this concept – it’s just that our word for it is ‘cosy’. An open fire, a cup of tea, a good book – who doesn’t love that!
This is a very good article on the matter but it is not short so you will need a good attention span and at least 15 minutes spare to read it (The hygge conspiracy).
Golden turmeric milk (Anna Jones writing for The Guardian)
Makes 2 cups
- 4 cardamom pods
- 400ml of unsweetened milk (regular dairy, oat, coconut, almond)
- ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of runny honey
Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and put them into a small saucepan with the milk, turmeric and cinnamon. Heat gently until almost boiling.
Strain into mugs and stir in the honey once it has cooled a little.
NOTE: I’m cooking meatballs in gravy tonight from a Tom Kerridge recipe. I’m hoping that this will supply further comfort and feelings of wellbeing. If they’re good I’ll post the recipe here next week. I’m just trying to decide whether to have them with mashed potatoes (the obvious accompaniment) or chips (what I really want!).