This Piece of Danish Advice Will Change Your Winters Forever
The hygge philosophy and 3 cozy drink recipes
I live in an area that's habitually gloomy all winter. The cold weather and lack of sun can get to the psyche. Luckily, the Danish have already solved my problem and have been using it for centuries to battle brutal winters in Denmark.
"Similar to the German concept of gemütlichkeit and the Dutch idea of gezelligheid, the warm and cozy lifestyle that hygge promotes has been a key part of Danish culture since the early 1800s when the word first appeared in the written language (it's derived from a Norwegian word for "well-being")."
Hygge is a noun and adjective in Denmark, but it really marks a way of life. A life of oversized cozy sweaters and warm mugs. Have you ever nestled into a chair with a blanket and some tea to enjoy a book? You have experienced hygge.
Hygge is anything cozy, your favorite blanket, sweet-smelling candles. A fall movie night with friends. Hygge makes warmth tangible both inside and out. But you have to be engaged; it's about the contentment of peace and friendship.
“Hygge is about having less, enjoying more; the pleasure of simply being. It is generous and celebratory, a way to remember the importance of the simple act of living itself.”
You see, you can't just go out and buy ten sweaters and a box of hot chocolate mix and call it a day. There is beauty in the small gifts for yourself and others. A cozy atmosphere you have designed to shield your body and mind from the cold. Now, let's get hygge and enjoy one of life's simplicities, a warm drink on a cold day.
Hot Chocolate: The mother of all warm drinks.
- 3 cups of milk .
- 1/2 cup sugar .
- 1/4 cup cocoa .
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch .
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract .
- Whipped cream
- Peppermint stick
For the base: Whisk together the milk, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking continuously, bring to a boil (about 2 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium, and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 30 seconds to a minute longer.
Serve immediately and enjoy it!
1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, half and half, and milk of choice into a medium-size saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the inside. Place both the vanilla bean caviar and the bean into the milk mixture.
2. Heat over medium heat until just simmering.
3. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes; remove the vanilla bean before pouring into glasses.
4. Pour the heavy cream into the mixing bowl and beat over medium speed until the cream starts to thicken.
5. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
6. Continue to beat over medium to high speed until the cream is thick and forms stiff peaks.
Lastly, garnish on onto drink. Serve the drink warm. Enjoy!
Chai Tea Latte
“The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. -Ludwig Wittgenstein”
- 2 tea bags
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons refrigerated French vanilla nondairy creamer
- Whipped topping
- Ground nutmeg
"Place the tea bags, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice in the coffee filter of a drip coffeemaker. Add water; brew according to manufacturer's directions.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, and creamer. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through and sugar is dissolved. Pour milk mixture into mugs; stir in tea. If desired, dollop with whipped topping and sprinkle with nutmeg."
Why the Danish are so Happy
“In its aspect of comfort, hygge involves a sense of wellbeing which encourages relaxation and peacefulness. It excludes by definition a distracted or preoccupied state of mind: hygge is commitment par excellence to the present moment in its basics. In the words of Hartmann-Petersen, 'Hygge rushes in of itself as soon as one is carefree.'
Danes make the best environment for themselves-their love for all things relaxing and cozy yields real happiness and contentment. Hygge, as a way of life, is sweeping the globe and helping everyone overcome their winter blues. Despite the brittle cold and gloomy skies, the Danes have found joy in a warm mug and good friends. In candles and sweet treats. In scary movies and fluffy blankets, you can too. Get some hygge in your life, and your winters will change for the better.