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Hygge

I listened to a little book today called The Little Book of Hygge. It's written by a Danish man, and Denmark is rated as the happiest country in the world. He describes their fascination with all things hygge... Which if you don't want to read the book, you'll have to stick with the English word cozy, which is definitely not as intense. Hygge is awesome! So allow me to tell you about the hygge evening I had.

I marinated pork chops in an amazing new recipe... It's at the end of the page. Hawaiian is such a blend of Asian and Caribbean and and this has enough brown sugar to sizzle and pop on the grill and turn the edges crispy. And my but the pork chops were fat and juicy. Chopping veggies is so hygge. I love chopping veggies. And I chopped zucchini and yellow squash and red and orange bell peppers into an antique light blue bowl and just admired them a bit because I love serving dishes that match the vibes of the the food and I love using glass dishes to cook instead of plastic measuring bowls. And then... THEN... I stirred up a little batch of bread dough and put it in another light blue serving bowl with a tea towel on top to rise. More about the bread later. And Adriana came home with a big flower pot base filled with gigantic purple kale, so I made it into a salad with green cabbage, sliced almonds, and homeade chow mein noodles.

Mom had the fire going and a red checkered tablecloth on the picnic table and it was dusk. And I video called my man so he knew how much I missed him and the dogs gathered around and were those pork chops and sweet potatoes ever good. The purple kale was a bit tough and Adriana announced that it had been growing at Country Gardens since November. And there was the bread dough, nestled against the rocks of the fire pit, rising perfectly.

Mom had cut long, skinny twigs to use for roasting and so I divided the dough and pulled mine into a snake and wrapped it around the twig like a bandage. And the coals were just perfect by then. It swelled on my stick and slowly browned and finally I carefully unwound it from the stick, filled it with strawberry jam, and enjoyed every sweet, sticky bite! It was the most satisfying thing I have done in a long time. We had marshmallows too, and as I am a professional my marshmallow was perfectly done in the middle and not black on the outside either.

By then the frogs had started up. Their music is so loud this year that sometimes they almost keep me awake. The fire was dying out and Mom started throwing in massive pine cones that were laying on the ground behind her. They would smoke ferociously for about 30 seconds, then burst into flames and finally subside into beautiful, glowing flowers. I started spreading the coals around the fire ring, like live, glowing confetti. And instead of making fun of how I was playing with the fire, Mom helped, and we had a big circle of tiny live coals... First glowing hot red, then slowly winking out. Mesmerizing.

After we cleaned up, Mom and I took a walk down the road... And I wished for no yard lights, but still the moon was bright and clear and huge. And now we just finished low-key yoga with just a flickering candle burning and the big window open to let in the frog music. And now I am in bed with my heels smothered in cocoa butter. Embrace the hygge everyone.

Twist Bread

2 c flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

7/8 c water

Mix together, knead, and let rise till double. Separate into 8 balls. Form each piece into a thin rope and wrap around a stick. Roast over coals until browned. Enjoy with strawberry jam.

Huli Huli Marinade

6 lb meat

1 c brown sugar

3/4 c ketchup

3/4 c soy sauce

1/3 chicken broth

1 1/2 tsp ginger

1 1/2 minced garlic

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