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Monthly Archives: October 2018

How NOT to Hygge

October 25, 2018 | Leave a comment

How NOT to hygge

Note: Post written by Bronte Aurell. She also writes books about food. Her website is here.

It has been two years of listening to people not from Scandinavia tell us what Hygge is – and what it is not.

This time of year, the media once again start to try and sell us new blankets / underpants / fluffy socks – and we just always feel the slight urge to set the record straight. It just doesn’t quite feel… right.

Bear with us while we get a few things Hygge off our chest, okay?

1. Hygge means ‘To appreciate the moment you are in while you are in it’. That’s it, really.

2. It’s pronounced Who-Guh. It never, ever rhymes with Jiggy.

Just for the record, none of these are right: Don’t learn from this. Also, definitely don’t learn from this.

This is the correct way to say it: Learn from this.

3. The word is not just Danish; it comes from Norwegian too. Swedes will understand what you mean if you say it, but they use ‘mysigt’. In Norway, they also use Koselig.

4. Hygge has NEVER been marketed in Scandinavia. We don’t have hygge candles, hygge underpants, hygge blankets. It’s a word; a feeling. Part of our culture and being. Never has anyone tried to make it a thing-to-buy.

5. A Dane will use the word Hygge maybe 10-20 times in one day. He might say ‘The office feels hyggeligt this morning’ or ‘Shall we go back and have a hyggelig dinner later’?

6. Nobody Scandinavian ever purchased a pair of socks with the intention of going home to hygge snuggling up next to a nice designer lamp.

Also, just for the record: We use scented candles in the bathroom. Not often in other rooms 💩

7. Hygge is not a winter thing. It has NO season. It’s all year round. You can hygge in a tent, on a boat, on a plane, in a church, in a hut, in your kitchen, in your bed… Alone or together. Hygge is all about being in the moment.

8. Uhygge means scary. Literally, it means un-hygge. This works in both Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. A horror movie is u-hyggelig. Scary, horror and terrifying is un-hygge.

9. Food helps hygge come alive. Especially chocolate and wine. It’s very rare people evoke real hygge with a low calorie salad. Celery is uhyggeligt.

10. You can hygge with someone or alone. The room can be hygge-ligt. The room can never be hygge, only hyggeligt. Hygge is a verb. You can’t use it when describing a room. You can go home TO hygge – you can’t go home and BE hygge. 

11.The purest state of hygge is called raw hygge. Råhygge. It’s when hygge is so pure you almost can’t take it – pure, raw hygge. No, you can’t make a candle out of it; leave it alone.

Photo: Dog experiencing råhygge. We think, anyway. He looks like it.

12. Scandinavians find it most peculiar when people try to make hygge into something it’s not. Most, we find it odd that people are chasing something that can only be found when you stop running.

13. You don’t need to spend ANY money to hygge. It’s free. Just switch off your phone, sit down with people you quite like. Share some food or snacks, talk, breathe and forget about time. Done.

The pub is actually a good place to start. Just saying.

Use the word with love and togetherness – because thats what it’s all about.

We hope this was a little bit helpful.

Have a hyggelig day x

Ps – while we don’t sell smelly candles or hygge socks, we do stock the UK’s biggest selection of Scandinavian foods – and we deliver all over the UK and rest of the EU.

    Fazer Milk Chocolate with Tyrkisk Peber salty liquorice candy 145g
    £3.29 £2.99
    Ballerina – Biscuits With Chocolate Nougat Filling – 5 pack
    £12.95 £5.00
    Aarne & Elsa Rye Chips – Roasted Paprika & Cream Cheese 150g
    £3.49
    Hartwall Original Cranberry Long Drink 5.5% – 330ml
    £2.39
    Haribo Matador Mix 1000g
    £9.99
    Malaco Djungelvrål – Salty Liquorice 80g
    £1.39 £0.99
    Fazer Tyrkisk Peber Original – Hot Peppery Liqourice Hard Candy 120g
    £1.99 £1.75
    Estrella Dillchips – Dill Crisps 175g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £2.59
    Marabou Mjolkchoklad Daim – Milk Chocolate With Daim 200g
    £3.29
    Freia Kvikklunsj – Chocolate Covered Wafer 47g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £1.79

Join us for en evening of chat, tasters and hygge

October 23, 2018 | Leave a comment

Cafe Hygge: Join Live & Bronte for an evening of festive treats 30th October 2018

Join us for an evening of mingling and festive tastings. This happens on 30th October 2018 at our cafe in central London. the event is free, but you must sing up before so we can manage the numbers.
Live Sørdal, the café manager at ScandiKitchen and Bronte Aurell, owner and author, will be around all evening to chit chat and serve up lots of lovely tasters of Scandi products (including Christmas products). There will be glögg for everyone – including tasting of the annual Blossa glögg with Limoncello flavour.
Bronte is around to help with recipe questions, Scandi food questions and questions about all things Scandi Christmas. We will of course have all her books, too (including the new ScandiKitchen Christmas Book).
Tastings:
  • Scandinavian cheeses
  • Liquorice
  • Mulled wine
  • Jams and pickles
  • Chocolate
On top of this, there is a 10% discount on any retail purchases on the night (excludes alcohol)
There will be wine and beer to purchase on the night.
Be warned, festive music will be played.
This event is free, but we ask that you sign up so we know how many people are coming (do please also let us know if you’re not going to make it).

See you there,

Live & Bronte x

Are you wearing clean underpants?

October 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

Underpants for homeless 2018

Read on, even if you did put clean undies on this morning: This is important.

Every year, for a month, we collect money at ScandiKitchen café to buy a whole load of underpants.

You see, as the nights get longer and colder, the homeless on the streets of London have an even tougher time than normal. While people are good at donating coats and scarves, trousers and jumpers, nobody ever donates underpants and socks. For good reasons too, mind you, but that doesn’t make the need for these items any less. We all need clean pants and socks. While we may smile and joke about the need for underpants, the fact remains: if you’re down and out, trying your hardest just to get through the night, feeling warm and comfortable all the way through suddenly means that much more.

Helle is a lovely Danish lady, living in West London. Every autumn she changes her name to “The Pants Lady” and starts asking people to send her (new) socks and (new) underpants. She does this tirelessly for months. The main shelter she works with is the The Shelter Project Hounslow for men (registered charity) (but excess pants and socks are distributed throughout other shelters in the capital, too).

Here’s a message from Helle:

‘This will be the 7th season of The Shelter Project Hounslow (TSPH). We always receive plenty of 2nd hand clothing but never – for good reason – any underpants or socks. And homeless men need that too, so some years ago I started collecting via friends, on Facebook, via Scandinavian Kitchen (where staff gave up their tip jar to collect pounds for pants). I wasn’t quite sure how men I don’t know would react to a crazy lady handing them pants and socks at the shelter though… These are proud, clever men from a range of backgrounds and cultures who for various reasons have ended up on the street. And here I was – with my bulging bags of smalls – a change of pants, while they try to change their lives.

The men would arrive at the shelter for the night and once settled in and warmed up, I’d drag one or 2 aside and hand them pants. Discreetly, quietly… Fast forward a couple of winter shelter weeks: The guys would arrive, sometimes with a new homeless guest in tow. Once the new guest was settled in, they’d drag him over to me saying: “You’ve got to meet PantsLady – she’ll sort you out.” And so literally hundreds of pairs of pants were handed out over 4 months. Each time, I’d often have to explain that there was no charge for pants. They were free, new, clean and donated by strangers. It’s “only pants and socks” – it’s never going to change anyone’s life, but it broke an often down cast atmosphere of hopelessness, loneliness and homelessness for these guys. It made a difference and it’ll make a difference again this year. It’s only pants and socks, but everyone deserves a clean pair.’

We’ll be collecting for underpants at the café from Monday onwards for a month. We call it ‘A pound for pants’ because we can get a pair of pants for a quid (in some shops). Pop your change in the box by the till – the staff give up their tips and we (ScandiKitchen) match pound for pound what is put into the box.

You can also mail or deliver your (new, wrapped) underpants to us and we’ll make sure they get to the Shelter

Post [NEW only] underpants to:

ScandiKitchen Underpants Appeal,

61 Great Titchfield Street,

London W1W 7PP.

If you have any questions for Helle the Pants Lady, you can contact her on this email: PantsLady@virginmedia.com.

Thank you for supporting this cause

Bye for now

The Kitchen People
X

Ps please don’t send us used pants. Only new ones. Thank you.

How to be more Finnish

October 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to be more Finnish

Okay, so, after a long time, we finally wrote the Finnish one (Find the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian ones here).

Actually, our Nanja wrote it and she is very Finnish… so blame her if it’s all wrong. You’ll find her in the store down the road, queuing for free buckets.

Add your own ‘How to be more Finnish’ in comments below.

Mind the personal space. Finns like to keep a good 2 metre gap between them and the next person. Try and get closer, you may quickly notice Finns back away. Respect the space. Kiitos!

Do not talk to strangers. While the general rule in Finland is to avoid human interaction entirely where possible, this especially applies to actual strangers. Never sit next to a stranger on a bus as this might result to having to speak to them (A Finn will probably miss his stop on purpose just to avoid the conversation).

Do not make eye contact. If you have to talk to a stranger, at least make sure not to make eye contact. Look down at your shoes when speaking to someone. If you are particularly extroverted, you may look at the other person’s shoes when speaking to them.

Remember that Finns are better than Swedes at everything. Especially ice hockey (Blame the Russians for everything else)

Take your shoes off when entering a house. Every Finnish home has a special little room to leave your shoes in and you will not be let in the house if you leave your shoes on.

Drink a lot of coffee, more than any other person on this planet. Drink the most. You need all the caffeine to avoid people. Drink it without milk and sugar. Shake your head at people who take milk in their coffee.

Give up phrases such as please and thank you. Instead of saying ‘Could I have the butter, please’ you can just go with ‘butter’.

Pick and mix is for Saturdays. Go to the old school DVD rental places to buy it as they have the best selection (even if they no longer have any DVDs and it feels a bit sad. Still, pick’n’mix)!

Always be punctual. Finns are never, ever late. Never. EVER.

Listen to heavy metal music. Even if you’re like, 6 years old. There is a heavy metal band for every age group in Finland.


 Please note this is a Swede trying to imitate a Finnish drunk person. It is not at all funny (by the way, Sweden is rubbish at Ice hockey).

Only drink alcohol if you intend to get drunk. Why else would you do it?

 

 

 

 

 

Get passionate about free buckets. Occasionally big Finnish companies might offer free buckets with purchases – and during occasions like this you can spot big queues outside the stores. Finns really love free buckets. It’s a thing in Finland. Buckets. Free buckets.

Zero degrees outside is acceptable t-shirt weather. After all, the Finnish summer only lasts for a day, so every opportunity wasted it a possible summer gone.

Have a sauna at least once a week. In the sauna that is already built in to your own house, social club or the local Burger King. You must be naked in a sauna and observe Sauna rules at all times. Sauna is sacred time.

Have sisu. Finns have a lot of sisu and it’s defined as being a mix of bravery, stubbornness, determination and resilience. Sisu means get up and stop whining when you have been beaten to the ground. Get up, stop whining and GET IT DONE.

Only with good sisu will you actually survive a winter in Finland.

Always use a cheese slicer. Never, ever a knife. NEVER.

Partake in sports such as Swamp Soccer, Wife Carrying, Ant Nest Sitting competitions and more. All in a day of fun for Finns (note: always beat Sweden, no matter what sport).

Treat everyone as an equal. Even the Finnish president has to clear his driveway of snow by himself.

The Nordic Law of Jante applies to Finns too. Never accepts compliments and do not be visibly proud of your achievements. Fit in with the group and do not challenge it.

Get extremely overly excited when Finland is mentioned internationally, for any reason, especially positive ones.

Only cross the road when the light is green – even if there’s no cars around. Nobody jay-walks.

Make all foreigners try really salty liquorice. Because this is where the fun in life can really be found.

Don’t forget to comment. Kippis!

Recipe: Danish pancake balls (æbleskiver)

October 9, 2018 | Leave a comment

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

Technically a little challenging the first few times you make these, but well worth the effort, these little pancake balls are super delicious and fun to make.
Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent and all through December - this recipe is from Bronte Aurell's cookbook 'Fika & Hygge' (Alternatively, we stock ready made ones in the cafe during Christmas season, so pop by and grab a bag or two).
You can vary your pancake balls as you see fit - we've made them with saffron, chocolate sauce, savoury (Noma famously used to make one with a little fish sticking out of them)... But these are the most traditional version.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Danish
Keyword: gbbo
Servings: 30 pancakes
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 medium lemon grated zest of, to taste
  • 50 g butter melted for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • raspberry jam for dipping (optional)
  • You need: an 'æbleskive' pan Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead. You can get basic pans on Amazon.

Instructions

  • Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.
  • In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.
  • Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.
  • Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.
  • Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

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