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Danish Split Pea Soup

peasoup

In Danish we have the word “Hygge.” It is a better, even more embracing word than “cozy.” It is being with friends and family, flickering candles, laughter, tea in mugs, the smell of cinnamon and baking bread, long evenings around bonfires. It is a warm feeling of togetherness and gratitude. In short, it is a very happy word.

Danish split pea soup is a hyggelig soup to serve on a blustery fall night. Light some candles (this is important for hygge), serve the soup with buttered rye bread and a crock of mustard, sit down and feel the cozy glow spread.

Traditionally after pea soup we have crepes for dessert. That’s hygge continuing…

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Gratitudes

Make the expression of gratitude part of your family dinner ritual. However you say it — with a prayer or blessing, a question for the table, quotes, stories, a few simple words of thanks — gratitude is a basic ingredient to a healthy life.

Here’s an idea: print out some pre-written “gratitude quotes” and place one under each person’s dinner plate. At an appropriate moment, explain that everyone has a special quote under their plate and go around the table reading them. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in expressing gratitude.

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Play Dough

Young child picks up playdough

Play dough is good dough. Good to make together. Good to play with. And good to have on hand when you are trying to get dinner on the table and you have a very little baker’s man that needs a job. Toss him some play dough, and order up a patty cake, 2 pies, 3 carrots and a banana split, as fast as he can.

Here’s the recipe for homemade play dough. Just in case anyone is tempted: play dough is not food, so don’t let children or pets eat it…

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Chopped Salad (A Very Vegetal-Belly One)

choppedsalad

A chopped salad just makes me happy. Firstly, it is very healthy with lots of crunchy vegetables. Secondly, it is neat to eat. Yeah, that might be a little silly, but nice nonetheless. No big green leaves to wrestle with, but most importantly it is just so tasty, each bite having all sorts of flavors and textures, each bite different than the next. So good it barely needs a dressing, just a bit of tartness, some salt, pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil.

The recipe suggests vegetables but they are all optional so do improvise — chopped beets, jicama, bell peppers, even a few cooked grains like spelt. Whatever you have on hand are all good additions, just try to keep everything close to the same size and amount, so no vegetable gets to yell too loud, all of them just humming in contented harmony…

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