The long winter evenings make an ideal backdrop to some of the best times in company. Gentle candlelight, warm firelight and that post-Christmas languor mean that very often a small gathering yields a greater reward for very little effort.
Over the next few weeks of hibernation, I intend to have company over and to get out into company. In groups of 2, 3 or 4, I will be meeting up with family or friends at different times of the day and week. Bearing in mind I work full time, I’m not aiming to do more than one of these a week.
Family Supper with Friends: I’m turning all Nigella on you and preaching the benefits of sharing food around a table here. Except, I’ll actually be eating at my own table, not a TV set, and I won’t be serving anything too expensive. Very few pleasures of culinary delight can match a long, low, slow-cooked bolognese sauce, so I’ll be making a large pot of this, opening a bottle of red wine, and spending hours chatting with a couple of friends.
Afternoon Night Tea as a Family: We are never all in one place at 4pm, traditional Afternoon Tea time, so as a family we actually like Afternoon Tea at night. Usually a Sunday, around 9pm since that is when the TV schedulers generally put on a good drama. With a proper cake, a pot of tea, some crisps or sandwiches if I’m feeling extravagant and copious amounts of chat. I still hearken after a proper Mr Tumnus Afternoon Tea with sardines on toast and scones with jam, as described here. I think this year we’re watching Stranger Things as our serial of choice. Whether that fits quite as nicely with tea and cake as either Downton Abbey or Poldark remains to be seen.
Prosecco and Party Bites for Two: My best friend is called Claire. She’s a very lovely and sensible person, with whom it is a pleasure to share a bottle of something white and bubbly. She goes back to virtually full time work this January, so I think a night at her house, sipping some prosecco and nibbling olives, stuffed peppers et al may be just the thing we need. I’m looking forward to finding out how her first month has gone.
Hygge Lunch on a Friday: Since working with the Husband, one of our weekly rituals is to go out for lunch together on a Friday. It gives us a break, marks the day as special and lets us have an hour a week where we have nothing else to do but talk to each other. It’s a meeting I miss on the rare occasion that either one of us isn’t available.
With phone calls and Facebook, that should keep me well in touch with my nearest and dearest. We also eat as a family virtually every night, except for Fridays when the children eat off their knees in front of a movie and Husband and I share a candlelit dinner later on. We used to eat at 8pm, but as the children have grown older, our time has got later. Currently we sit down to eat on a Friday at 10pm, which is very Spanish of us. Appropriate, since my favourite meal is paella from Iceland supermarket.
Do you have any plans for company during hibernation? What’s your favourite way of sharing food with friends? Let me know on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #hibernate2018. You can find me on Facebook as How to Hygge The British Way, although truthfully you’ll get a better reaction and enjoy being a member of The Hygge Nook more… it really is my happy place on Social Media, and I love how members post and share. It’s like a coffee break with a world of friends. On Instagram, I’m britishhyggejem. I tend to post my quotes there, and a few pictures of everyday life.
You’ll also find my books have more ideas that are good for hibernating with, and are all available from Amazon.
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. If you purchase through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy, and if you’ve already read them and enjoyed them, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
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