Inward Hygge involves tucking ourselves into our home for the winter. We hang the storm windows, which makes the interior quiet as well as warm. We break out the extra blankets for the bed, rocking chair, and reading nook. We light fires—candles in the windows and on the table, fires in the hearth of the house, with chairs pulled close and cats near-by. We clean. We bake bread and cookies. We hang lights around the front door and greenery on the mantle. The house glows on foggy nights, welcoming us home in the evening.
Outward Hygge involves a whole series of small festivals, which begin with Thanksgiving and the Pie Social. Every few weeks, we have another. There are potlucks with friends, the Lucia Day walk, complete with warm, fresh Lucia buns, cocoa, and a happy dog running head up the hill. We send out handmade cards to our friends far and near. We are mindful of the long nights around the Solstice, eat salmon on Christmas Day, visit the Chinese Buffet on New Year’s Eve, and celebrate both our anniversary and Mark’s birthday in January. The season of small festivals ends with Candlemas, where we plant the first seeds of the new year. Bringing friends together around food and long winter walks helps us focus on what is important in our lives.
Winter Squash Bread—the new Lucia Bun dough
Make a batch of bread dough—3. cups of water, 1.5 T yeast and salt, six and a half cups of flour, half whole wheat. And a tablespoon of cinnamon and a cup and a half of mashed squash. Stir together and allow to rise overnight before baking. This is an excellent sandwich loaf, but also makes nice rolls and buns.