Comfort, food

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Siste kveld, by Simen Idsøe Eidsvåg on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

So I take it this Danish concept, hygge, is all the rage. (You can pretty much figure it out from the photo.)

We aren’t in Denmark, nor is it particularly cold yet (at least not today). But I am quite cozy right here at home and wanting to deconstruct why.

There’s the obvious – I am finally feeling close to normal! I don’t wake up in the night with a foul cauldron where my belly should be! I don’t wake in the morning with dread after a night of no sleep. I’ve cracked the code that lets me eat frequent meals, even if they aren’t the most desired or exciting.

J has been making beef stew since this morning. It’s intoxicating me, the smell of it. I have no doubt it’s going to be the best stew he had ever made. Even though I won’t get to taste a bite (I may take a teaspoon of the broth).

Does this make me seem like a masochist? I can’t imagine the old me being okay with a situation like this. I am happy about the stew, and happy near it. Primarily because we’d planned to make it last Sunday, and my condition intervened, and it didn’t happen then. We had made the mistake of mentioning it to Young J, however (a boy who wants to know what’s for dinner as soon as he swallows his breakfast). He was incredibly angry and disappointed it didn’t happen. His anger and disappointment have been powerfully magnified lately.

The youngs slept over at their grandparents’ last night. They came back in the afternoon full of stories of apps and movies they’d watched (we don’t have an iPad) and how much apple crisp they’d eaten. Young J sniffed the air, smelled the stew, and I could see happiness and relief in his pale face. At dinner, I know the kids will stop eating and get up and hug the daylights out of the chef, which is what they always do when we’ve done well by their tummies. I’m going to make an effort to eat my two-minute meal at the table so I can witness that moment of stewy abandon. I’ll savor the tiniest taste of the broth, and see how it lands.

But I’m going to really dine on the feeling. The warmth. The slow, careful knitting back together of our family after three weeks in a dungeon.

(Rice krispies, you may not have known, also are super hygge. I sat them in some almond milk for my 4 o’clock, and their crackling was not unlike a fireplace. I put them on my nightstand to warm up a bit and enjoyed the sound and the almond perfume.)

Food – bringing comfort in unexpected ways. Perhaps tonight instead of a pillow I’ll clutch a bag of dried pasta, to bring on nice dreams.

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