Author: Line West

Review: Play -The Danish Way

Iben Dissing Sandahl, one of the authors behind the international bestseller The Danish Way of Parenting, is out with a new book Play – The Danish Way. This book follows up on the wide interest in how to help children enjoy unstructured free play. It is such a great book to read here at the beginning of the summer holiday where children have what seems like endless time. It provides the readers with a great opportunity to encourage free play both for the sake of their children’s healthy and happy development and for the sanity of their parents! Free play is so much more important to children’s development than many of us parents realize! I have to admit that before I read this book I viewed play as a way children pass their time. Just fun or maybe even waste of time compared to going to a sports class or storytime. I did not take it as seriously as I should. In fact, play is so much more than passing time. It is one of …

A Summer of Free Imagination – Let the Kids Be Bored and Play

  “Mom I’m bored, can I watch something?” says my five year old like it is the most terrible thing that could have happened to her. We have just been out for a kid event and now five minutes later she is already bored. I feel highly tempted to turn on that pony show so I can get half an hour to get some stuff done. But I stand firm and say “No, it is good to be bored – now you can come up with something yourself.” She looks at me perplexed but leaves the kitchen. Sure enough, ten minutes later I hear her singing and talking while she plays with her dolls in the family room. Yet every time she catches a glimpse of me she tries to talk me into entertaining her and I have to neglect all my feelings of guilt and let go of my inner pressure to constantly stimulate her. It helps me to know that letting children be bored and play by themselves, or with other children, is …

Dream Cake from Brovst

Dream Cake from Brovst is such a classic from my childhood in Denmark. Originally invented by the Danish woman, Jytte Andersen, who took part in a baking competition in 1960 in the Danish town Brovst, Jutland (See Droemmekage on Wikipedia). This woman would be a millionaire if she had got the copyrights for the recipe because it is a favorite everywhere in Denmark. So much so that it was voted the fourth most popular cake in Denmark in a cake research/questionnaire conducted by the newspaper Metroexpress. I have already received feedback from enough Americas to know that this cake will become a classic over here as well. It is similar to a pound cake – heavy and moist with lots of eggs and butter. But it is the topping with coconut and brown sugar that makes it. It is pretty simple to make and will be a hit at any social get-together.   Droemmekage fra Brovst / Dream Cake from Brovst Recipe Ingredients: 250 gram / 9 ounces all-purpose flour 3 tsp baking powder 50 gram …

Danish Pancakes

It seems that every country has its own version of pancakes – Denmark included. Some would say there is nothing more Danish than pancakes and that Danish pancakes are certainly a way to Danish happiness. Danish pancakes are typically an afternoon treat that often end up becoming dinner as well because the kids will eat so many that there is no room for anymore food that day. They are very similar to French crepes, topped with whatever you like but strawberry/raspberry jam and powdered sugar is the most classic version. I guess the Danes just love their red and whites! I enjoy a summer version with fresh berries and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Banana slices and nutella works too.   Danish Pancake Recipe Ingredients: 4 eggs 8 deciliter/3 cups whole milk 400 gram/14 ounces all-purpose flour 2 tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp vanilla extract Butter for frying How you make them: In a medium sized bowl beat together the eggs and flour while adding the milk a little at a time. When the …

Hindbaersnitter / Raspberry Slices of Happiness

Summer and heat is here and hygge has moved outside. Outdoor summer hygge makes me crave the Danish pastry called “Hindbærsnitter” or “Raspberry Slices”. In fact, I cannot think of a happier cake than a Hindbærsnitte (except for maybe a cupcake or birthday cake). Just take a look at it! A real slice of happiness… Raspberries on a flaky crust glazed with sugar to give you that happy kick. And kids seem to go crazy for them – just cut the slices into halves for small children so the sugar doesn’t make them go truly crazy! Hindbærsnitter have a lot in common with Pop Tarts but are not quite the same. You can find Hindbærsnitter in every Danish bakery. It is a true Danish classic. Good news is that you do not have to travel all the way to Denmark to bring them to your coffee table – they are actually pretty easy to make! So here you go – a recipe on how to make your own slices of happiness:-) Hindbærsnitter / Raspberry Slices Recipe Ingredients: …

The Essence of Hygge

I have been trying to come up with a definition of the “essence of hygge” or the “basics of hygge” and I think my conclusion is that the essence of hygge is taking your time to enjoy something. Or in other words, hygge means no stressing or rushing. Even coffee and cake is no guarantee for hygge if you don’t take your time to enjoy it. Imagine indulging in a nice sweet and sticky piece of cake with a cup of hot brew and then suddenly you discover that you have to leave the house in two minutes? Gone is all the hygge in a flash of a second! Almost anything can be hygge as long as you do not stress or rush through it. That is why I think the most important factor for hygge is the absence of stress or rush. You have to allow yourself to take your time in order to get that hygge feeling. Hygge does not have to include wool socks, hot chocolate, cake or a lamb skin throw …

Hygge is… Watering the Flowers

  My toddler son was screaming and protesting – he was not ready to go inside. I let him stay in the backyard longer and he went to get his little blue watering can. As soon as he started watering the flowers he was in a zone of peaceful hygge. I believe he was even humming to himself. It was such a pleasure to watch him that I instantly felt the calm of this hygge event in the warm afternoon sun. That same evening after the kids were put to bed, instead of cleaning dishes I went outside and watered the flowers. It was a very nice feeling, just being outside on a quiet warm spring evening helping the flowers grow. There is something satisfying about watering plants. Perhaps because it reminds us to appreciate nature and its beauty. It brings happiness and a peaceful patience to watch plants grow and makes us feel like we are doing something meaningful and rewarding. If you truly take your time to enjoy the task of watering it …