If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know I am a card-carrying foodie. I love restaurants, grocery stores (especially gourmet type), kitchenware shops, new gadgets, new recipes, new foods, etc. That said, this morning I was emptying my dishwasher and along with all the other familiar kitchen utensils, there stood the tallest of these, my trusty old soup ladle that had been used to dish up last night’s homemade chicken rice soup. As I reached for it, I felt the need to hold onto it for a minute. (I’m already sensing your judgment!)
And then, clutching it closely, I realized…I love my ladle! I know it’s crazy; but honestly I tell you…I love my ladle. Holding it brings all good feelings to mind. Crazy…absolutely, but bear with me, please.
As I hold this simple tool in my hand, my mind and each one of my senses react – conjuring up all the comfortable, familiar, cozy settings in which this unassuming utensil has been present – not center stage, just present. All the delicious, homey, warm smells and tastes that have been delivered by this exaggerated version of a serving spoon. I envision that ladle standing tall in pots of simmering soups, aromatic stews and chili, healthy oatmeal, deep rich gravies and sauces, pancake batter, all bubbling, lovingly prepared and soon to be devoured by loved ones. Could anything be more hygge??
So, as I hold on to these images, my mind goes further…
I think of all the ladling being done by generous volunteers in our community kitchens where so many of our homeless, hungry, jobless families are being fed. And how many ladles are serving up meals to our military men and women as they eat their meals far from home while protecting all we hold dear. Big scoops ladled up – filling the emptiness – replacing it with much needed warmth, goodness and huge doses of gratitude.
I consider how that long handle lets us reach deep into the recesses of the simmering pot to get to all the rich sustenance that has fallen to the bottom. Not just skimming from the surface. Going deep. Getting all the way to the bottom.
And deeper still…
As I think about all those mindful times that I force myself to go deep down into my very soul, to find what is real, true and authentic. It’s almost like using a virtual ladle during those times to scoop and bring to the surface that which for me is always nourishing and life-giving.
Yes, I need both my ladles – the real and the virtual – for my comfort, contentment and well-being… my hygge. And I’m going to be using both a lot more this season!
Before closing, I’d like to share some more comfort hygge recipes waiting to be ladled up:
A tummy warming breakfast:
Vegetarian Chili with Grains and Beans:
A deeply rich and comforting beef stew:
And finally, something so deliciously comforting and sweet…
And a final note…take a look at all the books that are in contention for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020. I’ve read many, but not all, of them and each was wonderful. This list is also a good resource to check out if you are looking for your next read for these Fall weekends.