Gettin' Hygge With It
The Friday Newsletter is building a blanket fort and not coming out until April
Did you know that yesterday was the earliest sunset of the year in the Northern Hemisphere? It’s true! Our days will still grow shorter for a few more weeks until the winter solstice, but that’s now due to later sunrises. Starting today, our afternoons will get no darker.
That’s good news!
Of course, for the moment, that good news is strictly conceptual.
Right now, I feel like Johnny Cash in “Folsom Prison Blues”: I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when. It’s been pure Pre-Winter Ick all week here in Kentucky, a damp permacloud that makes the notion of “sunrise” or “sunset” basically irrelevant; it’s all just shades of grey. I can be thankful for the imperceptibly-lengthening evenings, but for the time being, I’m just… I’m so very tired.
I suppose I could rage against the dying of the light. Defy the season. In the midst of winter, find within me an invincible summer and whatnot.
But I’m not going to do that.
No, instead I’m going to give in. Get cozy. Pull on my best sweatpants and bury myself under a faux-fur blanket. Find the invincible SleepyTime Tea Bear inside me. Put the roaring fireplace channel on because I’m too lazy to start a fire in the fireplace that’s right below the television. Fall asleep on the couch at 9pm.
I’m going to embrace the Nordic concept of hygge.
I’ve referenced this feeling before here, but hygge is a loosely-defined term, a vibe that encapsulates a comfortable sense of conviviality, and I’ll be darned if that isn’t what I shoot for every Friday here on The Action Cookbook Newsletter.
I’ve got a cozy murderer’s row lined up for you today, including:
Soup with the comfort-food dial turned to 11!
A lovely, fancy and subtle cocktail!
Great recommendations in music, books and podcasts!
Comfortable conviviality with The Internet’s Best Comment Section!
Oh, and pets. Always pets.
Friends? Let’s get hygge with it.1
7) Toward an Aggressive Vision of Soup
Did you know that there are people who think soup isn’t a meal?
Of course, this was a plot line on an episode of Seinfeld two decades ago, but these people are actually real! They walk amongst us, heretics who deny that soup can be dinner.
I’d like to decry these people as utterly wrong, but I’m a charitable man. I’m just going to trust that they’re misinformed. That they’ve been doing soup all wrong; only taking it from a can, and only encountering the lightest, simplest interpretations of the medium.
They’re missing out.
Because, you see—the way I see it, soup is a meal, but sometimes you’ve just got to fuss with the sliders. Turn everything up to “max” like you’re creating a player in a video game. I want soup for dinner, but I want it to be the 7’-0”, 330-pound lineman with 99 speed that I’d load my teams with in NCAA Football 2003.
And so, we come to today’s soup.
Recently, I decided to make my version of Italian Wedding Soup—a hearty, delicious soup containing meatballs, leafy greens and small pasta.
I just decided to make the most aggressive version of that basic concept that I could.