Earlier this year, in the summertime, I was reading online in various places about the northern hemisphere winter; specifically how not to hate living through it, and more specifically the notion of hygge. Hygge isn’t trendy to the people of Denmark where it originates, it’s just apparently their attitude to staying happy through their very long, very cold winters. It’s about being cosy, and comfortable, especially at home, and making the most of having to do most of one’s socialising indoors.
It doesn’t snow in Sydney, but we still need our own version of hygge-yness here I suppose. It being school holidays means there’s less driving around for me and more time for cosy home-making activities. Our family room has a larger coffee table and rug and is a great place now to read books, do puzzles, or play games after dinner. We went to the library and got three shopping bags’ full of books and DVDs which should keep us all occupied when we’re at home for at least a few days. And I have a candle ready to be lit in each of the living areas as I’m using them.
The oven is getting daily use. Caramel biscuits and a ginger marmalade pastry roll sit in containers in the kitchen. They won’t be there for long! And I made homemade sausage rolls for dinner last night, based on a recipe in a book my daughter’s reading, The Baking Life of Amelie Day, by Vanessa Curtis:
Pork and thyme sausage rolls
This fed seven of us for dinner (two adults, four kids, one teenager) along with a salad.
Four sheets of puff pastry squares
Seven or so good quality pork sausages taken out of their skins (I used a 500g packet and then one or two more from a second packet).
A handful of breadcrumbs (I used a packet, from stale bread would be even better)
One red onion, finely chopped
A tablespoon of butter (about 20g)
A handful of fresh thyme leaves stripped from their stalks
A lemon (for zest)
Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius or whatever your pastry calls for.
Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and soften it over a low heat. Meanwhile, mix the sausage meat in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, herbs, and lemon zest. When it’s ready, add the onion mixture and combine well.
Cut the pastry squares in half so they form rectangles. Combine the egg and a splash of milk in a small bowl, to make an egg wash. Roll some of the filling mixture into a sausage shape and lay it in the middle of a rectangle. Use a pastry brush to brush some of the egg wash along the edges of the pastry and then fold the pastry over the mixture to make the sausage roll shape. Press lightly along the seal, so it all holds together. Repeat for the rest of the pastry and filling.
Cut each long pastry roll into thirds, and pop them into a couple of baking trays that have been lined with baking paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for around 25 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through.
I don’t have a photo of the finished product. Trust me, they looked good! And we were hungry, so they disappeared fast…