I learned a new word this weekend: Hyggeligt.
Hyggeligt is a Danish word that lacks much of an English definition, but we all know the feeling. Google Translate attempts to sum the concept up with the word "cozy." Having not been to Denmark, I really can speak for (or against) that definition but I'm told it's just not that simple. There must be candlelight. There must be people, people you love. If it's cold and dark, you do not feel hyggeligt. Watching a scary movie or visiting a haunted corn maze is pretty much the opposite of this feeling. I imagine taking a really hard test ranks pretty high on the list of not hyggeligt activities (Hello finals! Only 9 days from now!).
Thanksgiving on the other hand, now that is hyggeligt (Hello best eating holiday if the year! Only 17 days from now!). You know that feeling you get when you think of sitting down to a table adorned with a Turkey, glasses of wine, and a candle or too? With sweet potato casserole, green beans, and your favorite people in the world? I imagine that is hyggeligt. (And if you're thinking right now, Oh Jeez, I am NOT looking forward to cleaning the house for our guests and I really hope Crazy Aunt Lou doesn't come or talk about her dead cats-- no, that is not hyggeligt).
I'll give Google some credit: you are cozy, but it's an inside-out sort of cozy. You're holiday sweater may be warm and fuzzy but it is not really a part of your hyggeligt feelings. On Thanksgiving Day, you're warm and fuzzy because of where you are and who you're with and how that makes you feel.
I'm just going to lay this out here: I think it also has something to do with what you eat (Maybe this just speaks to me thinking with my tongue... what's new?). It's eating Grandma's gravy (cooked with love) or using the family pie recipe (passed from one baker to the next). Even if it's a new recipe, it's food that makes you feel cozy (for lack of a better English word) with every bite.
That is what makes this recipe, for Grapefruit and Thyme Glazed Root Vegetables, a success (Finally! I got to the point!). It may not have been on your Thanksgiving menu ever before, but it communicates a feeling of warmth anyways. The familiar smell of roasted garlic. The sweetness of carrots and beets enhanced by grapefruit. Fresh herbs that really drive that rustic-recipe feeling home.
This Recipe is AIP friendly! It was shared over at the Phoenix Helix AIP Round Table. See all of the entries here.
Grapefruit & Thyme Glazed Root Vegetables
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 large carrots
1 golden beet
1 medium sweet potato
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves only
Salt to taste
1. Heat coconut oil over medium to low heat in a medium-sized skillet. Mince garlic, and once the oil is hot, add it to the pan.
2. Chop the vegetables (carrots, beets, and potatoes) into equally sized cubes, about 1/2 in by 1/2 inch. Toss them in the skillet.
3. Cook slowly, stirring on occasion, as to cook the vegetables evenly. Once potatoes are cooked through, squeeze juice from the grapefruit over the vegetables (picking out any grapefruit seeds as you do). Continue to cook, stirring every so often, until the liquid is mostly evaporated and all of the vegetables are well coated. Add in the thyme leaves, and season with salt to taste.
4. Serve warm, garnish with an extra spring of thyme.