The annual event when we get together to make our own flower-crowns and gather family and friends around a long table for a meal outdoors, which will inevitably include at least three types of herring and two types of salmon washed down with aquavit. Well, there’s no direct translation: hygge – pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ – is a Nordic word that describes ‘a feeling of cosiness and content’, and ‘enjoying the good things in life with good people around you’.For Swedish people like me, the traditional midsummer celebration is the essence of ‘hygge’, but its philosophy goes far beyond an annual lunch in the garden: it is a mentality shared by all Viking descendants.Put the sheets in the fridge for about 45 minutes and heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. They should start to feel hard round the edges as they cool and eventually become really hard – they need to have a nice 'snap'.Gently beat the egg white then add the lemon juice and as much icing sugar as needed – it should be really thick if you are going to pipe it, thinner if you are just going to drizzle it – and decorate.You can pipe round the edges or write people's names on the biscuits.If you are not so dexterous, just make a thinner icing and flick the fork to and fro above the biscuits using the tines for a Jackson Pollock effect.My parents, who turn 60 next year, work out several times a week and go ice-skating, cross-country skiing and walking.
Now scrape the dough off your beaters and, using your hands, bring the dough together into a ball, using more milk if you need to; don't let the dough become sticky.
This is backed up by several studies which have found that those who exercise outdoors are more likely to keep up a consistent routine.
Even walking outdoors compared to on a treadmill automatically increases the calorie burn by ten per cent, due to factors such as wind resistance.
Out of 34 OECD countries, the UK is the eighth fattest, with the Scandinavian nations way down the list in 23rd (Norway), 25th (Sweden) and 26th (Denmark) place.
The Scandinavians firmly believe in ‘lordagsgodis’ – Saturday Sweets – and allow children to have a small bag of pick-and-mix once a week.