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Hygge in French: Cozy weekend & Magret de Canard: Easy 3-Ingredient Duck recipe

Max drinking rose wine from Mas des Brun and cooking magret de canard with pears honey and figs
Our 21-year-old, Max, came home from Montpellier for the weekend and cooked a cozy meal for the whole family. Read on in today's missive, below.

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TODAY'S WORD: le magret de canard

        : fillet of duck, duck breast


Maxime nous a cuisiné des magrets de canard selon la recette que je lui ai donnée
Maxime cooked us some duck fillets according to a recipe I gave him.

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Improve your speech with Pronounce it Perfectly in French


    by Kristi Espinasse

If you keep coming across the word hygge, it's no wonder--you are reading too much news! Hygge is all over the media, even in France. According to Le Monde there is no French translation of the Danish word, a term synonymous with "snug" and "cozy" and involving friends, family and comfort food--all squeezed together, like a warm câlin:

"En France, point de hygge. Le mot qui s’en rapprocherait le plus dans notre vocabulaire est un emprunt à l’anglais, le cocooning." In France, no hygge. The word that comes closest, in our vocabulary, is borrowed from the English: cocooning.

This weekend our family cocooned. As the pumpkin vines (and their newly-formed globes) withered beneath the cold outside, inside we gathered together in snug comfort and warmth--in pajamas and fluffy pantoufles, before a crackling feu de cheminée. Whenever the kids are home things are automatically hygge around here. It's the scent of my son (what is that cologne he wears?), the softness of my daughter's voice, and the messiness created when siblings congregate in the kitchen, before the TV, and in the foyer, with our dog Smokey--fur ball extraordinaire.

This past weekend was extra hygge thanks to the layer of comfort Max added to the mix: our son cooked his father's specialty, magret de canard, for dinner while we relaxed under the covers (a fluffy blanket, or plaid, is key to cocooning--as are les coussins, or throw pillows.). And when Jackie called "à table!" I noticed our daughter had lit two candles, in the old brass candlesticks--a wedding present from Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bill, in Seattle.

From Denmark to France and back, somehow, to the States, I'm wrapping up this cozy little post, sooner than usual--keeping things short and snug as a hug. As for the recipe: score the fatty side of the duck and fry both sides. Add sliced pears to the melted fat.  Cook until fruit is soft. Pour honey over. Bon appétit!

Locate a cozy Bed and Breakfast in France. Enter you destination here.

Stories you may have missed...
Souler, Claquer, Hurler - Our son throws a party and my plan to escape to the hotel backfires. Read the lively trilogy, here.

Increase your vocabulary with this list. More tools here.

la pantoufle = slipper
le feu de cheminée = chimney fire
le câlin = hug, cuddle
le plaid = throw blanket
le coussin = pillow
à table! = everyone to the table now!

Want to speak French fluently? 30-Day French will teach you everything you need to know to speak French on your next trip to France with 30 lessons based on real-life conversations. Try it out.

The little book of hygge
To read all about the concept of hygge--cocooning in French--read The Little Book of Hygge, here

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