For most of us, the summer holidays are now well and truly over, but the warm evenings are still inviting enough to enjoy eating outside. Nature's larder is brimming with fresh and tasty food. The fruit bushes are almost ready for harvest, and you can still enjoy your pick of fresh lettuces, tomatoes, vegetables and herbs.
Perhaps you've been away this summer and experienced how fresh, local food makes a perfect meal. And now there's every reason to enjoy the Danish/Nordic contribution to the dinner table. Whether you have an allotment, patio, balcony, veranda, outhouse, greenhouse or a garden with or without raised beds, you have every opportunity to give your dishes not only a hint of summer, but also a personal touch and a healthy and tasty lift.
If you don't have a garden with fruit trees, or vegetables from your own vegetable patch or greenhouse, enjoy the local produce from your greengrocer. And make sure you grow herbs either indoors or outdoors. They fare well in the summer months: from classic parsley, chives and rosemary, to thyme, mint and tarragon. If you have some space available behind glass - either in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, you can also grow basil and chillis.
Weather permitting, make the most of eating outside for as long as you can. The array of sensory perceptions, the birdsong, the scent of a freshly mowed lawn - all of these make the best possible setting for you and your guests.
For most people, the return to normality after a long and wonderful summer also means a return to packed lunches and food shopping on the way home from work. Or perhaps you've decided to have fresh food and recipe ideas delivered straight to your door?
The number of meal-box suppliers has never been greater. And the variety is so vast that it's easy to find a supplier that matches you and your family's tastes. You'll also be challenged to try out new recipes and really test yourself in the kitchen. It's fun, healthy and educational.
Convenience foods have been taking over our households since the start of the millennium, but fortunately for us, we have so much choice now where quality and flavour are the priority.
Food and dinner boxes are a worthwhile option if you want good, fresh food and new inspiration, but still want to be head chef in your own kitchen. Even your local supermarket can provide solutions that make your everyday life simpler and save you time in the kitchen - such as when you pick up ready-washed, chopped lettuce in the supermarket, pre-peeled potatoes or marinated cutlets.
When our lives are busy, it makes sense to save time on food shopping and preparing the evening meal. The real trick, of course, is to pick convenience foods that don't compromise on quality and health. Whatever the circumstances, convenience foods can certainly challenge the traditional open sandwich, which is still the Danes' most frequently consumed evening meal.
Dining has always been a focal point for getting together and spending time with friends and family. So social dining isn't a new phenomenon. But the shape of it has changed over the years. Mealtimes have become a place where strangers can meet.
Many restaurants are currently built around social dining. Several have been inspired by the Far East, where you sit at long tables and eat together with the other guests. It's about meeting new people while you're out. The Spanish tapas kitchen is another type of social dining with its many mini dishes on the menu.
Recent years have seen street food markets pop up in larger cities, with great success. The entire atmosphere from the spontaneous, simple and social meal has taken centre stage, both indoors and outdoors at benches and tables. No more wasted space with tables for two and cosy corners for people to hide in.
SupperClubs, Pop Up restaurants and dinner parties in private homes are all types of social dining. Professional or amateur chefs open up their own homes and offer meals. Guests pre-book their place at the table. Social media allows people to find what's going on locally, and apps such as the Danish entrepreneurial portal Tasteplease, with chef Frank Lantz as the founder, and Eatwith, are all types of digital solutions that will make it even easier to bring together hosts, home chefs and their guests.
Whether it’s from an established restaurant, an enthusiastic amateur chef or a street food entrepreneur, food brings people closer together.