Apple mania

At our house we have had grape mania for the past few weeks. Our one grapevine seemed to really explode with large blueberry sized, delicious, grapes! (edible grapes, homegrown in Belgium, it’s a rarity) Us grape-lovers, ate such a lot of them, we went into overkill… This weekend, we happily received an enormous mountain of homegrown apples, but I am not willing to let us get apple-overkill. Opposed to grapes-recipes, I know lots of apple-recipes, as apples are very common (but lots of love left here, though). When considering which ones to use for this autumns’ apple mountain, Mrs. Ans’ apple raisin muffins stood out big time. Apart from the fact that these muffins are so incredibly soft and delicious, they are also healthy (no butter!), quick and easy to put together, using unpeeled apples. The recipe makes a huge quantity, so loads to go round, whilst left over ones can be frozen. Mrs. An was a warm and loving person, and a great chef. We had many memorable dinners at her house, or An’s café as she liked to call it. The apple raisin muffin recipe comes from her ‘International Cookbook’, put together before she passed away, by her, and her English as a Second Language- students. Needless to say I am extremely happy that I have been given a copy, a real treasure!


3 cups apples (unpeeled, chopped) –approx. 3 medium apples
3 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ oil –sunflower
4 eggs (beaten)
1 tbsp + 1tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp baking powder
2/3 cup raisins –or cranberries
2/3 cup walnuts –or flaked almonds
• Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
• Beat all ingredients on low for a minute. Then, beat on medium for another minute.
• Pour into muffin baking mold lined with muffin paper cups or 2 bread pans that have been greased on the bottom only.
• Bake at 325°F (170°C) for about 20 minutes (muffins) or, 1 hour and 10 minutes (breads) or longer, check with toothpick.
• Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before taking out. Finish cooling on rack.
• Enjoy!!

PS I did try to replace the apple in this muffin recipe with our own grapes (whole as they were not very big), it just was not anywhere near as good. But in case you get as desperate as I was, increase the cooking time to about 25 min. until a skewer comes out clean.


Ceramic beauty

I promised you beauty on this blog, and here it is in the shape of ceramics and glass!

photos by mark eden schooley through Trend Tablet
A talented craftsman or artisan has blown these glass bottles on special request by Nelson Sepulveda. As they did not speak the same language, the shape of the bottles is based on the shape of pieces of fruit. I love the thickness of the glass, enclosing air bubbles and giving them their lovely color. Nelson Sepulveda explains how he wishes to bring the beauty of these artisan products in our lives in this video by Trend Tablet.

The gorgeous blue/grey color of the glaze on these bowls is what you might get if that glass color is translated into ceramic. I love the combination with the green and off-white, as if it was always meant to be like that, totally natural. Designed and hand-made by Julie Bonde Bülck.

I wonder what the finished pieces made from this work will look like… Nature captured in ceramic, I’m totally intrigued by the process-photographs. And confident it will be something good, because it is work by Hilde De Decker (sounds like I should follow up on it, right☺? Photographs by AnneMarie Laureys.

And from real nature into designed nature, the vase ‘Ashiato’ (footprints in English) where the animal walks on a seed, pushing it into the ground , so a flower can bloom after the animal walks away. A beautiful example of ecological footprint to me!
Trough Barefoot Dynasty


Bearina IUD

This design freaked me out when it crossed my path. It is an intra uterine device-concept by Ronen Kadushin. The image of his real “Bearina’ IUD is what is shown first. It is an open design, available for downloading. It is even possible to order the real thing for 1,25€! It made me question the functionality of the design straightaway. For an IUD it is huge! Imagine pushing a 1 cent coin through a hole, with the diameter similar to the diameter of a matchstick? This is why IUD’s are T-shaped and fold out once inserted. And how about the sterilization of the coin? It is common sense that coins are amongst the dirtiest things to touch. I concluded that the designer must have crossed over the fine line of art with this product.
Ronen Kadushin wants to act against pharmaceutical companies charging exuberant amounts of money, for things that are low-cost in production. He states: ”The Bearina IUD is a political product. It demonstrates the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products, and circumvent industries (such as the Pharma industry) that aggressively defend their intellectual property to control the price and availability of their products.”
Furtheron he seems serious about the production of the IUD, (“in partnership with a forward-looking pharma company”) once improved and experimented on. For now, the purpose of the ‘Bearina’ -design is to be visually friendly, in order to appeal to younger women. -I am wondering what age these younger women are supposed to be?- And should absolutely not be used as an IUD or for any internal use. With a very clear disclaimer following. Hm, maybe more of a social-project then an art-project, but certainly not a new kind of real IUD -design. I’m so relieved! There’s definitely some love in this....

Found through DEZEEN, with an interesting array of comments on their article.