Open Cafe: day two

September 18, 2012

Today  is day two of Open Cafe and we invite you to Krögarvägen 26 to make traditional skräddmjolsdrommar (“oatmeal dream”) cookies and recipe sharing. Today we’ll also decide which of your favorite recipes we’ll make tomorrow.

If you cannot be here today and want to make Oatmeal Dream cookies at home, follow this recipe:

Oatmeal dreams

450 g butter
360 g flour
540 g toasted oatflour
510 g sugar
90 ml canola oil
30 ml harthorn salt

15 ml vanilla power


Cut the butter into cubes.

Mix all ingredients and cool it in the refrigerator until cold.

Shape into small balls, place on parchment paper set on a plate.

Bake in the oven at 150 °C for 12 minutes, the cookies will crack on the surface.

Let the dreams cool.

Bag them air-tight with paper which has drying effect between each layer.

Join us between 15.00 – 18.00



the Fittja Cafe is here!

September 17, 2012

Today is the first day of Open Fittja! Please stop by Krögarvägen 26 between 3:00 – 6:00 pm today. On this first day, we invite you to come help decorate the cafe, start a batch of apple sauce, take portraits of others who’ve come to the cafe, or record your favorite recipe for the Fittja audio cookbook. Yesterday we harvested dozens of apples from Järna, and are ready to make apple sauce with you today. Check the window at Krögarvägen 26 every day for an announcement about the afternoon’s activities. Here is one of the apple trees from which we harvested yesterday:

If it’s raining, we’ll be inside. Just come to the front window and we’ll pop around the side to let you in.


We began the day by heading to Hallunda, where there was a sort of “NGO day” where about half a dozen NGOs and artisans representing NGOs came to sell various wares to support their organizations. Among the organizations at the festival today was a women’s collective that crafts homewares from recycled materials. The small rugs and trivets below were made using worn t-shirts, and are essentially sold at costs to support future projects for the collective. We bought a small rug and a few trivets for the Open Fittja cafe. We originally went to the festival to hand out fliers advertising Open Fittja, and not only were able to do that, but also wound up meeting a number of women actively involved in local Botkyrka organizations. We spoke with local teachers, librarians at the Hallunda branch library, and women who both pass through Fittja and spend a fair amount of time there. We explained the Open projects taking place over the course of the next two weeks, and invited them to bring their children to the afternoon fikas starting next Monday. One woman who is well-connected to teachers in Fittja offered to scan our flier and email it to contacts within Fittja. Another volunteered to pass it along to a few women she knew in Fittja, too. I should note that public spaces that I’ve seen thus far have been quite gendered, so we mostly encounter either one sex or the other. Being women, it is naturally easier to make inroads with groups of women that it is with men here in Fittja. Of course men and women, boys and girls are invited to the activities over the next two weeks, and it just so happens that so far we’ve only spoken to women about the events.

This afternoon Ariel and I were returning to Krögarvägen 26,  a woman and her daughter were returning from a wildly successful apple harvesting mission. Although she didn’t speak English, we were able to communicate the simple question of “Where do you harvest your apples?”, and not only did she tell us where to find these prolific trees, but she gave Ariel and me each an apple! Here are the apples:

These apple trees are near the lake, and if you walk in the direction of Alby, the next town over, you’re bound to come across the trees. Tomorrow we are headed to the Järna countryside to harvest apples to use in the cafe.

At around 2:00 pm, the folks from Kultivator arrived, along with some friends from Stockholm who helped assemble the chicken coop. By dusk, the coop was completely assembled, and the construction drew curious stares from passersby. Some residents stopped to chat with us about the project, but the neighborhood children were, unequivocally, the most enthusiastic about the coop at Krögarvägen 26.

We invited a few children into the residency apartment, and with Ayhan’s help, explained Open Fittja’s cooking and story telling projects. It’s our hope that the neighborhood kids will attend the fikas, and eventually, it will encourage their parents to join the coffee breaks and Open Fittja workshops as well.

By the time that Ariel and I left for Skärholmen to go grocery shopping, the coop was complete:

Since we’re finding ourselves in Sweden during the height of beet and apple season, we are picking our friends’ brains for recipes that combine the two, and thus far, an apple borscht is the leading contender. Next week residents are invited to partake in any number of beet/apple kitchen festivities: beet apple borscht, beet apple slaw, and assembling beet stuffed apples to name a few. What are your favorite beet apple recipes? How about an apple beet charoset?

Good night!


Fittja Open schedule

September 15, 2012

Apples of Fittja/ the kitchen

September 14, 2012


Ariel and I have both arrived to Fittja for the second installment of Open Fittja. One of the first things we did today was to take a walk to Fittja Centrum, and along the way, we spotted several apple trees, one which was on the grounds of the neighborhood preschool. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the below photo, you’ll spot the ripening fruit. One of Ariel’s ideas is to create a community apple stack cake, a common tradition in much of Appalachia. The apple stack cake was traditionally presented to the bride and groom at a wedding reception, and many guests rally around the honored two to bring the cake to life, layer by layer. This is a way for all those gathered to partake in the cake, but no one party has to bear the load of baking the entire cake, which can be a serious undertaking for cash-strapped wedding guests. In this way, the cake is a combined effort amongst friends, and is assembled in a spirit of camaraderie and revelry.

We are lucky to arrive in Fittja at the height of apple season, and this upcoming weekend, we will venture to Järna to harvest apples by the bucketful. After harvesting the apples, we will have some pressed for apple juice (to serve to Fittja residents at Open Fittja), and also plan to embark on a number of projects with the residents of Fittja that involve apples: the apple stack cake and the making of apple sauce and apple butter.  After our dinner with Ayhan, we’ve been convinced to try our hand at a savory apple preparation as well.

Many of the smaller projects we have outlined for the upcoming two weeks involve the sharing of stories at Krögarvägen 26. Through a series of collaborative works completed with Marjetica Potrč and Kultivator, Open Fittja will transform the Botkyrka Residency apartment into a neighborhood cafe during these next days. Continue to check back here for more updates as well as a schedule of upcoming events.


Today we also began a small renovation in the kitchen that included removing the cupboard doors, hanging the ‘Open’ definition sign on the kitchen door, and placing our canned California goods on the shelves. This is all in preparation for our upcoming projects, which will begin next week in earnest, and residents can stop by Krögarvägen 26 for an afternoon story hour, a fermenting workshop, making apple sauce/ apple butter, and photographing their neighbors as part of a larger community portraiture project. Our workshops will expand the scope of the fika, the widely embraced coffee hour that happens throughout the country at various times of the day. Here are a few photos of the changes we made to the kitchen today:


Above we have the doors to the cabinets, which now rest on top of another row of cabinets.

Next we have the kitchen cupboards, which we’ve started organizing, and are more inviting without the doors.Image

Then we have items canned in California by Amanda and Valerie: tomatoes from Happy Girl farm and Annabel, nectarines, as well as pickles and cherries canned by Valerie. We also have chrysanthemum tea in the upper right hand jar, hojicha tea with roasted rice in the lower left jar, tea dust in the upper left, and pu-er on the bottom right side (partially shielded from view).


… and lastly we have the oft seen ‘Open’ definition, now hanging on the kitchen door:


And I have two questions: do you think the green four-leafed plant are nettles? Do you think the berries might be elderberries?




More soon!