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!


2 Responses to “Apples of Fittja/ the kitchen”

  1. Deanne Ruby Says:

    Thank you for the post, I look forward to following your progress!
    Deanne Ruby (Ariel’s mom)

  2. vonda lia Says:

    this is great. we are very proud of you ariel. nannie and grandpa.

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