Thursday, May 24, 2012

Having a fairytale vintage life

Sometimes, reading blogs is a frustrating hobby. All those wonderful houses, fabulous pictures and marvelous vintage collectors items for a bargain are just a bit too good to be true. Here in Holland, people are quite aware of the value of their leftovers, and websites like (similar to the American Craigslist) are filled with to-die-for vintage pieces that are priced at a level I can't afford. Let alone the thrift store. We are growing to a level here where all the good things in thrift stores are pre-selected and sold via the previous mentioned internet marketplace. A good bargain is hard to find here, and while reading all those fantastic blogs about fairytale moments of finding Eames sideshells on their sidewalks (is it raining George Nelson bubble lamps over there in the US?), we Dutchies are sighing of frustration because another dream item gets a permanent place on our Dream On List.

But, wait, what happened just the other day? Could this be true?

I read an add on our Dutch marketplace the other day just offering two lamps. No information, except for their dimensions and the fact that the smaller one had some damage. Although I learned quickly that this lamp, originally designed by Claus Bonderup and Thorsten Thorup for Fog & Morup in the late '60's, is widely copied, but I decided to go for it and send an email offering just enough to outbid another interested buyer. Luckily, my offer of 21 euro for the both was accepted and yesterday I took off to collect my new lamps.

I think I am now officially a very proud member of the fairytale world of bloggers. The smaller one is quite damaged and originally purchased at a Swedish warehouse best known for its blue and yellow stores selling furniture and meatballs, but the bigger one is, unless I am very much mistaken, the real deal. A Fog and Morup Semi in white, with a diameter of 60 cm. Unfortunately it is not marked, but all the features seem to tick the boxes.

Next week I will be a very busy girl installing both the original and fake lamp. Because I need to have quite a bit of fairytale moments more to create our dream house.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

About teapots and thrift stores

Today I was lucky. I walked into a thrift store, basically to bring some stuff back into circulation. And of course I took advantage of the situation to stroll around for a bit. And, I was lucky. Before showing todays find, I am going to show my whole collection of tea- and coffee pots, to place my find in the right perspective.

 First here is my Columbia pot by Bodum. Not vintage, but very dear to me. It was a graduation present of my university rowing team and it has been engraved. I got it in 2006 and still use it everyday as a teapot (although it is actually a coffee pot). I love the shape and the way it is so easy to use. And it reminds me of the good times I had at my rowing club. This one is quite hard to photograph, so in the reflection you see a bit of me. Hello, everyone!

Next one is the Eva Solo tea maker. I have been totally in love with this one for quite some time. One day I was rewarded with a bonus at work, and because I wanted to remember this special moment, I bought this teapot with the bonus. I love it because of the clever and simple design.

The Peacock vacuum bottle is a thrift store find. Unfortunately, the logo is not on the bottle any more, but I still like it because of the nice shape. It was in very bad state when I found it, but some cleaning did miracles for this beauty!

This Regout Maastricht teapot is another thrift store find. I think this company is one of the nicest Dutch ceramics companies, and these teapots with their nice pastels are gorgeous. A purist would disagree with my teapot, since originally the lid and the pot should have the same colour. So this combination is not original. But I am kind of fond of both the blue and mint colour in one teapot.

Another Dutch brand is Daalderop. This teapot is the one I use at the office.  It has a double wall, which is good if I get distracted because of a call or other important working life things. And I adore the vintage office look it has. And, hello reflection again, this teapot reveals a little bit more of my camera and me!

And, last but not least, todays find. I already had this Melitta coffeepot. I love it. I think it is one of my favourite vintage finds. It is not an Eames chair in mint condition, or an Arne Jacobsen egg chair for a bargain, but love isn’t necessarily about big items (and, both an Eames and an Arne Jacobsen are just a teeny tiny bit out of reach at this moment… They kind of never go away for a bargain).  Todays find is the matching creamer. Yeah, that little jug right in front of it. I found it stowed away at the back of a drawer. And although I am still on the watch now for a matching sugar jar, I am very happy about this find!  

I really hope you like my little collection. Of course, over time I hope to expand it with some more nice items. I am always on the look for ceramics of brands like Arabia Finland, Iittala and as soon as I spot an affordable Picot ware tea set, I will certainly get it. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Broad bean perfection

Just a small post to present you this picture of a broad bean or fava bean, just before preparing it into a bean spread with lemon and pecorino cheese. Great on toast or a bruschetta as a starter or lunch.

I love the way nature found a way to protect the bean from cold and harshness. Can you see the fluffy interior of the pod? Amazing.

I'll publish the recipe for the spread later this week. I forgot to take a picture because I was too obsessed with eating it. Luckily, I have a sourdough starter bubbling up right now, I think the spread will be perfect on a fresh loaf of sourdough bread. So, I'll make a new batch this week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lunch: Eggs and greens oven dish

Last week I totally screwed up when preparing tortilla for 13 persons. I still feel ashamed. Especially because one of the 13 is a professional cook who said, when hearing I was going to make a tortilla for 13 hungry snowboarders: “Ambitious”. And I responded: “That’s how I like it”. How I was wrong. When you are tired from snowboarding in the Austrian Alpes, when the kitchen supplies are not what they are at home, when you want to impress a whole company of people, including a cook, don’t try to make tortilla without any quality pans, preferably with a proper non-stick coating. Just don’t. Take it easy on yourself.

To make things up with myself, I made a little eggs and greens oven dish for lunch today.

  • 2 eggs
  • A small handful of peas. Because of the season, I used frozen peas. I like the sweet taste of the peas, if you don't you might want to add less.
  • 1 shallot, chopped and baked for a minute
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • A small bit of bell pepper, chopped
  • Some paprika, I brought some from Hungary. It’s the best ever.
  • Some oregano. I used freeze dried, since spring is still on its way here.
  • Salt, pepper
  • A little bit of grated cheese, preferably parmesan
Preheat the oven at 180 °C (356 °F). Take one of the lovely little oven dishes I bought at the thrift store last week, or something similar, and fill it up with all the vegetables. Add the two raw eggs. Top it off with some paprika, oregano, salt and pepper and the grated cheese. Place it in the oven for about 18 minutes (or until the eggs have solidified). Eat it with some bread.

Monday, March 19, 2012

About changing preferences

Is it age? Probably. I have always been quite specific about what I eat. As a child I was a parents horror. I didn’t like anything on my plate. Especially not if it had a scent of vegetables or fruit around it. Quite a harsh thing if your parents are fruit farmers and own their own grocery store. Strangely enough, I have always been a great fan of fish and shellfish. Raw or cooked, it made no difference to me. The only exception has long been sushi. Nice, to have a kid who is delighted to get a raw oyster or herring but just simply refuses to eat her pasta with sauce because it contained tomatoes.

Living in a student house kind of teaches you to stop fussing about food. First of all you just can’t afford to be peculiar when you live on a tight budget, second, it is a bit offensive to be fussy over food when your housemate just put his best effort in a nice dish. And, already then, I was a fan of cooking. I had two banana boxes of kitchen tools, which I kept save in my room, to prevent them from damaging by anyone else but me.

Now I eat about anything and I like it all. I have a few exceptions, for example I never really got to love braised endives. Although I have always liked raw fish and I like a nice liqueur late at night, until a few months ago, sushi and whisky were on my exception-list too. But strangely enough I suddenly love both. Isn’t it awkward how taste develops?

I’ll keep my fingers crossed about endives and Brussels sprouts. Maybe one day, my ability to love bitter tasting food will improve. And mum, I am sorry, I really am!

Me when I still was a devilish little creature in my families plum orchard

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thrifting blues

Everyone who frequently visits a thrift store probably recognizes this in some kind of way. When you enter the store, you see a certain item in the far back corner. It is just winking to you. See me, buy me, take me home. You dwell around for a bit. Try not to be too eager. Pick up some other items. Finally you get there. Pick up the item. Place it back again. Pick up the item next to it. Try to make up your mind. Do you really need this item, what would you use it for. In your head visions of the item in your house start to grow. Now you know, this item should be yours. Definately.
Then, suddenly, disaster strikes. Some kind of ugly witch turns up right next to you, graps the precious and runs to the cash desk. Too slow! Too much thinking! And although you have plenty of stuff, the loss of this specific item kind of ruins your day. Week. Month.
It happened to me on Tuesday. I saw the perfect, enormous oven dish, made of stoneware. I think it was Moroccan. In fact, it was used on an open fire, since it was blackened and burned on the bottom. Perfect for a big couscous dish, for paella or for being gorgeous in my living room. The patina was marvellous. I still blame myself for doubting, it would have been mine if I wouldn’t have. Maybe because I already spend more than I should on nice items this month?

 All that was left for me were three of these little versions. Nothing like the real deal, but they will come in handy for some bites or tapas. And I learned a lesson. Don’t doubt, run to the cash desk. As fast as you can!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Time to relaunch Food and Vintage! And, from now, Food and Vintage can also be found on Twitter via @food_vintage and via Bloglovin: click here!