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Shades of Dessert

John Maeda's Simple Candy

One of the funny things in life is that once you are conscious of something, you notice it everywhere. This happened while I was living in Pittsburgh; and is what I like to call “The Rubber Band Effect” (for dramatic purposes of course). One early morning, as I was standing at the bus-stop, I noticed a rubber-band at my feet. A few inches away, another settled itself in a concrete-crack. That day, and for rest of my year in Pittsburgh, I lived amongst rubber bands: they announced their presence wherever I was. Before Kelli, I had no appreciation for desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I did have a sweet tooth. But I didn’t know my ganache from my wrong. Now, I notice desserts wherever I am. As testament, I was browsing Professor John Maeda’s website the other day (which is about technology and culture, not food) and in his somewhat cluttered archive page, the words “Simple Candy” just seemed to pop out at me as if they had sensed my digital presence, knew I would be interested, and whispered in hushed murmurs, “Ho there! Look here! Here I am; you are one of us.” Proof that now I too, see life in shades of dessert.

Oh and by the way, Professor Maeda’s post was about tasty Sugared Cranberries he had received as a gift from a friend. He reveled in their simple aesthetic (and therefore re-named them “simple candy”). I’ll cut to the chase and offer up the recipe:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar

Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.

Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 118 (0.0% from fat); FAT 0.0g (satfat 0.0g, monofat 0.0g, polyfat 0.0g); PROTEIN 0.1g; CARBOHYDRATE 30.4g; FIBER 0.9g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; IRON 0.1mg; SODIUM 0.0mg; CALCIUM 2mg;

Recipe Source: Cooking Light-December 2003

Thank you John Maeda!


Kelli says on April 13th, 2005 at 9:47 am:

I swear dessert just finds us. We can’t be held responsible :)

The cranberries look delicious. This may be the only time I still want to try a recipe after seeing the nutritional facts! Thanks Andrew and John Maeda.

Debbie says on April 13th, 2005 at 9:34 pm:

What else is there to do in Pittsburgh except notice rubber bands! I’ll keep this cool and refreshing dessert in mind for the upcoming hot summer days.

Lori says on April 18th, 2005 at 2:23 am:

On my first date with the person-who-would-become-my-husband, I made him try this rich and lovely chocolate sundae. Ten years later, he still blames me for turning on his sweet tooth — and says he wouldn’t have it any other way! :)

keiko says on April 20th, 2005 at 1:53 pm:

I love this picture, I think you can use it for Christmas cards…

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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