what a nightmarish, difficult weekend this has been.
woke up on friday and opened my fb account as i usually do, and saw that there had just been an earthquake (then not quite certain how big it had been) and a huge tsunami (actually quite a few) in the north-east of Japan. i was devastated, and have been quasi stuck to my pc and the radio, watching live news streaming from Japan, as well as updates on fb, twitter and the bbc.
immediately, i wanted to get through to my brother and my sis-in-law, who live in Nagoya, about 480 km from Sendai, and my family in Kobe, but landlines as well as mobile lines were down. fortunately the internet was still alive, and i received e-mails that they were ok. they had felt it in Nagoya, but Kobe was spared. which was fortunate, because i was thrown back 16 years to when i heard the news about the Great Hanshin earthquake, and how impotent and useless i felt at the time. then, my grandfather lost his house, where both my brother and i grew up, and so many people lost their lives.
just this morning i spoke to my aunt, and she also said that the memories of that time were coming back. the scenes being sent out on tv and especially of the tsunami and its aftermath are so horrible.
ofcourse, this is a terrible disaster, but there have so many these past few years, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean, where 230000 people lost their lives, the Haiti earthquake, the Chili earthquake, and closer to home, in Italy as well, then Christchurch in New Zealand, in China, all over the world there is constant movement of the earth.
why, then, is this one so special to me... naturally, Japan is my motherland, and is close to my heart. whenever i hear of some disaster in the rest of the world, i try to make a donation, usually via Médecins sans Frontières.
it is frightening that we as humans constantly fighting amongst ourselves, still have not learned from our mistakes, and we probably never will... history just tells us so.
but at this time, seeing how people are rallying to help when there is a natural disaster, there is also this wonderment at our sense for survival and instinct for helping each other out.
i realize i cannot do much from the other side of the world, but i must do something, i don t want to feel useless. so i am baking minicupcakes to sell, and the money will be donated to MSF.
for the rest, i am trying to send out positive thoughts, and meanwhile i also thank all my friends and family here in Belgium and around the world for their kind words of support.
here s the recipe:
MINI CHOCOLATE BEETROOT CUPCAKES (about 114 pieces)
250 gr cooked and peeled beetroot (i use a vacu-pack)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
200 gr dark muscovado sugar
200 ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 gr selfraising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 gr pure cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
100 gr pure chocolate chips
1. preheat the oven to 175°C
2. prepare a few mini-muffin tins by lining them with cupcake papers
3. in a blender, puree the beetroot
4. add the eggs, one by one, and blend
5. add the oil, vanilla extract and the sugar, blend well
6. sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a large bowl
7. add the blended beetroot mixture and mix well
8. add the chocolate chips
9. spoon the mixture (i used 1 heaped teaspoon per cupcake) into the paper cups, and bake for about 15 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean