Food, Lace and Other Ramblings

In Barcelona, I used to eat palmeras at least 3 times a week, but now, here in upstate NY, palmeras are scarce and muffins abundant. It was time to make my own, so I bought some puff pastry and gave it a try. I sprinkled lots of sugar on the counter, used one thawed sheet, sprinkled more sugar on top. Then the two opposite ends of the dough were rolled toward the middle, (they should be really folded) and baked for 12-15 15-20 minutes at 350F 400F. It really depends on your stove.

Voilà, out of the oven came nice palmeritas de hojaldre and along with my cafecito listening to Spanish music it created a mini vacation for me. It’s also a perfect treat to impress impromptu guests. Here’s a video in Spanish about how to make them, with easy to follow directions even if you don’t speak the language.

What else? I mindlessly “meditated” a few more rounds on the red jersey fabric. I might make one of my Greta hats with it.

Red Stitching

Red Stitching

I’m always fascinated by lace and lace like things. There’s a little store in my town, which has a never-ending supply in all sizes and conditions. Maybe that’s why I don’t have that much interest in making some myself. Lace making is very precise and doesn’t encourage “happy accidents” with creative outcomes. More likely, I’ll end up entangled in dozens of bobbins and fine thread, rather than creating something innovative and new. The truth is this: patience is not one of my virtues.

But tatting seems different. With this technique the lace is produced by a series of knots and loops. I’ve been wanting to experiment for a while and when my friend suschna gave it a try, I was inspired. Here’s an example of tatted lace, obviously not done by me.

Tattered Lace

Tatting seems more flexible than bobbin lace and I’m hoping to come up with a free style version. There was no tatting needle or shuttle or the proper yarn in the house, but a tapestry needle and left over yarn were enough to at least try out the knots:

Tatting Attempts
It’s technically not proper tatting, but reminds me of a cross between macrame and sewing. My understanding is that the knot is not quite correct, it’s just a half hitch knot and not turned. But it works up fast and I’m excited.

This is is my first humble attempt:

Tatting Explorations

What else?

Just finished reading “The Help”, a novel by Kathryn Stockett, recommended by one of you, and found it fascinating. Can’t wait for my daughter to enter her teen years to share it with her.

My longing for palmeritas was probably triggered when I saw the movie “Biutiful” with Javier Bardem, set in Barcelona. In my experience Barcelona is beautiful, but I know that Barcelona has its dark side, which is what this movie shows; a side full of violence, poverty and despair, in which beauty is scarce and sadness abundant. It’s the story about a father, a small scale criminal dying of cancer while trying to take care of his children in a world of immigration problems, Chinese labor and drugs. The movie is difficult to watch and not for the faint at heart, but it’s incredibly well acted and very thought provoking.

Have you seen an unusual movie lately, which you can recommend?

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24 Responses to “Food, Lace and Other Ramblings”

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  1. Heljä says:

    Greetings from sunny Ireland. I started to follow your blog sometime ago, but this is the first time I'm commenting.
    The reason for my comment now is that, your "meditating" jersey fabric did catch my eye and the very first thought was that it is like a flag of Japan on revise colors (white circle on red). Just felt that I need to tell this to you today…

    (I leave my blog info here, even it is in Finnish…)

    Take care and thank you for your wonderful blog and inspiration.

  2. Maite - vitoma says:

    Estupendos tus trabajos, palmeritas incluidas, tienen una pinta buenísima.

  3. Vicki K. says:

    That red jersey looks so inviting – I love the concentric pattern. I have been trading my sewing needle for a crochet hook lately – and tried a crocheted covered smooth stone. These may be addicting as they are quick to make and tactually and visually appealing.

    Seems like a long while since I've seen a good movie but I joined in a discussion about Tess of the D'urbervilles. The consensus seemed to be that the 2008 version was most favored. Do you know that story?

  4. Conny's Cottage says:


    that is fantasitk.

    thank you for show that….

    greatinks send you Conny

  5. Cyd says:

    I watched I am Love with Tilda Swinton a couple weeks ago and it is still on my mind. She learned how to speak Italian for the film, which is amazing in itself and it is restrained and sad and visually arresting. Quite beautiful.

  6. PEACHES says:

    Holy cats, I have a whole bag full of tatting supplies I inherited from a third cousin or something….I have never attempted to make use of them until this moment and now it's an overwhelming urge. Ooooo boy, you put the spark in me!

  7. Lucy in the Sky says:

    Witzig, wie der Mangel an den "richtigen" Materialien so eine gute Idee hervorbringt. Aus Wolle gefällt mir die Spitze richtig gut – irgendwie denke ich da an einen ganzen Rock aus Wollspitze mit einem Futter in Kontrastfarbe (dauert wahrscheinlich Jahre, auch mit deiner "schnellen" Methode).

  8. Juliann says:

    Sorry no movie suggestions, but love the palmeras. I ate them nearly every day at the cafe across from my school when studying in Valencia. Puff pastry is immediately added to my grocery list for this weekend. Can't wait to make some. (and I did find a knitting pattern for the rectangle shrug, I'm starting that this weekend too.)

  9. Zsófi says:

    That's great!
    I blogged it out!

  10. MissKoolAid says:

    Around here, we can easily find palmeras at any grocery store but I'm sure they are nowhere near as good as the ones from Barcelona. I will have to try that recipe.

  11. Jannette says:

    The palmeras look lovely! (And I like the sound of the word too…)

    I am watching 'I've loved you so long' (originally Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) with Kirstin Scott Thomas (I usually take 2 or even 3 evenings to watch a film..), and am liking it. 'In Bruges' I liked as well. And 'The red balloon', also a French film, this one from the '50s – this was a yearly treat the week before the summer holidays started when I was in primary school; I loved it then, I still love it now..

  12. Charissa says:

    I like your tatting experiment! The way it turned out looks a bit like crochet (but prettier, in my opinion).

    Do you happen to have any good sources for learning macrame? My boss wants to learn!

    G and I watched the documentary "Babies" last night. I really enjoyed it. There's not much plot to speak of, but it's a beautifully shot and quietly observant film. The details of life they capture are priceless! You can get it on the Netflix "watch instantly" feature.

  13. mayaluna says:

    Ohh, I want to come over for some of your palmeras. I might try them with the kids after dinner. I think we have puff pastry hiding in the freezer somewhere. I saw Babies last week, too. Loving the instant feature on Netflix. Not exactly a movie, but Downton Abbey (masterpiece theater) was the highlight of last week. I think you'd love the costumes as well as the depth of character development. xo

  14. suschna says:

    Yeah! Free tatting, that's it.
    Ich bin immer so froh, wenn ich nicht ganz allein an etwas herumbastle. Hier kommt schon mal ein Link zu dem einzigen "experimentellen" Tatter, den ich gefunden habe:
    Wird dir gefallen. Ansonsten ist das bisher doch alles sehr konventionell, was in dem Bereich gemacht wird.
    Nun habe ich auch Lust, meinen nächsten Post dazu zu veröffentlichen – ansonsten denke ich immer, interessiert sowieso kaum jemanden.
    Davon abgesehen kann ich mir die Stickerei als Mütze sehr gut vorstellen, sehr schön!

  15. rooni says:

    Downton Abbey was fantastic, so I second that recommendation.

    (BTW, all of these movies are on Netflix instant streaming…)

    My husband and I just watched Possession, a 2002 film with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. It's a movie featuring poets, academia and romance. Good stuff.

    Stone of Destiny was a good movie based on true events in 1950 Scotland.

    Oh, and if you haven't seen "Exit through the Gift Shop" I think you might like it! It's about street artists, focusing primarily on Banksy, and there are a lot of conspiracy theories that came after the movie was released, which just adds to the intrigue. =)


  16. Whitney says:

    LOVE your tatting experiment, Kathrin! I may have to try it myself for that special addition to my almost finished (really!) knitted bag :o)

  17. Katie Bee says:

    I watched, not too long ago, a series of short films called "Love and Distrust." It had a limited release, so I don't know how widely available it is, but if you're up for something different and not searching for a happy ending all the time, it's really thought provoking.

    Also, your "tatting" looks lovely. That yellow-gold yarn is beautiful.

  18. Pamela says:

    My Mister and I just watched Phoebe In Wonderland and it was totally amazing. There's a little Fanning girl who is the star, and she does a far better performance than is recognized with an Oscar.

  19. Bo says:

    wow this looks lovely
    any links with how-to, please

  20. annekata says:

    Thanks so much for all you great tips! If you're interested in giving tatting a try, here's a link to totusmel's instructive youtube video:

  21. OneCraftyFox says:

    So many wonderful finds!! I recently saw a foreign film called "Im Juli"… In July. It's German, it's adorable, and if you can find it with subtitles, I highly recommend it :)

  22. Olivia says:

    Yesterday I made the palmeritas over here in Amsterdam. They turned out really nice, not as great as yours, the sugar burned a bit on some of the edges. But they still are really yummy. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  23. Olivia says:

    Oh.. and have you already seen As it is in Heaven? I liked it a lot.

  24. Beth says:

    I really love your tatting. It's so beautiful!

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