Well - went from busy to completely insane in the blink of an eye around here.
Totally at random this week.
The elderly lady's gown of grey figured silk, lavishly embellished with Valenciennes to match her lace cap ...
Based on stuff from Wikipedia ...
Valenciennes lace is a type of bobbin lace which originated in Valenciennes, a township in the Nord département (something like a county) of France, and flourished from about 1705 to 1780.
Bobbin lace is made on a pillow that has a pattern picked out with pins, and the thread is wound around a set of bobbins (wood, bone or ivory traditionally). The lace is made by braiding the thread into patterns around the pins on the pillow. You can make a single lace piece like a doily or the pillow can be on an axle that turns, allowing you to make a long strand of lace. (I had a friend who did this. I tatted instead - it was more portable.)
Valenciennes lace is made on a lace pillow in one piece, with the réseau (the net-like ground) being made at the same time as the toilé (the pattern). There is more stuff about exactly what differentiates Valenciennes lace from other forms of bobbin lace on Wikipedia.
Oh cool! If you are interested in lace at all this is really neat ... http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38973/38973-h/38973-h.htm
|Real Valenciennes - from that lace book I linked|
She was just wondering whether she could possibly fit in one of the delicious-looking mille-feuilles on an nearby dish ...
mille-feuilles \mēl-ˈfwē, mēl-ˈfœ-ē\
: a dish composed of puff pastry layered with a filling (as salmon or cream)
Origin: French, from mille feuilles a thousand leaves First Known Use: 1895
Since we are talking desert here, I am gonna go out on a limb and suggest that salmon was not in fact the filling we are talking about here.
Also known as Napoleon pastry -
here is a recipe - http://www.ricardocuisine.com/recipes/3142-mille-feuille-