blayflootee lace blocked colette sorbetto

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit01Meet the blayfootee lace blocked Colette Sorbetto. I’ll explain the title later. In a shocking turn of events, today’s story appears at the end rather than the beginning.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit02After my lace hazel, I still had scrap… what to do? I flipped through burdas and my japanese pattern books, but then thought…. wait! I already have the sorbetto top pattern pieces cut out since I’ve made it once – why go through extra work of tracing and transferring for a stash bushing project when the pattern is already ready to go? Sorbetto it was.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit03So I took some lace.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit04Added that famous sorbetto pleat.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit05And voila! Lace blocked! To be honest I was thinking of Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic because she has made many color/lace/print blocked projects. I don’t follow fashion trends and magazines and award shows and whatnot, I’m rather out of the loop. But I do read sewing blogs, and trends tend to filter through to sewers so I still catch on, just indirectly.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit06I burned the lace. Oops. Lesson learned. Either way, this isn’t going back to America – I just needed some new tops as Benin has destroyed all my t-shirts.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit07Scrap karma! Another project meant to be. Just look how they barely but perfectly fit into my fabric.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit09Sigh. It’s still raining. My kitchen roof leaks… But that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me are all the new visitors.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit10Like this guy.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit11And this. This.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit12Expletives, and I mean many expletives, were dropped when I saw this hand sized spider above my toilet. I’m grateful to have neighbors who don’t mind helping me with my “problems.”

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit13Bosco is no help. In fact, he’s rather a burden during rainy season because he decides that my floor rags are his new bed.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit14tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap  as usual.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit15The next morning… a treat! I miss sunrises and sunsets a lot because Ouidah is very flat. I’m not sure if I’ve ever spotted a hill here.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit16So my sunrises and sunsets are always blocked by some building. But I suppose a blocked sunrise is better than no sunrise. I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot outside my house.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit17In the morning I let Bosco out.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit18It’s rather calm. He sniffs (and pees) around and I just take deep breaths to start my day.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit21It’s only because I’m doing a photo shoot that I decide to play with him more so I can have some nice photos.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit22Dance dance.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit19Here’s the front. I used white bias tape as the facing which is why you can see a bit of it peeking out.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit20The side.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit43Can’t forget the back.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit23Now note the tree I’m standing next to.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit24And note the fruit as well.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit25It’s the blayflootee tree. Or perhaps bléflooti? Spelling is fluid for local languages in Benin so spellings can vary. In French this is arbre à pain. In English, this is the… the… the… ok say it out loud! “blayflootee” – think about it, maybe it’ll come to you. No? Breadfruit. Pronounced with a Beninese accent and finished with a vowel. This is one of the rare words where the local language has adopted the English translation rather than the French one. I wonder why? (Benin was a French colony, so many french words have been adopted into local language)

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit26It’s called breadfruit because this fruit is indeed very starchy. It’s related to the mulberry (!) but really has the texture of a potato. Which is why it is absolutely delicious when fried. And you see that large breadfruit in the upper right? It was just calling to me as I was doing my photo shoot, how could I not respond?

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit27I enlisted the help of my neighbor to cut the fruit down. The breadfruit tree is actually outside of our concession. Which means that when the fruit is ripe, it needs to be collected immediately because during the night (or even the day), when nobody is looking, your fruit will vanish… into the belly of someone else… or be sold at market and you’ll see no money… Breadfruit is a common street food here and usually costs about 25-50CFA a slice. That is 5-10 cents USD.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit28She accidently tore off the whole branch. Forgive me!! The breadfruit stem is strong.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit30Once inside the concession Bosco took a sniff.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit29She found a knife and detached the breadfruit, then disposed of the branch by throwing it over the wall.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit31It’s the size of my head!

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit32Isn’t it beautiful? I love the stained glass/mosaic/geometric texture it has.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit33But this beauty comes at a price – it is sticky. Like, soap was absolutely useless. I had to bring out the sponge with abrasive side to get this super glue off of me.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit34Later that night it began! First she peeled it.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit35Then she cut it in half.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit36Then I helped slice it into pretty crescent wedges.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit37Then we let it sit in some heavily salted water (mainly to give it one last bath before frying).

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit38Then she sweeps up the peelings. I think this is one of the subtlest cultural differences between Americans and Beninese that if not understood correctly, would drive one another crazy. For Americans, our culture says that everything goes into the trash can immediately. For Beninese, their culture says that everything goes on the ground and you sweep it up later. So when Americans see Beninese people throwing stuff on the ground, we think awful things about them and judge them for littering and being dirty and messy and what not. And when a Beninese person sees that an American rarely sweeps (here you sweep multiple times during a day) they think the American is very dirty and messy and disgusting for not sweeping to keep their house/area clean. In the morning the very first thing they do is sweep… who does that in America?? My first thing is to brush my teeth, make some breakfast, listen to some music… I do not start my day with sweeping!

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit39The frying starts. The volunteer before me left my neighbors her frying pan. Don’t you think that this is such a great example of cultures working together? A nonstick frying pan on a clay stove heated by coal. It’s so perfect I love it.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit40The saltwater mix becomes smaller and smaller as the strainer pile just grows and grows.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit41YUM. Done!

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit42I like to cut it into small pieces and throw them in a salad.

sorbettolaceblockbreadfruit44So there you go, a lace blocked sorbetto top with a bonus breadfruit cooking session!

Pattern: Colette 0003 Sorbetto
Fabric: secondhand sheets & lace

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