Parmesan Puff Pastry Crisps; Where do Spiders come from?

Parmesan Puff Pastry Crisps

Our house has evicted us.

Our garden has given us the boot.

I was feeling very sad about leaving earlier this summer.  I really like this house; I, occasionally, really like the gardens.

Not any more.  I'm cured of melancholia!

What happened, you ask?

Let's start with the garden: it's bare.  We didn't have a single red, green, purple or yellow plum this year.  Not one pear, on any of 6 trees.  No cherries.  I have seen 2 apples in our orchard and 1 peach.


There is also one walnut between our two trees. 

Oh me, oh my, what ever can I make with one peach and one walnut?  Any suggestions?

No hazelnuts, only two or three figs…

With mon mari lounging in hospital I didn't get my potager planted, but I did manage to get in six tomato plants…. Which, collectively, gave me 2 tomatoes.

I get the hint.

Just to make certain, the house had to get in on the fun.

My long-time readers may remember the embarrassing incident last year with the giant centipede, roll of toilet paper and me…in the loo…

It's common knowledge that the only thing that terrifies me more than giant centipedes is enormous spiders.

Last week, when we got home from our evening out, I saw a large centipede on the wall at the top of the stairs. It was in a rather inaccessible spot on the wall, and I had just decided that I was going to pluck up my courage and allow it to live out the night ie: be nice to mon mari and not make ask him to kill remove it until morning, when I glanced up. 

Watching me watch the centipede was a ginormous spider; the kind with a leg span larger than my hand span.

Obviously I was not going to be getting any sleep with THAT in the house. 

I screamed, then cowered in the corner while mon mari handily dispatched both critters.

Still shaking, I walked into the bedroom…. And there was another one!

What the h*** is going on?  Two giant spiders in one night? 

I, more politely, asked mon mari if he wouldn't just, please, do one more before he went to bed.

He, less politely, complied.

Ten minutes later, as I was getting into bed, (mon mari already snoring lightly) a huge centipede paraded across the wall.

I didn't push my luck.

I didn't sleep well, either.

I told the house that I got the hint…. We're leaving, already.

But the house wasn't finished with me yet!

Two mornings later, I rolled over in bed, opened my eyes and there, on the ceiling just above me was another spider; a little smaller than the other two but still a giant.

I was out of the bed and out of the room before I could blink.

I ran to get mon mari to take care of this newest incursion, but when we came back it was gone.

Never mind, I found him later…. When I made the bed.

He was snuggled up in the duvet.

I didn't sleep well that night either.

That was three.  Bad things come in three's, right?  So that should be the end of it.


Last night, as I was getting into bed, I glanced up and saw the biggest one yet, on the wall above the bed.

Mon mari has asked me to, please, quit looking for them.

As if not noticing this huge black thing creeping, racing, walking across a white wall at eye level would be possible…

So, my question: Where do they come from?

I'm not looking for either the evolutionary or the creationist answer.

I want to know where they are FROM!  How do they get IN?

It's not like they're tiny and crawling through the cracks.  They're huge! 

Do they have their own keys, and just come in through the back door when we're gone? 

Has word gotten out that my, now empty, closets are free real estate waiting to be colonized?

Is there a fast-talking spider in an 8-legged leisure suit selling time-shares to my shelves?

In the prior four years that we've lived here I've seen one, maybe two of these beasts each fall, but four in four days?  And it's not even fall yet!

Okay, okay, I get the hint.

I'm outa here!

But, before I go… Ever wonder what to do with those scraps of puff pastry left after making those cute little tarts?

Since we are only two, when I make Butternut Squash Pastries or tomato or feta or asparagus, for a starter I end up with half of a sheet of puff pastry.

Here's the solution:

Parmesan Crisps, prep

Parmesan Crisps

puff pastry sheet, roughly 10 X 6 (25 X 15cm)
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese I used the stuff in the can rather than fresh for this

Cut a rectangle of puff pastry or use scraps. Lightly drizzle 1 – 2 tsp olive oil over the pastry. Sprinkle 2 tbs of Parmesan evenly over the top. Make a mental note (or mark it) of where the middle of the pastry is. Starting at the short ends, roll the puff pastry to the middle until the two rolls meet. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until used. It should be chilled at least an hour and can be made 2 days ahead. Remove from fridge and slice 1/4" thick (.6cm). Lay on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 – 12 minutes, 400F (200C)  until pastry is golden and cheese is a bit darker. Remove and serve immediately or allow to cool and store in airtight container.

Parmesan Palmiers

Note:  You could also make them sweet: brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; serve for dessert with coffee.

 I have no idea how long they will keep…we ate them all!

24 thoughts on “Parmesan Puff Pastry Crisps; Where do Spiders come from?”

  1. Your stories crack me up everytime, you”re so funny. You really should be writing a book about all your funny adventures,I’d buy it at once! I’m sorry the spiders were not funny for you of course (secretly laughing behind my hand). It’s getting autumn, didn’t you know that spiders have licence to enter when autumn is starting…. they should have told you!

  2. They might have gotten flushed out of their comfy crevices during the process of packing… Those little Parmesan crisps look delectable. I am on a crisps restricted diet but love your beautiful photos.

  3. How I needed this one Katie – sorry it’s sort of at your expense with the spider thing. Lien’s right, they should have told you they’ve invited extra friends and family as they know you’ll be vacating the place soon ;))

  4. Wonderful writing, Katie – I second Lien’s suggestion that you compile them into a book about expat living – I’d be first in line to purchase a copy!

  5. Like several above, I really admire your ability to spin a good yarn out of everyday living — you do have a talent for writing.
    So, I haven’t kept up that much (at all) over the summer, but now I’m wondering if this means you’re down in the spectactular South by now?

  6. Oooooh how I missed you!!!!
    I would have pushed my luck for sure! Once I was in bed with my husband, not sleeping yet, and I heard a mosquito (he didn’t, he always has the hearphones on) and I had to turn the lights on, find the mosquito and smash it against the wall!!!
    Spiders are another story… I hate them! But wouldn’t fight against a giant one… my husband would!
    These little treats look wonderful to me! I like the sweet version more… too bad you ate them all already!

  7. It’s me again. Good lord!!!! I just saw the pictures of your new house… can say only one thing: you are an optimist!!! You’ve got tones of work there!!! How will you manage to cook meanwhile?
    It’s not that I don’t like the possibilities of the house and also the view is super… but, uf uf… I think that spiders might be even bigger here ;D

  8. You are so welcome. Graziana!
    You laugh, Lien… Just go ahead and laugh. I’ll find the head spider and send him to you!
    Lucy, I just hope they stay out of the packed boxes… I don’t need to take them with me! I should be on a crisp-restricted diet too, sigh….
    Tanna, glad to be of service… I’ll remember that next time~
    Zoomie, I’ll hold you to that…
    Poonam, it is that, and keeps well – before being baked, that is…
    Not until the 1st part of October, Betty, We leave here on the 2nd but are homeless for a week!
    Nuria, the extra glass of wine helped… And yes, we are optimists, and I don’t know where I’ll be cooking…maybe in the fireplace!
    Welcom back, I missed you, too ;-))

  9. Oh Katie
    I have goose bumps thinking of those creatures.
    I am OK about small spiders now I am grown up but big ones. Never. Actually my husband is not good either. usually a can of insect spray is used. Now a question I haven’t bought that Parmesan in a can for yonks Question Does it still smell like vomit?
    Those little pastries look delicious by the way. Vomit or not!!!

  10. I would not be able to sleep with those critters prowling around either! I love these, Parmesan and cinnamon two of my favorites. I would have to have both; savory with my meal and sweet ones for dessert!

  11. I was literally shuddering as I read you post! I don’t much like creepy-crawlies myself and if I bumped into one of those momma spiders like you did I think they’d hear my scream in the next town! Thank goodness for your mon mari!
    The parmesan crisps look wonderful though and got me over my shivering! 🙂

  12. I’d have eaten every last one of those too! Those look scrumptious! I’m soooo there with you about the darn spiders! They’re HUGE here too! And the centipedes, but it’s the spiders that give me the biggest willies because I have a totally irrational fear of them -I HATE them! I’d be outta that house too if I saw as many as you did in such a short time!!

  13. Lydia, I have hope – the area that we’re moving too grows prunes and tomatoes for all of France!… And nuts! (and Foie Gras)
    Gilli, actually, I can’t get the stuff in the can here…. But I can buy little bags of roughly grated stuff which is actually pretty good… I figured everyone would understand the reference to the green can, tho – rather than a freshly grated chunk!
    Pam, so…. I can’t send you ours???
    Reeni, I wonder if I could do a half & half?… Hmmmm
    Joey, I now walk into the bedroom all hunched over staring up… riduculous, but there have been 3 more… and there’s a huge centipede on the wall now, waiting for mon mari
    Joanna… NUTELLA!!! Why didn’t I think of that!!!!
    Michelle,I also have an irrational fear of them… stand and scream rather than brush them off… And I know about the spiders in Hawaii – I have an s-i-l and b-i-l living in Kona. That’s why I can’t live in the tropics!

  14. Good thing you’re moving out, because they’re moving in.
    I have the heebie jeebies just thinking about them above and in your bed. Berk!
    GREAT looking parmesan crisps. I probably would have eaten them all, too.

  15. That gave me shivers! No centipedes to be seen here yet (fortunately) but I have been seeing more spiders and earwigs. *shudder* I set the cats after the earwigs, then pitifully whine until my husband comes to kill the spider…like that wolf spider in the shower the other night. Eww Ewwww….good thing I hadn’t stepped in yet! Ever see those “silver fish”?? Probably just as bad as the centipedes.

  16. Loulou, yeah, going into the bedroom has been a very cautious affair for me lately… I kind of peak through the door first!
    Cymry, thank God we don’t have wold spiders! We had them in Minnesota. These have a large span but the bodies are … I won’t say small, but not huge and furry… Shudder!

  17. Oh, I’d forgotten the centipede episode but now I rememebr the Death Grip – ROTFLMAO!! I still don’t knwo how you survived… As for the spiders, this sounds a lot like South Africa where we had rough-plastered walls in our house and hence some gaps inj the wall/ceiling join that were not quite covered by the little bits of wood that served as cornicing. I would regularly see a these GIANT spiders crawling out of the ceilign and onto my bedroom wall – check them out:

    Needless to say, I would take my duvet and decamp to the guest room (where the walls wee smooth and the ceiling/wall seal was better!!) and spend the night there!
    Brrrrrr!!! On to more pleasant things – I am SO going to make these Parmesan crisps – thanks for the great and easy peasy idea 🙂

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