This blog updates at least weekly on any of the days below with the topics as follows:
On a Monday-Maniac Mondays = All Things that are All Things! Generally thoughts, ideas or tools we think can be useful to the personal or professional life.
On a Thursday-Tumultuous Thursdays = All Things Metaphysical
On a Friday-Funtastic Fridays = All Things Fun! (cartoons, stories about the Purple Elephant and the Little mouse...)
Studious Saturdays = All Things about the craft of fiction writing. Also we will give you little snippets about how our fantasy fiction novel in progress is going. Sometimes this can be told as a cartoon. We will be doing nanowrimo this year as well.

Also our Advent calendar will be happening this year as usual! Look for an interesting and new format!

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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010:Maria's Pastelles!

One of Maria's lovely and delicious pastelles. You can like Maria's Pastelles on Facebook by clicking here.

As promised during the Advent calendar this year in between The Christmas Adventures of The Purple Elephant and the Little Mouse we will be breaking for a treat or two or well sometimes three! :) So keeping to our promise today the Purple Elephant minus the little mouse talks about a recent visit to a friend of the Production House...Maria! The visit was to hear all about her lovely and delicious pastelles. Why minus the little mouse? see...the Purple Elephant had to explain to the little mouse at length about the stigma society continues to have about little mice and their presence near terms of the health of humans etc. But the little mouse argued he thought such a stigma was cleared up by now...he knew Mickey Mouse did little for mice everywhere in this regard but of recently there was Ratatouille and in particular the Tale of Despereaux would no doubt have done wonders for removing this stigma! But the Purple Elephant said no...despite there being many clean, well behaved, disease free mice like the little mouse humans still didn't like them near their food. And so it it was...and so the Purple Elephant journeyed off on his own to interview Maria about her lovely and delicious pastelles and here is how it all unfolded!

The beautiful Maria of pastelles fame!

The Purple Elephant did his own version of Q&A on Maria and so from here on in we refer to the Purple Elephant as PE and Maria as well Maria! Also writing in brackets () under Maria's answers are things the Purple Elehant jotted in for explanation or just his thoughts:

PE: So when was the first time you made pastelles?

Maria:I've been cooking with my mother and grandmother since I was allowed to use a knife at age 6...pastelle making is a tradition in our family...we made pastelles at our home and my grandmother's home every November and December. My first memory of making pastelles was probably around age 6. When I moved to my own home in 1995 we moved the pastelle making to my home. The entire family would come over and help to make the two household's pastelles for the season.

PE:And did they come out perfect then or is the product you have today...tried, tested and honed over the years?

My grandmother's and mother's pastelles were always perfect...the recipe has been handed down and tweaked by myself but I've never had a bad pastelle making experience.

When did you first realise you had something here that was was it you just knew it from your own taste and smell of it...or was it from the response you got from friends and relatives on their tasting it? And when you realised your pastelles were a hit what was your first reaction to this? Or do you remember say the first Christmas when you realised perhaps..."Hmmm...Maria you can really make a mean pastelle girl! :)"

Maria:Friends came to our home our first Christmas in 1995 (in our own house i.e. my husband's and I). And I'd have to send pastelles home with them(as they liked them so much). I also took my pastelles to my husband's family in New York in 1995 and they loved them...they all agreed they were the best they had ever had. They shared them with others there...who said the same. I love family love my pastelles...and if I can say so...they are pretty darn good. I love to cook and feeding people makes me happy so I was so happy that people enjoyed the pastelles. We make pastelles maybe twice a year when the supply runs low...not just for Christmas.

PE: Do you have a secret ingredient?

Maria: It wouldn't be secret anymore if I told you! I believe in using Promasa cornmeal, good fresh seasoning, prime meat (the Purple Elephant does not eat meat and so for that there is soya) and a lot of love! (that the Purple Elephant can handle!)

PE: OK...OK...but then is there one thing that makes your pastelles special...that would make them bear your signature? For example the way you wrap them?

I've been told by restaurant owners , chefs and family members that my corn is absolutely superb...the texture and flavour is unique and amazing! My husband is the wrapper here...he does a great job of folding them and sealing them.

PE: What was the thing that finally inspired you to take your pastelle making to the next level i.e. move from making it for family and friends into a made to order business-Maria's Pastelles?

Maria: My dream is to own and operate my own restaurant/diner. I have been told so many times that I should market my best! I decided to get into the business of selling my pastelles because I knew we could make a superior product at a very good price and to start building my experience toward my dream. I wanted to share a good thing with others who don't have the time to make them also.

PE: And is Maria's Pastelles just pastelles or do you bake other holiday treats for order? Or can you see yourself doing so in the future?

Maria: Right now I'm just doing the pastelles but I hope to add to my products in the very near future.

PE: Do you have any special kinks in making your one particular place where you get your ingredients...or like their must always be this way or that?

Maria: It's a very exact process for making them and we never deviate from that. Locally grown pimentos are a necessary ingredient...they make a huge difference. And they must be wrapped in banana leaves...the flavour that comes from the leaf and the moisture it keeps in...very necessary.

And before I leave you Maria...other than pastelle making what makes the Christmas holidays or Advent special for you?

Maria: Christmas has always been for us a time for family and enjoying each other. My family business never closed for any period of time other than became a time for us to be together and enjoy the holidays...the food, the decorations, the gifts and just being together. We are also Roman Catholic so for us...the celebration of the birth of Jesus is extremely important to us...reminds us of new beginnings and the importance of the family.

And then the Purple Elephant thanked Maria for giving him such a detailed Q&A session on the thoughts behind the making of her tasty treats! He explained to her about how sad he was to have had to leave behind the little mouse and she was very empathetic about it but explained about how it was with the regulatory bodies and all of that!

The Purple Elephant then tasted a bit of her soya pastelle and trumpeted for they were that good! And they he wished Maria the best of sales for the rest of the year and for many years to come. And again trumpeted as he then proceeded to sing this parang tune by way of trumpets and wished her and her family and friends a Merry Christmas and Bright and Prosperous New Year from all at the Production House but in particular on behalf of the little mouse!

If you need to find out how you can order Maria's tasty pastelles go to her Facebook page and be sure to order before Wed 15 Dec 2010 if you need them for Christmas this year!

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