Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making the Pastis: Step 1

'Telethon 2010' takes place this weekend in France. As it does in the United States, the telethon raises money for research and treament of muscular dystrophy and other genetic neuromuscular diseases. France doesn't have Jerry Lewis, but what it does have is hundreds of little villages all over the country that pitch in and help raise money. Grealou, up on the causse, is hosting a dinner. Cajarc puts on card-playing and petanque tournaments. My village, Cadrieu, sells pastis and bread baked in old stone ovens. This evening we began the pastis making. By the way, this pastis is a pastry filled with sweetened fruit.
First, we gathered our ingredients: flour,a pinch of salt, eggs,a slurp of water and a soupcon of oil.

Then we measured and mixed....
We kneaded and kneaded and...
kneaded some more! At least 15 minutes worth of kneading. These 6 women (and me) worked like a well-oiled one kept track of the time, but they all knew just when to stop and 'sack' the dough! Even tho I understood very little of the lively conversation, measuring, mixing and kneading are part of  the universal language of cooks. I know we laughed, we gossiped, and we flung flour everywhere! Auguste stopped in with two bottles of home-made marc. Hopefully, I'll get a taste of that at Saturday's Telethon event.
We made 14 packages of dough in an hour. Tomorrow we'll make more for a total of 30. And then the hard work begins. The dough will be worked and stretched and pulled until it's thin enough to read through. It will be spread with sweetened fruit, and folded over, then layered again and again until there are multiple layers of pastry and fruit. The final product will be sold at Saturday's fete along with loaves of bread.

At the end of our evening together, I was sworn to secrecy about exact amounts of the ingredients and the process for making the pastis They laughingly told me they don't want the United States copying their fundraising idea. I told them no one in the States would work this hard to fundraise!.

1 comment:

  1. I love it...looks so fun! And you are right no one here would work that hard to fund raise, but what a joy to learn a secret French recipe and be a part of this!