Two more sleeps...



Feliz Navidad and Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

It’s been fantastic, frantic, beyond busy. Hundreds of happy eaters have passed through the doors of At Maria’s and left with full tums, copies of Tapas At Maria’s and delicious Spanish treats for the festive period.


M: Last night’s Tapas evening was full of lovely people. Thank very much. You all are fabulous! And now? Now it is time for our own Christmas. The team here at Picton – they have worked so hard, I tell you.


Gracias, y Feliz Navidad! Mx

H: So, Maria, turkey for Christmas day, or something with a little more Spanish flavor?


M: Ah, haha! I am with my family in Aberystwyth, so it will be delicious.


H: But what would you have if you were home, in Spain, on Christmas day?


M: Well, now, of course, they have turkey these days. But when I was a girl, growing up in Alberique, Christmas Eve night, well that is quite an important time. We have Con Pelotas dulce y salada, which is two different types of meatball, one is with pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, almonds and the other, you use the same ingredients but add sugar. Dulce means sweet …


H: No! Sugar in meat? That sounds…


M: Yes! Yes, I know, sugar – but it is delicious, I promise you. Then you cook both types of Pelota – meatball – in the Puchero.


And the Puchero, it is like a stew with chicken, pork, some nice beef, and with saffron and chickpeas and potatoes, all cooked in a stock which we then use for soup. That will be used as a first course - the soup.


The next course will be all the meat and the chickpeas and potatoes from the Puchero on a big plate in the centre of the table to help yourself, to share.


Then for pudding on Christmas Day there will Brazo de Gilano which we make in the restaurant here. It is like a sweet roll but inside you make a nice cream and then cover with meringue its lovely we call it celebration cake.


H: That sounds like a meringue roulade.


M: Yes, just like that. Then they do a tart with almonds Tarta Del Almendro. That is another pudding and then follow with the Tarron. Tarron, it is like nougat made with almonds. And we finish with glace fruit!




Have wonderful time, see you in the new year. M and H x

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Words/photographs/illustrations© 2019 Helen  Lewis