Pauline, rolling out the tortillas

This is Madame Pauline. She is a long time house-helper of MAF and other missionary families here in the Ivato area. When we first arrived in Mada, Pauline was our daily house-helper. Our firstborn grew up under her care and whenever she returns to our house to make tortillas they have a good chat. She is currently working in the MAF volunteer house and makes them tortillas on a regular basis.

Now that things are a bit more open in our house, since Irene is on mat leave and school holidays are coming to a close, we’ve got more time and space in the kitchen to use for making tortillas, and expanding the tortilla side of Distaff&Spindle. ๐Ÿ™‚
The tortillas are made with the bulk flour we order via friends in the bakery business, and the New Zealand salt-free real butter found at Shoprite (no margarine allowed!) It takes Pauline about 3 hours to make 40 tortillas. The gas stove is going almost that entire time, so you can imagine that to make these at her own home with a charcoal cooker would be more difficult.

cooking tortillas stove-top.

I’ve started advertising tortilla making days on the Distaff&Spindle’s Facebook page, where people can make orders.

Hoping that as the process becomes more clear it’ll work more smoothly. If you live in Tana and want to make orders please “Like” the Distaff&Spindle page (you can search for the page on Facebook). It is there that i am posting notices about sale items for here in Mada and for the sales to come in Manitoba. It also sends notices of new blog posts here. Dont miss out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tortillas are sold on tortilla making days in packages of 10 for 15,000Ar.

It’s true, it was cheaper before, but once my husband helped me (hopeless at figures!!) figure out the costs we realized that were barely breaking even. Now we can afford to buy the ingredients, the zip-lock bags for packaging, also taking into account the gas used in cooking, the use of the kitchen and Mme Pauline’s salary, with a little extra to put into the D&S fund to use for school costs, medical expenses, and to help Mme Pauline with her rice fields. She also is in need of dentures, as half her teeth are missing.

Pauline is also keen to use the “Bank” system, where she keeps some money from her salary with me, carefully documented, so that whenever she needs to access it in the future she can make a ‘withdrawal’. (Banks in Mada charge fees to have accounts)

Saving is better than borrowing. Slowly we can change the way people think about money, or? One can hope.


In the meantime, tortillas are available for order on the Distaff&Spindle Facebook page. Please “Like” the page to begin receiving updates and news of tortilla making days.

Also, please share your suggestions. I’m very open to any wisdom of how to better make this work for those we’re working with: both the producers and the purchasers.

flour tortillas: hand-made with only the best ingredients

3 Comments Add yours

  1. jocelynr says:

    Reblogged this on Madagascar Musings and commented:

    Been a busy day, and smelling tortillas cooking the whole while. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Rita says:

    Thanks for the pictures and information on what you’re doing! I got rather homesick for Madame Pauline and Mada reading this. Is that possible, having never really lived there?


    1. jocelynr says:

      i imagine it could be possible if youve been so closely linked to the people and places here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      thanks for the comment Rita!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s