GALLEGOS HOUSE ACTIVITIES
yellow bar soap
cold well water
marketing gettinga supplies)
keeping well clean
(to be determined)
March 17, 1982
* ..,.. -~d 'a~ -~
GALLEGOS ACTIVITIES, cont.
cooking Sra. Gallegos makes a small fire of twigs, which she will share
with a neighbor. She cooks a stew of cracked hominy with beans
and squash, seasoned with peppers, garlic and onion. In it she
will put whatever protein she has--fish, shellfish, game, or
the salted fish or beef ration her husband receives. For bread
she makes ashcakes out of cornmeal softened with boiling water,
wrapped in shucks, and baked in the ashes of the fire. She sends
her husband's midday meal to him by one of the children, who will
wait to bring back the clay pot and wooden spoon. On Sundays
and feast days she tries to have something special for the family--
a bit of hard brown sugar, an omelet, or a chicken. When the
meal is finished she cleans up, scouring the pots inside with sand.
clothing Sra. Gallegos patches the family's clothes, or makes over the
adults' wornout garments into smaller versions for the children.
She seldom has a new piece of cloth to use, as cloth is an impor-
tant form of currency and is usually traded for something else.
She does have her own needle and scissors, however, which she
guards out of reach of the children.
seasonal When the ingredients are available, Sra. Gallegos makes soap or
candles, exchanging what the family does not need, for other
things. From time to time she makes whitewash and paints her
home inside and out. She knows how to make her own sleeping
mats, baskets and bags, but she generally buys her pottery, which
takes lot of firewood to make. If Sr. Gallegos is out of town,
she may dig a new trash pit with a borrowed shovel.
evening The evening meal is a light one which may not involve building
a fire. The family will have fruit, with bread, cheese and wine
if they can get them. Except on special feast days, Sra. Gallegos
and the children go to bed soon after dark. Sr. Gallegos spends
the evening with friends at his favorite tavern.
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The clothes have been
draws fresh water and
The clean clothes are
soaking overnight in
washes them, using a
hung on the fence or
a wooden trough. Sh
soft homemade soap.
bushes to dry.
Sra. Gallegos dries her surplus vegetables, fruits and herbs,
and strings them up inside her house, except for the ears of co
which are stored in a corncrib set up off the ground. She soak.
dried corn overnight with wood ash to make hominy. After drain
the corn, she cracks it in a wooden mortar and pestle, for homii
If she wants a corn meal, she pounds the corn further. The hom:
and the cornmeal are stored in clay pots for later use. If
the family has livestock, Sra. Gallegos may have a cow to milk
and cheeses to make. Or she may prepare sausage, hams and bacoi
Fish and game are preserved by smoking. Vinegar is made from
wine that has gone sour.
of Sra. Gallegos' time has been spent gathering
distance from town, bringing it in on her back.
out to collect nuts, berries and shellfish.
Sra. Gallegos goes to the Indian market, where she barters for
tobacco (she rolls the cigars for herself and her husband),
dried turkey, skins, pelts, cassina, and fresh game. She pays
with some cloth or beads or a knife obtained at the royal ware-
house against her husband's account, or earned from another
member of the garrison. Each family has some kind of secondary
trade, which may be running a tavern, cobbling shoes, weaving
nets, baking bread, or doing laundry. When her husband is away,
she carries on the trade alone.
Today Sr. Gallegos, a soldier, is on 24-hour guard duty at the
fort. If there is someone at home to watch the children, Sra.
Gallegos has gone to Mass at first light. Afterward she serves
the family a breakfast of leftover ashcakes and cassina tea,
heated on the carefully saved coals of yesterday's fire. On a
feast day the breakfast might be wheat bread and hot chocolate.
Sra. Gallegos rolls up the sleeping mats, airs the blankets,
and sweeps and dusts her house. She also sweeps the yard, raki
the dirt into patterns. The yard is the main living area in
Sra. Gallegos does her gardening before the heat of the day.,
According to season, she plants, hoes, picks off insects
(Purple Martin homes made of gourds give her some help in insec
control), waters, or gathers produce. She keeps a noisemaking
rattle or clapper handy to scare off birds. Sometimes she has
repair the fence around her garden to keep out the livestock.