Sunday, December 27, 2015

UPDATE - Panocha Para La Natividad - UPDATE

27 Dec 2016 - Made  another batch.... every bit as good as the last one........ NOTE: Watch out with step No. 2, when you add the water to the golden brown sugar....

Note: I made a batch using the recipe above. Excellent panocha, it is just a bit thin so next time I will reduce the water by a couple of cups. The panocha is as good as I have ever tasted.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Historical New Mexican Hispanic Women - 1540 - 2015

From the book "Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History" written by Paul Horgan we learn that on February 23, 1540 don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado left Mexico City for New Mexico.

 "Three of the soldiers brought their wives. One of these men was a tailor. His wife served as a nurse and seamstress and rode the seven thousand miles with the expedition on a horse. The military company were served by close to a thousand Mexican Indians, many of whom were accompanied by their wives and children. With the main body of the army came the flocks of sheep - over five thousand rams, ewes and lambs. The pace and the distance of the daily marches of the army were determined by how steadily and at what pace those grazing little animals could move. The army brought five hundred head of cattle. Six hundred pack mules carried supplies and equipment. Five hundred and fifty two horses belonged to the soldiers."

New Mexican Hispanic women have been here since 1598. In all reality some were here with Francisco Coronado in 1540. They, like the rest of Coronados people,  did not stay, but they were here. The point being that they have been here doing what needed to be done since then. They have been here at every historic and non historic event. In the background of written history, but they were always there.

A few unusual Hispanic women and their more "famous" American, or otherwise, husbands;

Maria Josefa Jaramillo who was married and the third wife of mountain man and scout Christopher "Kit" Carson. Kit's first two wives were Indian women, one of whom dumped him as soon as she could after "marrying" him. He was known to have been interested in and lived  with another Mexican woman whose name was Antonia Luna at Taos who after having lived some time with Jim Beckworth told Kit that he did not measure up and went back to Jim.

Maria Ygnacia Jaramillo who was the sister of Maria Josefa mentioned above. Maria Josefa was living, sans marriage, with Charles Bent who was appointed the first governor of New Mexico by Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny. Charles met his end on January 19, 1847 at Taos by New Mexican patriots unhappy with the American occupation of the province. Charles Bent was  an out and out racist having riled against Mexicans in his writings, he hated Mexicans and everything they stood for. Not sure why he ended up with  Maria Ygnacia and having at least five children with her. Maybe out of necessity..... who really knows.

The Jaramillo women must not have cared that their husbands detested their people, they may have had low self esteem and this was a way of addressing it. There was an underlying reason for this, maybe financial, but we really don't know.

Charles Bent had an eleven year connection with Maria Ygnacia. She was free to marry and was he, but they never did. You can't tell me that they never married because of her. Do you think she would rather live with the stigma of being unmarried and giving birth to eight children, six of them baptized under her name of "padre no conicido" (father unknown)?

Maria Ygnacia was married and or associated with three different men, one of whom was Charles Bent. She may have been an easy mark for him, for one reason or another.

Antonia Luna who was "married" or lived with several famous and not so famous men. Some were Kit Carson, Jim Beckworth, Bill Williams and finally with William Tharp. Antonia must have been something else. I am not sure this is how she would have liked to be remembered and documented in history.

Maria Elvira Estella Bergere who's  mother was Eloisa Luna, Estella was a "halfbreed" New Mexican and American. Estella married Aldo Leopold, famous in forestry circles and the father of "American Wilderness".

Maria Teodora Lopez was married to fur trapper and mountain man Manuel LeFevre.

Maria Dolores LeFevre, another halfbreed New Mexican was the daughter of Maria Teodora Lopez and Manuel LeFevre was one of several wives of Richard Lacey (Uncle Dick) Wooton of Raton Pass fame.

Suffice it to say that the great majority of the New Mexican women went unnoticed by the folks who wrote the history. Probably good for them too, as history has been kind to them even if they remained unnoticed and unrecognized. We, their descendants, know better. We get bits and pieces of their lives here and there, but we must generalize.