During the Depression, people were poor but they knew how to survive. People grew their
own vegetables. They raised their own vegetables by growing a big garden and drying their vegetables. People used to have calves, horses, pigs, and chickens. Milk, eggs, and meat were not sold at the stores. You could buy a candy bar or soda pop for a nickel. Some children didn’t have money so they would buy candy, pencils, and paper with eggs. Not even flour was bought at the stores. People would plant wheat, thresh it, and take it to San Luis, Colo- rado, and trade it for flour. They would have flour for all winter. They raised pigs, sheep, and cattle to have meat for the winter. They made jerky from sheep and cattle meat. They would butcher cattle and pigs in the fall when it was cold and they would hang the meat in a cold shed. The butchering of a pig “La Matanza” or beef and sheep was a big day. All the neighbors and friends would come to help. The men would butcher whatever animal and the women would cook.
Posole was made from white corn mixed in lime (calle) over night. White corn was cooked with lime and was left over night. Next day it was washed real good many times until all the lime was removed and then put to dry. You would have posole for a long time. They would grind the white corn then put it through a screen until it was fine flour and make “Chaqueque” from it. It was real good. The blue corn was made the same way from Atole. They made chaqueque from corn and that was their cereal. They would grind it and make it into chaqueque. They dried quelites (spinach), made chesos, and grew their own beans. Some grew potatoes. People here would trade pumpkins and a sheep for fruit.
Pinon picking was a big thing here. Families would camp up on the forests to pick pinon. They would take food and bedding for a week. They would pick 100 pounds or more, sell it, and make some spending money. It was a lot of fun to gather around the fire at night to
roast pinon, tell jokes, and pray. Some families would pick as much as 500 pounds to sell to have money. Everything was done in a neighborly way. Pinon picking was hard work but a lot of fun. We would go to La Lama. Somebody would take our camp up to the La Lama and we would stay there a week. We would take plenty of food and water. When we got back we had 100 pounds of pinon. At night we would tell witch stories and riddles and sing and pray.
Here are some recipes for food that has been made over the years in Questa.
People would find a flat or sort of oval rock and wash it real good. They would get jerky
(buffalo, lamb, or beef) and hit it with a long rock until it was soft. Then they would make it into stew or make chile, or fry potatoes with it.
Sopa de Pan 1 loaf of bread 1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup nut meats 1/2 t nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup grated cheese 1 t vanilla
1 T butter
Toast bread in the oven until light brown. Melt sugar and add water and butter. Break bread into small pieces. Mix all ingredients. Pour into baking pan and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
4 cups milk
1/2 t nutmeg
2 T flour or corn meal 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Heat milk. Make a paste of the flour and egg yolk with cold water and stir into hot milk. When mixture begins to boil, add sugar and a little nutmeg. Cook until it starts to thicken, stirring all the time. Turn heat off and top with beaten egg whites. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place in oven to brown. Cool and serve.
2 cups lard
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 T baking powder 2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 T anise
6 cups flour
Mix lard, sugar, eggs, and milk. Add baking powder, vanilla, and anise. Add flour. You can use a cookie press or if you don’t that something that fancy, use a glass to cut the cookies. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.
Biscochitos 2 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 pound lard
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise seed 2 eggs
1/4 cup water
Cream the lard by hand thoroughly; add sugar and anise seed. Beat eggs and add to lard mixture. Blend until fluffy. Sift flour with baking powder and salt; add to first mixture. Add water and knead until well mixed. Roll 1/2 inch thick and cut into fancy shapes. Roll top of each cookie in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon (1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar). Bake in a moderate oven until slightly brown.
2 cups panocha flour
1 cup whole wheat or regular flour 6 cups boiling water
2 T butter
2 cups sugar plus 1 cup boiling water to add when sugar is caramelized.
Wash the wheat good and put in a gunny sack and dry. Take to the mill to grind it and sift it. Mix flour and panocha flour well. Then add 3 cups boiling water. Stir and set aside and cover. Let stand for 15 minutes, then add the rest of the boiling water (3 cups). Caramel- ize the sugar in a smaller skillet or pan. Stir constantly. Do not burn. Add 1 cup boiling water when the sugar is dissolved and add to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add butter and
stir again. Cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. Stir once. Mixture will thicken and a deep brown color when done. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or canned milk. Makes about 8 large servings.
Empanaditas de Carne 1
This delicious recipe is very special for the Christmas season.
8 lbs meat (pork) 1 jar mince meat 1 teaspoon brandy
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups brown sugar 1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup pinon (shelled)
Mix everything except brandy and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until done. Take out. After it cools add the brandy and let stand over night. The following day make your dough like for pies and make little balls (the size of a half-dollar). Make a lot of balls and cover them. Cover all the dough with a wet dish rag and start making the empanaditas. Roll them small and add your meat. Be sure you twist the dough good so the meat won’t come out. Warm the oil while you are making the empanaditas. Cover them while the oil warms and start frying. A dutch oven is better to fry them.
Empanaditos de Carne 2
Here is one of my favorites for Christmas time.
1 jar mince meat
2 pounds cooked pork 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pinon or nuts 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix and cook in oven until the mix is firm. Let stand over night. The next day add 1/4 cup brandy. Make dough like for prune pie. Make dough into little balls. Cover with wet
towel and start making the empanaditos. Fry in hot oil.