Thursday, May 19, 2011

Piloncillo Molds



Today I created a chapter of my own in the history of piloncillo molds

and the early adventures of my parents.

As a cattle inspector working for the USDA in 1949, my young parents

lived in a village called Tecalitlan in Mexico.

For three weeks at a time, my father went up into the mountains of Mexico,

traveling completely by horseback,

with his partner Malaquias and a crew of riders, horses, and mules,

riding on narrow, rocky, treacherous trails.

The only food they had was what they could buy from

ranchers and farmers

when they stopped to vaccinate their cattle for hoof and mouth disease.

What was my mother doing during his absence?

Why learning to play canasta and learning to speak Spanish, wearing her hair in braids, and playing with the baby goat he had given her as a gift.

On one such trip, my father witnessed something that might have looked like this.



Sugar cane stalks were being pushed through a press of

wooden gears to crush the cane and release its juice.

The liquid sugar cane juice trickled slowly down a carved wooden trough to a container below.

There it was collected and cooked to be poured into

piloncillo molds to make delicious Mexican candy.



And so I began to weave my own piloncillo story,

for you see, these molds really did have a purpose,

long before they were turned into an item of home d├ęcor.

It is after all all about serendipity.

Driving home from Houston earlier this week, I turned

a 6 hour trip into 9 hours by stopping and exploring along the way.

I began in Wharton at an antique mall on the square where I spotted glass

insulators for 50 cents each.

I bought 9, including the dirt that came with them. 

Yes, I bought someone else’s dirt.


And so, these insulators will be used as glass liners

for the piloncillo mold I have,

an idea my daughter learned at a recent Market Days.

This mold sits on the copper countertop of my husband’s outdoor grill.

Those are the very same countertops that I had in my kitchen.
I saved them when we remodeled the kitchen.

Serendipity you see.

The next chapter…?

my father and Malaquias in the cantina, a knife, an angry army sergeant

and the bartender’s 45 pistol.


I am linking to:

Rosy Note’s Photo Friday

Vintage Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Show and Tell Friday
Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence


Pondside said...

I love those glimpses into another time and place - another world, really.

joanne said...

well this is very interesting indeed! and a clever use of insulators. You can't find those here for less than $10 each so you got a good deal girl!

Patty Marker said...

What a fascinating part of your history. What a wonderful find. How fortunate that it all came together for you so nicely. You are a master story teller and your pictures have such beautiful texture. I am your newest follower.

grace said...

what a great story! You always brighten my day! love u

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Why did you have to stop? This has left me very interested. I'm looking forward to the next installment of your story. Great molds too!!

The Green Pea said...

Thanks for the interesting story. I like the idea of using insulators.

Curtains in My Tree said...

wonderful educational story

i seen some of those last October in Atlanta at an outdoor fair

Pauls' Great Stuff had them they were selling like hot cakes on a cold day

Vanessa Coppa said...

What a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing it.

Unknown said...

Just beautiful!!
You are fortunate to have such a treasure.
Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

That is so cool... and someone else's dirt. lol
Okay. Promise me know.. you will finish the story about your father! I have to hear about this one.
Ladybug Creek

CHERI said...

I've never heard of these before. I do have a few insulators up in the attic that get no use. Maybe I should think up something unusual to do with them! I look forward to the rest of the story:)

Rita said...

Thank you for sharing a part of your history with us. I haven't heard of these before. Very interesting. Looking forward to hearing the rest! Have a great weekend.

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Rust: Vintage Inspired Design said...

What a great story Laura....very interesting! Love the molds....!!

Deb said...

great story Laura...can't wait to hear the next clip...

Tricia said...

Oh, I have an old mold like that too. I love it! That is such a good idea you had with the glass insulators. Did you link this up to my party? I don't recall seeing it.

~tricia :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

What a neat story about the molds- and wonderful that you have paired them with the glass insulators! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Thanks for sharing this at FNF~ hope you will come share again soon! :)

Debra@CommonGround said...

Your parents early years of marriage sounds like a wonderful novel. I so enjoy hearing about your family and heritage. This is a wonderful piece of history. Love how you're using it. Thanks for linking up, Laura. xoxo Debra

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