Photos from our amazing Candlelight Dinner in the Historic Presidio Chapel are here! the beauty of the Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park during this special event on the evening of April 24, 2015 knocked the socks off of everyone in attendance.
You can see all the photos from that beautiful night, courtesy of Anna J. Photography, on our Flickr page here. For more about the Candlelight dinner, look for the article in the upcoming summer issue of La Campana.
And, let’s not forget Rancho Roundup! On the evening of April 25, 2015 the Presidio Northwest corner came alive with great bands, food and drink.
See all the photos by Anna J Photography from this well-crafted bash on our Flickr page here.
On Sunday July 12, Reina del Mar Parlor No. 126, Native Daughters of the Golden West, held their annual Pre-Fiesta Tea to honor descendants of Early California Families and the Directors of Old Spanish Days. This annual event held at Casa de la Guerra, is steeped in tradition. It includes a program full of music and dance, which is followed by a tea service that highlights several dishes from the Spanish and Mexican periods in California, made by parlor members. In addition to tea and tea sandwiches, the historical delicacies include panecito (anise-flavored diced pastry dough), penuche and sweet empanaditas.
Monica Orozco helped me make fig empanaditas for our first tea as new members of the parlor. I found this recipe in an excellent cookbook by early California descendant Jacqueline Higuera McMahan titled California Rancho Cooking. You can find a copy here.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (we added an extra half teaspoon, yum!)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar to sour (do this in advance!)
2 Tablespoons flour, mixed with 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups dried mission figs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup minced walnuts (we used slightly under this, so as not o overwhelm the figs, and it was fine)
To prepare the dough:
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until creamy. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine with a spoon. Pour in the soured milk and stir. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture. It will be soft, that’s ok! Flatten and wrap, chill for two hours.
To prepare the fig filling:
Grind sugar and figs in a food processor. Simmer figs and sugar on the stove with water, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter for ten minutes, or until juicy and slightly thickened. Cool the mixture (we used an ice bath to speed it up) and add walnuts.
The fig mixture goes onto the stove. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Cooking the fig mixture. Photo by Monica Orozco.
Mixing in the walnuts. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Prepare the empanaditas (this is where the magic happens):
Roll out half the dough at a time, keeping the other half chilled. Sprinkle your rolling surface with the flour/sugar mixture before rolling to help keep it from sticking (We weren’t very accurate with the flour/sugar mixture. You will likely need to add more as you work, so we just kept grabbing a bit from each jar). We found this dough to be more delicate than pie dough, so be gentle!
Rolling out the dough. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Cutting the circles. Photo by Monica Orozco.
Cut out 3” circles (we happened to have a glass with a mouth exactly 3″ diam.). Place a bit of filling (as much as you think the dough can cover) on half of each circle and fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges with a fork to seal. Press holes on the top with the tines of a fork. Bake until golden around the edges, about 15 minutes.
Adding the filling. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Ready to go in the oven. Photo by Anne Petersen.
All done! Photo by Anne Petersen.
The recipe should make 14 -16 empanaditas, but we made almost twice as much with each of the two batches we made.
Enjoy! We found that making a multi-step recipe like this is exponentially better with help from a friend and some good music, but you can make them any way you like!
The volunteers who contributed to the tea produced a feast, and our empanaditas, if we do say so, were among the first treats to go. Here are some bonus shots of the beautiful layout, and a of the amazing Alexandra Freres, Spirit of Fiesta 2015, performing.
A feast awaits. Photo by Monica Orozco.
The Spirit of Fiesta wows that audience. Photo by Monica Orozco.
Hardwick shared with the audience his early experience an an archivist at Mission La Purisima and his continuing interest in the Mission, now a State Historic Park, near Lompoc, CA. Hardwick’s historical account of the site is the culmination of his life-long commitment to the study and interpretation of Mission La Purisima.
After Hardwick’s lecture, the audience of friends, colleagues and the interested public, joined Hardwick for an outdoor reception, during which SBTHP staff presented him with a congratulatory cake to celebrate the book launch.
About the Book:
In two centuries, La Purísima Concepción went from a fledgling frontier mission to a renowned California State Historic Park. Once home to many Spanish soldiers, settlers and hundreds of Chumash Indians, La Purísima held the seat of the California Mission government under Father Mariano Payeras. It withstood catastrophic events, including widespread disease in early years and a great Southern California earthquake in 1812. Emerging from ruins for the last time in 1934, after restoration by the Civilian Conservation Corps, structures appear today as they did in the early nineteenth century. Author and archivist Michael R. Hardwick chronicles the story of La Purísima and the resilient people and culture that made a lasting influence.
You can find your copy of La Purísima Concepción for sale in La Tiendita, the gift shop at El Presidio SHP, or through our online shop via this link.
This week we installed The Art of Preservation: The Oak Group Remembers Ray Strong at Casa de la Guerra for a 2-month run. The project reflects the fruit of many meaningful community collaborations, and we can’t wait for everyone to see the results. The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation is one of 10 host institutions throughout the county celebrating pioneering landscape artist Ray Strong with special exhibitions during the month of June. For a list of all the exhibitions, click here.
Sullivan Goss Gallery coordinated the Summer 2015 Ray Strong exhibition project as part of a larger project to honor Strong’s legacy, which will include a beautiful full-color book, and an online database of Strong’s work. For more information on the Ray Strong project, click here.
SBTHP is proud to partner with the Oak Group for our contribution to the Summer 2015 Ray Strong exhibition series. Strong, who inspired plein air landscape painters throughout California and Oregon, was co-founder of this local painters collective, which focuses on the power of art to help preserve and celebrate open space. For the exhibit, Oak Group members loaned Ray Strong paintings from their private collections, and also paintings of their own that evoke a strong connection to Strong, their colleague, mentor and friend. The Oak Group’s preservation theme dovetails beautifully with SBTHP’s preservation mission.
Intern Lauren Trujillo sets a label. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Artifacts and Exhibits Committee member Kathi Brewster makes sure we set the painting at the correct height. Photo by Anne Petersen.
To produce and install the exhibit we also rely on the help of volunteers and friends of SBTHP. Special thanks go to co-curator Bill Dewey, a member of the Oak Group and SBTHP’s Artifacts and Exhibits (A&E) Committee for his help coordinating the project. Intern Lauren Trujillo corresponded with artists and made and installed the labels for the show. A&E Committee member Kathi Brewster helped hang all the artwork. We are also grateful for our partnership with the Oak Group and honored to display the treasured paintings by and memories of Ray Strong that members shared for the exhibit. Special thanks also go to Chris Chapman for sharing her Cloud Dance as the featured painting for the show (seen in the header of this post).
Artifacts and Exhibits Committee member and Photographer Bill Dewey documents pieces in the show. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Lauren Trujillo stands before her favorite Ray Strong piece in the show, Ice Field’s Flame, loaned by Arturo Tello. Photo by Anne Petersen.
We hope to see everyone at the free public opening for the exhibit on June 11 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Casa de la Guerra. We will also be open for free during the July 2 First Thursday program from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. And, of course you can always visit Casa de la Guerra during regular hours from 12:00 – 4:00 PM Friday through Sunday.
Anne Petersen is the Associate Director for Historical Resources at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
On April 25, 2015 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation celebrated the 233rd Anniversary of the founding of Santa Barbara at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. The community enjoyed a service in the Chapel, a wonderful ceremony, including a reenactment of the founding of the Presidio with the Soldados de Cuera, dancing by Las Fiesteras, birthday cake courtesy of Reina del Mar Parlor No. 126, Native Daughters of the Golden West, the debut of this year’s Saint Barbara, living history demonstrations, and a gathering of Presidio descendants! Enjoy the wonderful photos by Myriah Nina Photography, Margaret Celaya Mira, Debra Prescot Waterfall, and Michael Imwalle on our Flickr page, here.
Artist and Higman Intern Madison Lowrey designed SBTHP’s entry in conjunction with Education Director Melissa Chatfield. This week Lowrey and fellow Higman Intern Dana Hughes worked on a test run before the big day on Saturday.
We hope you will come out to support our team and all the great entries at I Madonnari this year. Admission is free, and the festival runs from 10am – 6pm on May 23, 24 and 25.
Park Commissioners inside El Cuartel at El Presidio SHP. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Channel Coast District Superintendant Rich Rozzelle addresses the Commission during dinner. Photo by Mike Imwalle
The following day Park Commissioners met just south in Carpinteria where they heard several presentations about partnerships and local parks projects, and discussed issues of importance to the future of parks with members of the community.
The California State Parks and Recreation Commission is made up of nine appointees, who help establish policies for the guidance of the parks system, and report and make recommendations to the governor, via the director of State Parks, on the status of the parks.
SBTHP is proud to have been a part of the busy agenda of the Parks Commission’s recent visit.
…when local artist Charles G. Burggraf captures the guests at our upcoming Candlelight Dinner in the Historic Presidio Chapel on Friday April 24, 2015. If you are attending this spectacular evening, then you will be painted into the scene while enjoying a gourmet, period-themed meal and live entertainment. Interested in joining in? Click through to the link above for more information. This truly unique work of art will be auctioned off at the end of that memorable evening.
We also look forward to seeing everyone at the Founding Day Festival from noon-4:00 PM on Saturday April 25. This free, community event includes a reenactment of the founding of the Santa Barbara Presidio, interactive demonstrations for children and families, plenty of food, and performances throughout the afternoon on two stages. Join us again that evening for Rancho Roundup from 4:00 – 10:00 PM, with a concert by headliners Double Wide Kings and food from Georgia’s Smokehouse.