Tour South Texas Heritage Center

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Time: 1 Hour
Place: Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center

Truckers from the 1850s?
Meet Juan Gutierrez, a Tejano Freighter from the 1850’s in the Entrance Gallery. Imagine what his life was like traveling across the wild and vivid land of Texas as he tells you about the dangers he encounters in his job and his hopes for a restful evening. Who are the modern day freighters? Look closely! He looks like a mannequin but his face is moving. This cool piece of technology is called a ciné-robot. How do you think this technology works?

Bringing Our History to Life 
Appreciate the difficulties in early oil and gas exploration as you listen to stories from geophysicist O. Scott Petty, a Mexican Oil Worker, and a Rancher in the oil field. These fascinating stories come to life by using a special effects technique, called Pepper’s Ghost that creates ghostly images which seem to appear in thin air! Also in this gallery, see the vibrations as you experiment with a digital geophone. What is the geophone used for?

Saddle Up!
Think riding in a saddle all day was easy?  While the Comanche, Vaquero, and Cowboy make it look easy, it’s takes a bit of grit to ride the trails for months on end! Notice the differences between the Mexican Vaquero and the Texas Cowboy saddles. Throw your leg over, try it out and see how it feels to sit tall in your saddle! Make sure to snap a photo and tag #WitteMuseum.

Cattle Drive Pinball
The Trail Drivers encountered numerous obstacles including hostile enemies, four-legged predators, bad weather and lost animals. Can you successfully navigate around the obstacles to get your longhorn heard to the Railroad? Challenge your family and friends in a pinball-style game that everyone will love!
 

 

*Take Home Recipe*
Pan de campo  A Staple of the Campfire
Did you know that the State Bread of Texas is pan de campo, also known as camp bread? The meals for Vaqueros and Cowboys working on South Texas ranches depended on the cook and crew. For the most part, vaqueros and cowboys on South Texas ranches included pan de campo with their meals.

 

The classic pan de campo is baked in a Dutch oven. It comes out as a round loaf an inch and a half or two inches thick. It can also be cooked in a skillet with a lid, or it can be fried. If things are really scarce, the dough can be wrapped around a stick and cooked over coals. Modern cooks can bake pan de campo in the oven.

Valley-style Pan de Campo

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • hot water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening. Add just enough hot water to make a thick dough. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead two to three minutes or until smooth. Don’t overwork it.

Divide the dough into two portions. Let it rest covered with a damp cloth for 15 to 20 minutes.

Form into rounds and bake. (Choose your baking style: Dutch oven or conventional oven. A Conventional oven should be heated to 350F degrees and you will bake until golden brown. Note: the crust may be softer than with traditional methods.)

Cooking Chemistry Note: the small amount of baking powder called for in the recipe indicates that the shortening is relied on to make the bread rise by making steam pockets in form in the dough. If your first batch doesn’t rise enough to suit you, try a heaping teaspoon of baking powder in your next recipe.