Yesterday, November 11, was the Feast of St. Martin. Historically, the day marked the beginning of the time of the year when “la matanza” or “slaughter” was carried out in rural Spain (indeed, in rural communities all over Europe). The temperatures were cool, the crops were in, and the animals were plump. [BTW, “Saint Martin’s Summer” is an infrequently used English expression to refer to an “Indian Summer,” a warm spell that occurs in autumn, often around this very time of the year. In Spanish: “El veranillo de San Martín.”] Spanish immigrants and their descendants have carried on many of the traditions of la matanza… El Cortijo, Spanish boarding house/hotel in Wallkill, New York, c. 1960? Courtesy Pliego family.