The kitchen. This is the most important part of the house;
here meals were prepared, food was eaten and polavilas
were held (parties and neighborhood meetings); During
the long winter nights this is where we used to spin a
tale, read stories around the fire which was always kept
alight. The women also took advantage of the long winter
nights to weave, spin the cloth, etc.
The seats are arranged around the fire, which burns in
a hole in the middle of the room. Due to an ancient tradition,
the fire itself is never left to go out at night but is
covered with ashes. If it happend to go out, someone would
be sent to the neighbour’s house to fetch some hot
embers (brought back in a clog) to keep the fire alight.
Above the fire is the garmalleira (iron chain)
from which hangs the pot, a large cauldron or kettle used
for boiling the pigs’ fodder. The garmalleira
hangs from a beam called guindastre and this serves to
remove the food from the fire without getting burnt as
the arm swings round on its axis and away from the fire.
Over the kitchen is the caizo - a large wooden
chest with staffs whose main aim is to protect the thatched
roof from the hot ashes of the fire. It also served to
dry chestnuts, walnuts, etc.. Hanging from the caioz near
the bottom are wooden rods for drying clothes (when someone
came home from work soaked to the skin!); it was also
used for smoking sausages, chorizos...
We have quite a few pots and pans called maseiros
(used to serve chestnuts and potatoes), wooden mugs, frying-pans
with long handles and which stand on a tripod; a cupboard,
chests, mazadeiras (churns for making butter),
pots and jars for drinking water (placed exactly where
they used to be kept, on the trabela). The wine-skin,
different types of candles and most notably the ganzo
(heather twig used for lighting).