Real Traditional Irish Cooking

The Place for real traditions.Irish Culture begins in prehistory. First was a paleolithic mindset-based on hunting. The spirits of animals aid in this. Groups had totems- birds, boar,for identity. Next came a Neolithic awareness- crops, agriculture,farm animals. Villages and lineages. Multiple gods became single gods with many powers. Chieftains by birth ruled. Next the Bronze age with rule by heroes. We got cookbooks and recipes left the mind. How do we know what to do? That's our purpose.

Irish Chieftain's feast

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Irish Teatime Cookbook- new edition Soon !!

Conrad Bladey's Irish Teatime Companion

A great collection of Authentic, Traditional REAL Irish tea time recipes will come out in a new edition- perfect bound, and lots of new recipes. Watch this space. The last two printings sold out right away!

Probably out by mid September.

Watch this Space

Conrad Bladey

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Important Announcement

For those wanting to find my web world it is no longer at verizon- it moved to

if you have the page name just put it after



see you over on the other side!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Irish Pie

No. 32 Irish Pie
16 1/2 lbs. Meat
4 lbs. flour
1 lb. suet
2 lbs black pudding
2 lbs onions
4 lbs potatoes
Cut the meat from the bone into slices lengthways, and slanting against the grain, beat it well, cut the fat into pieces of about one inch in thickness, cut the puddings, onions, and potatoes into slices, place a layer of meat in the bottom of the dish, season with pepper and salt, then a layer of pudding and onion, another of meat seasoned, another of pudding and onion, until all is used, then add the slices of potatoes, and 12 Ibs. of water. Make some paste with the flour as follows : Chop up the suet or fat from the meat very fine, and roll it. Place 3 Ibs. of flour on the table, make a hole in the middle, throw in a little salt, and if the flour is good, a pint of water, mix it lightly; when well mixed, and it forms a smooth paste, sprinkle some flour on the table, roll out the paste half an inch thick, sprinkle some flour over the paste, take one-third of the suet, and distribute it over the paste, turn the paste over in two folds, throw some more flour over the table, and roll the paste out half-an-inch thick, throw some more flour over the paste, fold and roll again, and repeat this once more; now add one-third of the suet as before, fold and roll again three times ; then add the remainder of the suet, fold and roll again three times; it will thus have been folded and rolled nine times, and all the suet and flour will have been used, it should then be left in a cold place for ten minutes, then rolled out, and the pie covered.
This way of making paste is good for all kinds of paste, either made of butter, lard, or dripping, intended to be baked; the only care must be, in the first instance, when the water is mixed with the flour, the paste must be of the same hardness as the butter, &c. One pound of paste made in this manner is equal to two pounds made in any other way. The pie should not be made longer than half-an-hour before it is placed in the oven, and the oven must not be too hot, if so it is better to cover the pie with paper. The pie should first be placed in a hot part of' the oven, to prevent ihe fat becoming greasy and melting; then after about five minutes, placed in a cooler part to cook more slowly. In all meat pies a hole should be made in the paste to allow the unwholesome gas generated by the confined meat cooking to escape.

Instructions to Military cooks in the Preparation of Dinners at the Instructional kitchen Aldershot, War Office, 1878. p.37..

St. Patrick's Soup

No.15 St. Patrick's Soup

6lbs meat and fat
6llbs. potatoes.
1 lb onions
1 lb. celery
1lb turnip
1lb carrot
1 large cabbage
1 lb. flour
6 ozs. salt
6ozs. sugar
6 tablespoons full of vinegar
3 1/2 gallons water
Cut the meat into pieces one inch square, the fat into smaller pieces ; place them in the boiler; when warm add the vegetables (except the potatoes) cut very small, stir them round so that they do not burn; when they are on the point of doing so add the water by degrees ; peel the potatoes, put them in a net, and place them in the boiler; when done take them out and mash them; after the soup has been boiling two hours add the potatoes, with the seasoning and flour mixed, and the vinegar ; boil slowly for thirty minutes, keep stirring it, and serve. The remainder of the meat may be either stewed or roasted.

Instructions to Military cooks in the Preparation of Dinners at the Instructional kitchen Aldershot, War Office, 1878. p.31.

Irish Method of Egg Preservation

The Irish plan of smearing fresh-laid eggs with butter answers well for a limited time, but is insufficient to keep them through the winter

Wholesome fare: a sanitary cookbook, comprising the laws of food and the practice of cookery and embodying the best British and continental receipts with hints and useful suggestions for the sedentary, the sick, and the convalescent,Edmund S. Delamere, Ellen J. Delamere Crosby Lockwood, 1878, p308,

Red Dulse

Red Dulse, or Dillisk—Rhodymeniapalmata (Harvey's Atlas, Pl . XLI. Figs. 189 and 190). Another Seaweed, mostly eaten uncooked as a salad, no doubt with benefit to the general health.
At first sight, Harvey's Synopsis of British Seaweeds tells us, it will scarcely be supposed that the specimens selected for the illustration of this species belong to the same plant; and yet these figures by no means exhibit the extreme of variation; for there are varieties more simple than the one, and more finely divided than the other.
When such varieties are seen in a dried state in the herbarium, they appear so different that one may anticipate much difficulty in tracing the limits of the species. But on the shore, the collector experiences no such difficulty. If he has once seen and tasted a piece of Dulse, the characters, irrespective of form, are too well marked to allow of his puzzling himself with mere variations in outline; and, what is very remarkable, the broad and the slightly divided varieties may often be found growing side by side with the finely cut narrow ones.
In Ireland and Scotland, this plant is much used by the poor, as a relish with their food. It is commonly dried in its unwashed state, and eaten raw, the flavour being brought out by long chewing. On many parts of the west coast of Ireland, it forms the only addition to potatoes in the meals of the poorest class. The variety which grows on mussel-shells between tide-marks is preferred, being less tough than the other forms; and the minute mussel-shells and other small shell-fish which adhere to its folds are nowise unpleasing to the consumers of this simple luxury, who rather seem to enjoy the additional gout imparted by the crunched mussels. In the Mediterranean, this plant is used in a cooked form, entering into ragouts and made dishes; and it forms a chief ingredient in one of the soups recommended, under the name of St. Patrick's Soup, by M. Soyer to the Irish peasantry.

Wholesome fare: a sanitary cookbook, comprising the laws of food and the practice of cookery and embodying the best British and continental receipts with hints and useful suggestions for the sedentary, the sick, and the convalescent,Edmund S. Delamere, Ellen J. Delamere Crosby Lockwood, 1878, p.680.

Irish Butter Melted

Melted Butter, Irish Fashion, is simply made by melting the butter in milk, without the addition of any flour.

Wholesome fare: a sanitary cookbook, comprising the laws of food and the practice of cookery and embodying the best British and continental receipts with hints and useful suggestions for the sedentary, the sick, and the convalescent,Edmund S. Delamere, Ellen J. Delamere Crosby Lockwood, 1878, p.105.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Irish Cream Cheese

Irish Cream Cheese. Take a quart of very thick cream, and stir well into it two spoonfuls of salt. Double a napkin in two, and lay it in a punchbowl. Pour the cream into it; turn the four corners over the cream, and let it stand for two days. Put it into a dry cloth within a little wooden cheese-vat; turn it into dry cloths twice a day till it is quite dry, and it will be fit to eat in a few days. Keep it in clean cloths in a cool place.
Bury, Lady Charolette, Campbell, The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and a New Dinner-tale Directory, 1844.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Nancy, Rose.
Nancy. I'LL lhank you for a lock of meal60. I have not enough to thicken the stirabout.
Rose. You are very welcome to it, Nancy; but did any thing happen your meal, for you laid in more than we did?
Nancy. Indeed nothing happened, but what happens to "all the victuals —it was eat—but I wonder what happened to yours, to last so long. Have you any knack of spinning it out? , ,
Rose. I have a particular method of making stirabout.
Nancy. What's that, Rose? Myself thinks you have a knack at every thing.
Rose. To be sure. I let the water boil before I stir in e'er a grain; and when once it boils fast, I put in handful after handful, till I think there is near enough, stirring it very well all the time; then I lift the pot a hook or two higher, and cover it up for a good share of half an hour, very seldom stirring it.
Nancy. Sure it must be like paste. Tim likes the stirabout short.
Rose. Stay, Nancy, till I tell you. Just before I take off the pot, I stir in one handful, and it's good, wholesome, short stirabout, and not near so heating for the children, as when it does not get it's due of boiling, as well as more nourishing for Jem, besides making the meal go a great deal farther.

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.190.

Household Economy

Rose. Ah, never mind him! must not every poor man's wife work in and out of doors, and do all she can to help her husband? and do you think you could afford tea, on thirteen pence a day? Put that out of your head, entirely, Nancy; give up the tea for good and all.
Nancy. Rose, it is a folly to talk; I can't give up my tea; I'm so used to it now, and it was such a comfort to me when I was so hard worked at my last place.
Rose. But now you have other comforts. You have a loving husband, the best of all worldly comforts; and the way to keep him so, is to be a good wife; not only loving him, but managing and stretching his little earnings, Now if you both
take to drinking tea, (and sure you can't sit down to one thing, and he to another,) you must have a quarter of an ounce of tea, that is three halfpence at the lowest; and two ounces of sugar, that is three halfpence more; a fourpenny loaf will be tight enough; two ounces of butter, two pence; all that comes to nine pence, and hardly enough; and weak food for a man. Then a quart of oatmeal, which you will get for two pence halfpenny, and a pennyworth of milk, will give you the greatest plenty for your breakfast; and that is but three pence halfpenny; so you save five pence halfpenny every day, in that meal; and then you can afford to buy a little meat now and then, when it is cheap. You could buy a shin of beef, or a sheep's head in the season, and make very good broth, throwing in an onion, and marygolds, or whatever pot herbs you like, and thickening it with a handful of oatmeal. O, it is a comfortable dinner of a cold winter's day, for a labouring man!
Nancy. But a labouring man wants something to strengthen him of a hot summer's day too, and then meat is too dear to think about.
Rose. You could get a quarter of veal for two tenpennies, that would give you three dinners, stewed with onion, pepper, and salt, and a little fat bacon, and sliced potatoes; and that would stand you but in about seven pence a dinner. To be sure that same you could not have very often ; for there is the supper to be thought of, and the rent. Tim will work hard at his garden in the evenings; and while you are young and strong, and have no family, you will try to lay up something against a rainy day. If you could earn the price of a cow, I think you could get grass for it, and after a while, may be, take a field; and a cow would make handsomely for you, your good mistress Clinton taught you to make butter so well.
Nancy. The price of a cow! how would I earn the price of a cow? besides, Tim expects one from his father.
- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.137.

Free Range Pigs

Rose. You see, Nancy, it would have been cheaper for you to have built a separate place for your pig, as Jem advised you, and not to have given it the way of going into the cabin to be fed. Indeed I wonder you can bear to have it eat out of the same vessel that boils food for your husband and children.
Nancy. Why, the neighbours'.pigs would be eating it's victuals, if J fed it out of doors.
Rose. Not if you built a sty for it; besides, you .know I am your nearest neighbour, and my pigs are shut up. Jem is going to make an addition to their little place, but the walls of the new part will be high enough to hinder them from getting out, so that they can have light and air, and move about, without doing rawchief toourselves, or others; and their food can be put in over the wall.
Nancy. Why, what do they want with light and air?
Hose. All animals intended for food, are wholesomer, and sweeter to eat, for not being debarred from them; besides, I hate,to shut up any living creature, day and night, in a dark hole. The Almighty has given us the beasts for our service, but has forbidden us to torment them; and I think we should do all we can to save them from unnecessary pain. Indeed this is generally our interest, as well as our duty. It is very well known by the great jockies, as they call them, that a horse will thrive
and fatten twice as well with gentleness, and good treatment, as he will with ill usage and blows, though he got the same quantity of food46.
Nancy. Now, Rose, do you believe that of a brute beast?
Rose. I believe it, because I have heard it from those who have made their fortune by horses, and have the best right to know them47. Besides^ half the shocking accidents that happen from their restiveness would be avoided, if men treated them with quietness and good temper.

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.137.

Kitchen Tools

Nancy. Now what need you bother yourself with so many things to take care of++, your gridiron, and your frying-pan, and your pots of different sizes, and your saucepans? Indeed I don't wonder at your having a tea-kettle; but it looks as if you did not use it often. I may say the same of every thing else, they.
look as if they were just come out of the shop.
Rose. Indeed, Nancy, I have none of these things for pride; I have use for them all.
Nancy. Then T can do well enough with less. My big pot does to boil our potatoes, and feed the pig in, and. heat the water to wash, and wash in after; and I want no gridiron; I can broil a herring on the tongs. What's that thing with the cover for?
Rose. To stew a bit of meat in, when we can get it. It gets the good out of it finely.

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.133.

Bread and servitude

Rose, Nancy.
Rose. DON'T you bake all your bread at Mr. Clinton's?
Nancy. vEvery bit, indeed!
Rose. How do you manage to get barm, it's very scarce, and I believe you have no brewery near you?
Nancy. Why then, I'll tell you that; for my mistress never wants barm, and I have so often made the mixture by her directions, that I can't but remember it. She gets a quart of good barm, and then she boils flour and water together very well, till it is a nice, smooth, thinnish paste; when that is about blood warm, she mixes the barm with it, and puts all together into a vessel large enough to let it work, and keeps it in a place neither hot nor cold, and covers the vessel close.
Rose. And how much of that works the bread?
Nancy. At first very little more than if it was all barm, but it takes more time to rise the flour. Every few days add as much more paste, and you may do so fof a month, or more, in mild weather, till the strength of the barm is gone. But, according as you add paste, it will take more and more of the mixture to rise the flour. A pint of the strongest, left in a spunge, like batter, for some hours, does a stone of flour. If you leave it all night, let the batter be the thicker. After you work the bread, leave it a few hours more.
Rose. Well, I'm obliged to you; this may be of use sometime or other to me.
Nancy. I don't like the trouble of it, if I could help it. I'd rather put in a good dash of barm at once, to hurry up the bread; but my mistress won't allow that, she says it makes the bread bitter, and wastes the barm.
Rose. Sure you are happy to have such a good housekeeper for a mistress, especially if she be goodhumouretl, which I believe good housekeepers often are, because they time business for themselves and their servants, and things go on so regular that there is no room for fretting.

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.46.


From Notes:
P. 129. 41' Onions are very good to help ' out kitchen.'
Kitchen means butter, or any kind of sauce that is eaten with meat or vegetables, to make them more palatable. Two kitchens to one bread,— means butter and milk eaten with one piece of bread. 1

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811, p.169.

Cottage Cookery

Nancy, Rose.
Nancy. WE are just after dining off the nice stew that you showed me how to make; and now can you tell me any thing else, for I am so light and happy, after rising out of that scrape, and so thankful to Tim, that I can do any thing now.
Rose. Well, Nancy, these pease that you think so little about, make a fine dish, when they are too old for boiling.
Nancy. I thought pease were never fit to eat after they were turning their colour.
Rose. Then I assure you they are. Take two quarts of old pease, and stew them in four quarts of water, on a slow fire, for two hours. Take them up then, and put to them a little pepper, salt, and onion; and also throw in bits of meat, either fresh or salt; if you have not meat, a little butter rolled in flour, or nice lard will do instead. Then stew half an hour longer. It is very good; and then you have it when the new potatoes are scarce; for you know one don't like to run over the ridge too fast, but to spare them to grow as long as one can. There is also another way of dressing pease and beans when they are old; first, by soaking in water for twenty four hours; then put them into a jug, or pitcher, which will hold them, and hold a bit of fat bacon too, or a pig's foot, taken out of the pickle, with the salt sticking to it. The meat is put at top, and a piece of greasy brown paper tied over the pitcher. At night, put it on the hearth, and turn a pot over it; or, put it in a pot, and leave in the fire, and hang it high over the fire. In the morning it is sufficiently done; and keep it on the hearth, hot, till dinner, when the meat will he tender, and the juice got among the pease and beans: then it is eat with spoons. The common gray pease, and the small horse beans, are what answer best for this dish; some put a few leeks, or onions cut small, and a little pepper, into the pitcher, before it is baked. And I find great use in my French beans, which you thought I was very conceited for sowing in my little garden. Instead of eating them as the quality do, pods and all, when they are young, and but an insipid dish, I let them grow till the beans are ripe, then shell them, and lay them by. They are very good and nourishing, particularly when you're nursing, boiled with a bit of butter, or lard, and some herbs chopped through it, or even without the herbs; and they are very nice under a bit of bacon, and will keep all the winter. I learned this of Mr. Browne's French cook.
Nancy. Ay, Rose, you are always ready and willing to learn, and managing and saving every thing; and yet you are not stingy, but you are a good warrant to share with a neighbour, or give a bit to a poor traveller.
Rose. It's by saving, and not wasting any thing, that poor people are able to share their bit with a friend, or with a poor fellow-creature. There's a fine way of making soup, and I believe next winter, when I can get a beef's head, I'll make it of a Saturday, and sell, to the neighbours. A pint of it and a bit of meat, will give a man his dinner.
Nancy. Do, Rose, dear, I am sure Tim will be glad to buy it; and then I need not be slaving myself of a Sunday, dressing his dinner.
Rose. I'll tell you how to make it, whether you will buy it or not. It's half a beef's head put down in about twenty gallons. of water, with half a stone of potatoes, a good handful of onions, and pepper, and salt with any garden stuff you like, or can get. This is boiled till about one third is boiled away, and then you have your comfortable soup. . •
Nancy. But where will you get a pot to boil so much in?
Rose. My big pot, that I boil my linen and my yarn in, I believe, will do; it will be good use to put it to in the winter. If I had not that, I could begin on a less quantity, in a smaller pot, till my soup would earn a big one for me". There's a way of dressing herrings too, that gives a little variety on a fast day, and makes them go farther.
Nancy. How is that?
Rose. Put three salt herrings in a pipkin, fill it with sliced potatoes, and a little water. Put it on a griddle, and turn a pot over it, and bake it that way; or, I believe, putting it on the warm hearth, when the ashes are swept out of the way, and covering it with the pot, will do. When I happen to have a bit of fresh meat, I put the bones into a dish, with some potatoes peeled, or the skin grated off, and put plenty of water, the potatoes take so much; I make a crust with hog's lard, for it makes it better than butter, put it over the bones and potatoes, bake it under the pot, and you can't think how nice a pie it is.

- Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry, with notes and a preface, M. Edgeworth,
Maria Edgeworth,1811,p.173.

Irish Potato Pudding

Irish Potato Pudding.

One pound of mashed potatoes, three quarters of a pound of butter, three quarters of a pound of sugar, seven eggs beaten light, a gill of brandy and one of rose-water. Beat the butter and sugar together, and add the other ingredients, and whites last of all. Bake in paste.

-Dixie cookery; or, How I managed my table for twelve years:A practical cook-book for southern housekeepers, Maria Massey Barringer,Loring, 1867, p.67.

The Irish Kitchen help 187s

R. FROUDE'S attempt to secure from the American public a favorable judgment on the dealings of England with Ireland has had one good result—though we fear only one—in leading to a little closer examination of the real state of American opinion about Irish grievances than it has yet received. He will go back to England with the knowledge—which he evidently did not possess when he came here—that the great body of intelligent Americans care very little about the history of "the six hundred years of wrong," and know even less than they care, and could not be induced, except by a land-grant, or a bounty, or a drawback, to acquaint themselves with it; that those of them who have ever tried to form an opinion on the Anglo-Irish controversy have hardly ever got further than a loose notion that England had most likely behaved like a bully all through, but that her victim was beyond all question an obstreperous and irreclaimable ruffian, whose ill-treatment must be severely condemned by the moralist, but whom no sensible, man can be expected to weep over or sympathize with. The agencies which have helped to form the popular idea of the English political character are well known; those which have helped to deprive the Irish of American sympathy—and which, if Mr. Fronde bad judiciously confined himself to describing the efforts made by England to promote Irish well-being now, would probably have made his lectures very successful—are more obscure. "We ourselves pointed out one of the most prominent, and probably most powerful—the conduct of the Irish servant girl in the American kitchen. To this must, of course, be added the specimen of "home rule" to which the country has been treated in this city; but we doubt if this latter has really exercised as much influence on American opinion as some writers try to make out. A community which has produced Butler, Banks, Parker, Bullock, Tweed, Tom Fields, Oakey Hall, Fernando Wood, Barnard, and scores of others whom we might name, as the results or good Protestant and Anglo-Saxon breeding, cannot really be greatly shocked by the bad workings of Celtic blood and Catholic theology in the persons of Peter B. Sweeny, Billy Mcmullen, Jimmy O'Brien, Reddy the Blacksmith, or Judge McCunn. Let us give the devil his due, and refrain from all sham and hypocrisy. It is in the kitchen that the Irish iron has entered into the American soul; and it is in the kitchen that a great triumph was prepared for Mr. Froude had he been a judicious man. The memory of burnt steaks, of hard-boiled potatoes, of smoked milk, would have done for him what no state-papers, or records, or correspondence of the illustrions dead can ever do; it had prepared the American mind to believe the very worst he could say of Irish turbulence and disorder. Not one of his auditors but could find in his own experience of Irish cooking circumstances which would probably have led him to accept without question the execution of Silken Thomas, the massacre of Drogheda, or even the Penal Laws, as perfectly justifiable exercises of authority, and would certainly have made it easy for him to believe that English rule in Ireland at the present day is beneficent beyond example.
Nevertheless, we are constrained to say that in our opinion a great deal of the odium which surrounds Bridget, and which has excited so much prejudice not only against her countrymen, but against her ancestors, in American eyes, has a very insufficient foundation in reason. There are three characters in which she is the object of public suspicion and dislike—(1) as a cook; (2) as a party to a contract; (3) as a member of a household. The charges made against her in all of these have been summed up in a recent attack on her in the Atlantic Monthly, as " a lack of every quality which makes service endurable to the employer, or a wholesome life for the servant." And the same article charges her with " proving herself, in obedience, fidelity, care, and accuracy, the inferior of every kind of servant known to modern society." Of course, there is hardly a family in the country which has not had, in its own experience, illustrations of the extravagance of these charges. There is probably nobody who has long kept servants who has not had Irish servants who were obedient, faithful, careful, and even accurate in a remarkable degree. But then it must be admitted that this indictment is a tolerably fair rendering, if not of the actual facts of the case, at least of the impression the facts have left on the mind of the average employer. This impression, however, needs correction, as a few not very recondite considerations will show.
As a cook, Bridget is an admitted failure. But cooking is, it is now generally acknowledged, very much an affair of instinct, and this instinct seems to be very strong in some races and very weak in others, though why the French should have it highly developed and the Irish be almost altogether deprived of it, is a question which would require an essay to itself. No amount of teaching will make a person a good cook who is not himself fond of good food and has not a delicate palate, for it is the palate which must test the value of rules. "We may deduce from this the conclusion, which experience, justifies, that women are not naturally good cooks. They have had the cookery of the world in their hands for several thousand years, but all the marked advances in the art, and indeed all that can be called the cultivation of it, have been the work of men. "Whatever zeal women have displayed in it, and whatever excellence they have achieved in it, have been the result of influences in no way gastronomic, and which we might perhaps call emotional, such as devotion to male relatives or a desire to minister to the pleasure of men in general. Few or no women cook a dinner in an artistic spirit, and their success in doing it is nearly always the result of affection or loyalty—which is of course tantamount to saying that female cookery as a whole is, and always has been, comparatively poor. As a proof of this, we may mention the fact—for fact we think it is—that the art of cooking among women has declined at any given time or place—in the Northern States of the Union, for instance—pari passu with the growth of female independence. That is, as the habit or love of ministering to men's tastes has become weaker, the interest in cookery has fallen off. There are no such cooks among native American women now as there were fifty years ago; and passages in foreign cookery books which assume the existence among women of strong interest in their husbands' and brothers' likings, and strong desire to gratify them, furnish food for merriment in American households. Bridget, therefore, can plead, first of all, the general incapacity of women as cooks; and, secondly, the general falling off in the art under the influence of the new ideas. It may be that she ought to cultivate assiduously or with enthusiasm a calling which all the other women of the country ostentatiously despise, but she would be more than human if she did so. She imitates American women as closely as she can, and cannot live on the same soil without imbibing their ideas; and unhappily, as in all cases of imitation, vices are more easily and earlier caught than virtues.
She can make, too, an economical defence of the most powerful kind to the attacks on her in this line, and it is this: that whether her cooking be bad or good, she offers it without deception or subterfuge, at a fair rate, and without compulsion ; that nobody who does not like her dishes need eat them ; and that her defects of taste or training can only be fairly made a cause of hatred and abuse when she does work badly which somebody else is waiting to do better, if she would get out of the way. She has undertaken the task of cooking for the American nation, not of her own motion, but simply and solely because the American nation could find nobody else to do it. She does not, therefore, occupy the position of a broken-down or incompetent artist, but of a volunteer at a fire, or a passer-by when yon are lying in the ditch with your leg broken. The plain truth of the matter is, that the whole native population of the United States has almost suddenly and with one accord refused to perform for hire any of the services usually called "menial" or indoor. The men have found other more productive fields of industry, and the women, under the influence of the prevailing theory of life, have resolved to accept any employment at any wages sooner than do other people's house-work. The result has been a demand for trained servants which the whole European continent could not supply if it would, and which has proved so intense that it has drawn the peasantry out of the fields en masse from the one European country in which the peasantry was sufficiently poor to be, tempted, and spoke or understood the American language. No such phenomenon has ever been witnessed before. No country before has ever refused to do its own " chores," and called in an army of foreigners for the purpose. To complain bitterly of their want of skill is therefore, under the circumstances, almost puerile, from an economical point of view; while, to any one who looks at the matter as a moralist, it is hard to see why Bridget, doing the work badly in the kitchen, is any more a contemptible object than the American sewing-girl killing herself in a garret at $3 a week, out of devotion to " the principle of equality."
As a party to a contract, Bridget's defects are very strongly marked. Her sense of the obligation of contracts is feeble. The reason why this particular vice excites so much odium in her case is, that the inconveniencies of her breaches of contract are greater than those of almost any other member of the community. They touch us in our most intimate social relations, and cause us an amount of mental anguish out of all proportion to their real importance. But her spirit about contracts is really that of the entire community in which she lives. Her way of looking at her employer is, we sincerely believe, about the way of looking at him common among all employees. The only real restraint on laborers of any class among us nowadays is the difficulty of finding another place. "Whenever it becomes as easy for clerks, draughtsmen, mechanics, and the like to " suit themselves " as it is for cooks or housemaids, we find them as faithless. Native mechanics and seamstresses are just as perfidious as Bridget, but incur less obloquy, because their faithlessness causes less annoyance; but they have no more regard in making their plans for the interest or wishes of their employer than she has, and they all take the " modern view" of the matter. What makes her so fond of change is that she lives in a singularly restless society, in which everybody is engaged in a continual struggle to " better himself"—her master, in nine cases out often, setting her an example of dislike to steady industry and slow gains. Moreover, domestic service is a kind of employment which, if not sweetened by personal affection, is extraordinarily full of wear and tear. In it there is no real end to the day; and in small households, the pursuit and oversight, and often the " nagging," of the employer, or, in other words, the presence of an exacting, semi-hostile, and slightly contemptuous person is constant. This and confinement in a half-dark kitchen produce that nervous crisis which sends male mechanics and other male laborers engaged in monotonous callings off "on a spree." In Bridget's case it works itself off by a change of place, with a few days of squalid repose among " her own people " in a tenement house. •
As regards her general bearing as a member of a household, she has to contend with three great difficulties—ignorance of civilized domestic life, for which she is no more to blame than Russian mouzhiks; difference of race ond creed on the part of her employer (and this is one which the servants of no other country have to contend with); and lastly, the strong contempt for domestic service felt and manifested by all that portion of the American population with which she comes in contact, and to which it is her great ambition to assimilate herself. Those who have ever tried the experiment of late years of employing a native American as a servant, have, we believe, before it was over, generally come to look on Bridget as the personification of repose, if not of comfort; and those who have to call on native Americans, even occasionally, for services of a quasi-personal character, such as those of expressmen, hotel clerks, plumlbers, we believe are anxious to make their intercourse with these gentlemen an brief as possible. Most expressmen are natives, and are freemen of intelligence and capacity, but th«y carry your trunk into your hall with the air of convicts doing forced labor for a tyrannical jailer. If the spirit in which they discharge their duties—and they ore specimens of a large class—were to make its way into our kitchens, society would go to pieces.
In short, Bridget is the legitimate product of our economical, political, and moral condition. We have called her, in our extremity, to do duties for which she is not trained, and having got her here have surrounded her with influences and ideas which American society has busied itself for fifty years in fostering and spreading, and which taking hold of persons in her stage of development work mental and moral ruin. The things which American life aud manners preach to her are not patience, sober-mindedness, faithfulness, diligence, and honesty, but self-assertion, discontent, hatred of superiority of all kinds, and eagerness for physical enjoyment. Whenever the sound of the new gospel which is to win the natives back to the ancient and noble ways is heard in the land, it is fair to expect that it will not find her ears wholly closed, and that when the altar of duty is again set up by her employers, she will lay on it attractive beefsteaks, potatoes done to a turn, make libations of delicious soup, and will display remarkable fertility in " sweets " and an extreme fondness for washing, and learn to grow old in one family.

-The Nation, Volume 16,The Nation Company, 1873, p.6.

Irish Sauce

Irish Sauce.—E. R.—Take five or six hundred green walnuts, according to the quantity of juice they will yield; scoop out all the whites, beat them in a mortar, and strain the juice through a cloth; let it stand a day and night, strain it, and pour it off clear; to a pint of this liquor put one pound of anchovies and half a pint of vinegar, and to each pint thus made a clove or two of garlic, two or three shalots, some horseradish, and one onion cut in quarters; boil it two hours, and then strain it off. When strained add to every pint of liquor half a quarter of an ounce of mace, the same quantity of cloves, of nutmeg, and of whole black pepper, half a pint of portwine, and two tablespoonfuls of soy. Boil them together for half an hour. Then pour it off into an earthen jar, and let it remain covered until it is cold; then bottle it off into clean dry bottles, distributing the spice equally in each; cork it down closely, and take care in boiling to keep the saucepan covered

.-A new system of domestic cookery: formed upon principles of economy…, Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, 1808.

Irish Puffs

Irish Puffs.
E. R.—Pound a quarter of a pound of sweet, and an ounce of bitter almonds, but not too finely; take a quarter of a pound of loafsugar pounded and sifted, the whites of two eggs, beaten to a thick froth; mix all together, and put the puffs into pattypans covered with paste; then sift powdered sugar over them thickly, and bake them a light brown. The flavour may be improved by pounding the almonds with orange-flower water, or a little essence of lemon.

-A new system of domestic cookery: formed upon principles of economy…, Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, 1808.

1836 Cutlets A La Irish Stew

Take the best end of a neck of mutton, remove the under bone, and cut it into chops; season them with pepper, salt, a little mushroom powder and beaten mace. Put them into a stewpan, add a large onion sliced, some parsley and thyme tied in a bunch, and a pint of veal broth. Simmer the chops till three parts done, then add some whole potatoes peeled, and stew till done. Serve in a deep dish.
Let the parsley and thyme be taken out before serving.
- The Art of Cookery, Whittaker and Co., 1836.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mrs. Beeton's Irish Recipes 1888

Not the first edition so many of these may pre-date 1888

1092.—IRISH STEW. (Fr.—Mouton a I'lrlandaise.)

(Another Mode.)

Ingredients.—3 Ibs. of the breast of mutton, :£ pint of water, salt and pepper to taste, 4 Ibs. of potatoes, 4 large onions.

Mode.—Put the mutton into a stewpan with the water and a little salt, and let it stew gently for an hour; cut the meat into small pieces, skim the fat from the gravy, and pare and slice the potatoes and onions. Put all the ingredients into the stewpan in layers, first a layer of vegetables, then one of meat, and sprinkle seasoning of pepper and salt between each layer; cover closely, and let the whole stew very gently for ur.e hour or rather more, shaking it frequently, to prevent its burning.

Time.— Rather more than two hours. Average Cost, 2s.

Sufficient for 6 or 8 persons.

Seasonable.—Suitable for a winter dish.

Note.—Irish stew may be prepared in the same manner as above, but baked in ajar, instead of boiled. About 2 hours, or rather more, in a moderate oven, will be sufficient time to bake it.



Ingredients.—2 Ibs. of Australian mutton, 3 large onions, 12 mealy potatoes, i^ pint of stock, No. 274, or water, pepper, salt.

Mode.—Peel the onions and put them to stew in the stock until tender, add salt and pepper and the potatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the mutton, cut into neat square pieces, and simmer 5 minutes longer, then turn into a deep dish and serve. Keep a few potatoes whole to garnish with.

Time.—1 hour altogether. Average Cost, 1s 8d.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable at any time.


i6o3.-IRISH (AND BEST) WAY TO BOIL POTATOES. (Fr.—Pommes de Terre a I'lrlandaise.)

Ingredients.—Potatoes, water.

Mode.—Wash the potatoes clean, but do not peel them. Let the water boil, then put in the potatoes, and as soon as they are soft enough

Boiled Potatoes.

for a fork to be easily thrust through them, dash some cold water into the pan, let the potatoes remain two minutes, then pour off the water. Then half remove the lid, and let the potatoes remain on the slow fire till the steam has evaporated; then peel them, and set on the table in an opin dish. Potatoes of a good kind thus cooked will always be sweet, dry and mealy. A covered dish is bad for potatoes, as it keeps the steam in, and makes them soft and watery.

Time.—20 minutes. Average Cost, id. per lb.

Seasonable at any time.



Mode.—This seaweed has a reputation as a remedy for chest diseases. It should be first soaked and washed in cold water, and then boiled for a quarter of a hour in fresh water, allowing half an ounce of moss to a pint and a half of water. Strain, and when cold it will set to a jelly. If required as a drink, it should have double the quantity of water, or milk can be used.


Dr. E. Smith says 104 Ibs. daily ; 31/2 Ibs at each meal. Potato, however, besides starch and water, contains much ash or salt, and is for that reason, an excellent anti-scorbutic. So long as potatoes hold out, sailors at sea escape scurvy, and are not dependent upon their daily rations of lime juice. Our people on land have often to thank Sir Walter Raleigh for such immunity as they enjoy from this class of disease. It is a strange fact that many English people, from one week's end to another, eat no vegetable except potato, an exotic, acclimatised here at the cost of much pains and perseverance.


-The Book of Household Management, Mrs. Beeton (Isabella, Mary) 1888

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Irish Soup Marigold and Mutton Broth

Mutton Broth.

Any description of trimmings of mutton may be used for broth, but the scrag ends of the neck are usually chosen. Put two scrags into a stewpan (having previously jointed the bones), with three onions, three turnips, and one carrot; fill up the stewpan with a gallon of water, and place it upon the fire; when boiling, set it at the corner, where let it simmer for three hours, keeping it well skimmed; then cut a small carrot, two turnips, an onion, with a little leek and celery, into small square pieces, which put into another stewpan, with a wine- glassful of pearl-barley; skim every particle of fat from the broth, which pour through a hair sieve over them; let the whole boil gently at the corner of the fire until the barley is tender, when it is ready to serve; the meat may be trimmed into neat pieces, and served with the broth, or separately with melted butter and parsley, or onion sauce. Half or even a quarter of the above quantity can be made by reducing the ingredients in proportion.

Irish Soup Made of Mutton Broth.

This soup is made similar to the last, adding ten or twelve mealy potatoes cut into large dice, omitting the other vegetables, which being boiled to a puree thicken the broth; just before serving, throw in twenty heads of parsley, and at the same time add a few flowers of marigold, which will really give it a very pleasing flavor.

-Soyer's Standard Cookery.Nicolas Soyer, 1912.

Balnamoon Skink, an Irish Soup

727. Balnamoon Skink, an Irish Soup.—Clean and cut into pieces two or three young cocks, or fowls. Have one larger neatly trussed as for boiling. Boil the cut fowls till the broth is as strong and good as they can make it; but do not overboil the uncut fowl. Strain the broth, season it with parsley, chives, and young onions chopped, and, if in season, a few tender green peas. Add white pepper and salt, and serve the whole fowl in the tureen, or separately.—Obs. This soup may be immensely improved in quality and appearance by adding, before serving, a liaison of two beat eggs, and a little cream. It is another variety of the Scottish Friars' Chicken, or Cock-a-leeHe; dishes which, under some name, are, with whatever modification of seasonings, familiar in every country where a backward system of husbandry renders indifferent poultry plentiful, and shambles-meat scarce.

N.B.—Without desiring to innovate on these national preparations, we would recommend, for the sake of the ladies' dresses, and the gentlemen's toil in fishing it up, that the fowl be carved before it is served in the tureen.

-The Cook and Housewife's Manual. Christian Isobel Johnstone, 1847.

Bretton laws and Scalding

The Brehon Laws while honouring cooks stated that the cook cannot be held responsible for a person getting scalded when he is serving food from a cauldron if he shouts out in a loud voice a warning to those a round him. (Danaher, K 1972)-

A History of Irish Cuisine (Before and After the Potato)

John Linnane BSc, MSc.

Corn Cake-the Yellow Indian and the Famine

William Bennett and his son had visited that part, in March, distributing donations at his own expense mostly, and his painful descriptions had awakened a strong desire to see for myself, and though I had no means in hand, had reason to hope that there might be some on the ocean. I took the coach for Derry, a few miles from that town. The mother of Miss Hewitson was to meet me in her own carriage, and conduct me to her house in Bossgarrow. Derry had not suffered so much as many other towns, and a stranger passing through would not notice anything peculiar from the condition in past years. But this little relief was but to make what followed appear the more painful. Mrs. Hewitson met me with her son, and we took tea at a delightful little mansion on the sloping side of one of Ireland's green lawns, looking down upon a beautiful lake. And is there, I asked, on this pretty spot, misery to be found ?—" Come and see," was the answer of my kind friend. It was twilight when we stepped into the carriage, and few painful objects met us till we reached her dwelling.

Her paternal cottage was nestled in a pretty wood, its roof thatched, and its windows shaded by the creeping vine in front. On one end, a window gave one of the most beautiful peeps upon a lake that can be imagined ; and the back contained a garden which was one of the most pleasant retreats I had met, for the gooseberry was just ripe. Here had this discreet, this "virtuous woman," lived, and by precept and example trained a family of sons and daughters, which will, which do arise and call her blessed. Her husband had been an officer, and was then receiving a small pension, and during the first season of the famine had been employed by government as an overseer of the Board of Works. His heart had become sickened at the scenes which came under his eye, some sketches of which have been before the public.

The morning lighted up a pretty cottage, well ordered, and the breakfast-table presented a treat unseen before by me in Ireland. Instead of the bread, butter, tea, and egg, which are the height of the best Irish breakfast, there was a respectable corn-cake, made as it should be, suitable accompaniments of all kinds, with the best of cream for me ; and were it not that the hungry had then commenced their daily usages of assembling in crowds about the house for food, that breakfast would have been a pleasant one. When I had ascertained that her husband had been in America, and from him she had been told of the virtues of corn-cake, and that her skill had been exercised till she had brought it to perfection—it was valued if possible still more. Had the Irish mothers throughout Ireland managed as did this woman, their task in the famine would have been much lighter—the poor, many more of them, would have been saved, and multitudes who have gone down might have retained their standing. Had the higher classes known how to have changed the meal into the many palatable shapes as did this economical housekeeper, when the wheaten loaf was so high, immense money might have been saved to all parties. It was brought in such disrepute by bad cooking, that many would be ashamed to be found eating it, and one man who was begging most earnestly for food, when offered some of this prepared in the Irish style, turned away in contempt, saying, " No, thank God, I've never been brought to ale the yeller indian."

- Lights and Shades of Ireland. Asenath Nicholson, 1858.

About Potatoes-Irish Peasant Style

Potato boiled.—Meg Dods says there are great varieties of potatoes, and fully as many ways of cooking them, but recommends boiling in preference to steaming. Mrs. Rundell prefers steaming, or, if boiled, in plenty of water, and when half done, some cold water and salt thrown in, and boil until not quite done, and then left in the pot near the fire.*

* This is the Irish peasant's way (if he wishes to fast for six hours), as it leaves the bone or moon in it. The origin of the word in Irish, an ghealeach , is that, when a half-cooked potato is cut in two, the centre shows a disk, with a halo around it, like the moon. This does not digest so quick, and allows the person who eats it to go longer without food, which I consider a great detriment to the of the stomach.

-A Shilling Cookery for the People.Alexis Soyer, 1855.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Irish Pudding

Irish Puddings.

Take one egg, and its weight in sugar, in flour, and in butter. Add a very little lemon juice, and grated lemon peel.

Beat it well and lightly for nearly a quarter of an hour ; pour it into small tins and bake for twenty minutes.

This quantity makes three cup puddings.

-Reeve, Mrs. HenryCookery and Housekeeping: A Manual of Domestic Economy for Large and Small…1882, p. 395

Irish Rock

Irish Rock.

A sweet for dessert. Wash the salt from half a pound of butter, and beat into it a quarter of a pound of finely powdered sugar; blanch a pound of sweet almonds and an ounce of bitter; pound these in a mortar, reserving enough of the sweet almonds to spike for ornamenting the dish when sent to table; add the butter and, sugar, with a quarter of a glass of brandy, and pound until smooth and white; when, after having become firm, it may be molded into a large egg-like shape, and stuck full of almond meats. Il should be placed high on a glass dish, with a decoration' of green sweetmeats and a sprig of myrtle, or garnish with any green fruits

or sweetmeats.

The Successful Housekeeper: A Manual of Universal Application…, Milton W. Ellsworth, 1882, p.117

Irish Plumb Pudding

Irish Plum Pudding

2 1/2 cups stale bread crumbs

4 eggs

1/2 pound raisins

1 cup milk

1/2 pound citron

1/2 pound beef suet

1/2 pound currants

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/3cup brandy

Put bread crumbs in double boiler, add milk and cook until milk is scalded. Chop suet and work with the hands until creamy; then add sugar gradually, while working constantly. Add maple syrup, salt, eggs well beaten, and raisins stoned and cut in pieces, citron cut in thin strips, and currants mixed and dredged with flour mixed with baking powder; then add brandy. Turn into a buttered mould, cover and steam twenty-four hours. It may be steamed twelve hours one day and twelve hours the next. Re-heat in steamer for serving; the time required being about one and one-fourth hours. Turn on a hot serving dish, insert sparkers and garnish with holly (if used at Christmas dinner) and Brandy Sauce (see p. 262); also accompany with Yankee Sauce (see p. 259).

-A New Book of Cookery, Fannie Merritt Farmer, 1917, p. 255.



Between slices of very thin crisp toast place alternate layers of very thin slices of roast game, shred celery, and Tartar sauce; dish up on a napkin,-The cook's guide, and housekeeper's & butler's assistant: a practical ...Charles Elmé Francatelli 1867, p.124

Irish Potato Pudding


One and a half pints of fine mashed potatoes, one pint cream, one nutmeg, one and a half pounds sugar, one and a half pounds butter, ten eggs. Bake in paste; then spread on meringue and brown.


Two tea-cupfuls sugar, two tea-cupfuls butter, one tea-cupful sweet cream, eight eggs, two and a half pints mashed potatoes, one nutmeg grated.—Mrs. Henry Buckner. -Housekeeping in the Blue Grass: a New and Practical Cook Book Southern Presbyterian Church (Paris, Ky.).1881, p.80.

The Cooking-Places of the Stone Age in Ireland

"The Cooking-Places of the Stone Age in Ireland"

John Quinlan

Mr. John Quinlan read the following Paper on "The Cooking-places of the Stone Age in Ireland," and exhibited a number of stone implements, &c. :—

While ample reference has been made by writers to the raths, cashels, crannogs, monoliths, and round towers of Ireland, no one seerns to have treated specially of "the ancient cooking places" of some race of people who dwelt, certainly in the counties of Waterford and Cork, indeed probably throughout all Ireland, as far back as the Neolithic, if not a still more remote period. Sir William Wilde in one of his lectures mentions that no matter how far you may go back, there is reason to believe that the Irish were very bad cooks. There is no country in Europe which presents amid its relics and remains so few and such rude specimens relating to the culinary art; even at a comparatively late period when the precious metals—gold and silver—were worked with great beauty of design and exquisite taste, cooking utensils, whether of metal or pottery, appear to have been as scarce as articles of ornamentation and weapons were abundant.

Far as we may search back into the records of Ireland, we are confronted with the assurance, that each and every people who visited our shores, invariably found other people here before them; but how they could have been all bad cooks it is really difficult to understand. A great Frenchman has said that " nothing shows the proficiency and advancement of a people in all the arts of civilization more than their superiority in the art of cookery;" and although the French have been known to do very eccentric things, no one ever heard of their sending to Ireland for a cook. But I am digressing. What I have to do with are Irish cooking-places of the stone age, and roofed by the vault of heaven. I am told that these ancient kitchens are to be found all over Ireland; but in this Paper I confine myself specially to those I have seen in the county Waterford, and in particular to one which I have opened and laid bare to view, such as it had been at the time it was in use,

" When wild in woods the noble savage ran."

Here, wherever a strong well or spring develops into a rivulet, you will not travel far before coming on a mound by the side of the stream; it is usually hemispherical in form, and having an opening towards the stream, unless its configuration has undergone alteration from tillage or such like operations; this mound is generally covered with a stunted crop of Irish furze, and is composed of broken and burned freestone—some pieces being about the size of a goose-egg, others somewhat larger, but most of them smaller—all, however, undoubtedly broken by man, and subjected to an intense heat.

The greater number of these mounds have been broken up and scattered about by plough and harrow; but very many of them, that were situated in bogs and moors have never been interfered with, and here in their more perfect state they present in shape the appearance of a horse's foot with the shoe on; the shoe itself being represented by the protecting wall, and the sole by the flagged floor of the hearth, where the small stones were heated by fire; the heel may be considered as represented by the opening in the protecting wall with the descending step adjoining and overlapping the trough, by which the stream from a well ran, and into which the meat was thrown. In this instance the trough is composed of an oak-tree hollowed out, and when cleared of the burned stones and rubbish was found to be very much decayed at the sides and rim, and altogether rotten at the lower end near the water; it is in colour like any ordinary bog oak. The floor of the hearth is composed of heavy sandstone blocks, which appear to have been dressed and neatly fitted

into each other, and the steps are well put together and very smooth ; the upper end of the trough goes in under the descending step which is about eight inches high, and was kept in its place by large stones wedged in between it and the soil of the field, which forms the foundation of the whole structure. The length of the trough to where it is rotted away is given, and also its breadth, in the sketch. The floor of the hearth, the steps, and the trough, all have a decline towards the water.

The theory which suggests itself is, that these people, having lighted a great fire, the stones made red hot thereby, were easily moved down the incline into the trough holding water from the stream ; that these stones when cooled were taken out and flung back all around the fireplace, to be again heated and returned to the trough, until the water boiled, when, the meat was put in, and kept simmering or boiling by a continuance of the process. At the present time we know that many tribes of savages cook their food in a similar manner.

The cooking-place in question had been often tilled like the rest of the field, and the stones had, doubtless, been scattered about by the plough and harrow. It is situated on the townland of Clonkerdon (where I reside) barony of Decies-Without-Drum, county Waterford, and was opened by me in November, 1885, remaining open with the trough in situ, for inspection of any one who might wish to see it. The whole mound, with the hearth and trough in the middle, has a diameter of fifty-two feet. There were about four feet of broken stones and black ashes over the floor and trough.

I made a section through the mound, and only cleared away sufficient of the small burnt stones to lay bare the rooking plnce itself, viz. hearth, steps, and trough. Js'o weapon, looking iiti-nsil, or ornament, was found in the small section dug out—they would be more likely to be discovered near to, than actually within, a spot that had been so greatly heated.

These cooking-places are invariably situated close to running streams or rivers, and no matter how wet the land may be, I have found them all the same. If what are swamps and bogs now had been such in those ancient days, it is not likely the people lived in them; but the Lmd, which is admittedly sinking, particularly along the south-east of Ireland, may have undergone such a depression since that period as to convert dry land into swamp and bog. We find trunks of oak still remaining in the position in which they originally grew in what, in the present day, is the subsoil of our bogs, but which is too low and wet now for the growth of any kind of timber. These cooking-places are called by the country people Fcllocx-feea, or Fullogh-Feea, which, I believe, means " the boiling-place or fire-place of the deer."

The three celts here exhibited by me were found at Clonkerdou within a few feet (in each case) of the burned stones of disturbed and nearly obliterated cooking-places, which suggests the theory that the people to whom they originally belonged used the cooking-places; and as the celts are Neolithic, these cooking-places probably belong to the same period.

The grooved stone exhibited may be one of those stones attached by a thong to two sticks, and used (like a flail) in battle, and to which some allusion is made in the account of the feuts of the Ulster champion, Cuchulainn. This stone is 4£ in. by 2£ in., with three grooves running around it, and one down the side from top to bottom.

The double stone chalice, to which I draw attention, is 8 inches high, and 5£ inches across the cup.

Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1887 p.390

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Irish Pancakes 1833

Irish Pancakes.

Beat eight yolks and four whites of eggs, strain them into a pint of cream, put a grated nutmeg, and sugar to your taste : set three ounces of fresh butter on the fire, stir it, and aa it warms pour it to the cream, which should be warm when the eggs are put to it: then mix smooth almost half a pound of flour. Fry the pancakes very thin ; the first with a bit of butter, but not the others. Serve several on one another. New-England Pancakes,

Mix a pint of cream, five spoonsful of fine flour, seven yolks and four whites of eggs, and a very little salt; fry them very thin in fresh butter, and between each strew sufar and cinnamon. Send up six or eight at once.

A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed Upon Principles of Economy, and Adapted to the Use of Private Families., Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell,J. Murray, 1833

To Boil Potatos 1845

To Boil Potatoes; (agenuine Irish Receipt.)

Potatoes, to boil well together, should be all of the same sort, and as nearly equal in size as may be. Wash off the mould, and scrub them very clean with a hard brush, but neither scoop nor apply a knife to them in any way, even to clear the eyes.* Rinse them well, and arrange them compactly in a saucepan, so that they may not lie loose in the water, and that a small quantity may suffice to cover t£em. Pour this in cold, and when it boils, throw in about a large -teaspoonful of salt to the quart, and simmer the potatoes until they are nearly done, but for the last two or three minutes let them boil rapidly. When they are tender quite through, which may he known by probing them with a fork, pour all the water from them immediately, lift the lid of the saucepan to allow the steam to escape, and place them on a trevet, high over the fire, or by the side of it, until the moisture has entirely evaporated; then peel, and send them to table as quickly as possible, either in a hot napkin, or in a dish, of which the cover is so placed that the steam can pass off. There should be no delay in serving them after they are once taken from the fire: Irish families usually prefer them served in their skins. Some kinds will be done in twenty minutes, others in less than three quarters of an hour. We are informed that " the best potatoes are those which average from five to six to the pound, with few eyes,

* " Because," in the words of our clever Irish correspondent, " the water through these parts is then admitted into the very heart of the vegetable; and the latent heat, after cooking, is not sufficient to throw it o$f: this renders the potatoes very unwholesome."

but those pretty deep, and equally distributed over the surface." We cannot ourselves vouch for the correctness of the assertion, but we think it may be relied -on.

20 minutes to j hour or more.

O6s.—The water in which they are boiled should barely cover the potatoes.

Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches: Reduced to a System of Easy Practice, for the Use of Private Families : in a Series of Receipts, which Have Been Strictly Tested, and are Given with the Most Minute Exactness : to which are Added Directions for Carving, Garnishing, and Setting Out the Table ...

Eliza Acton, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale

Lea and Blanchard, 1845

Two Rival Spiced Beef Recipes from 1845

Spiced Round Of Beef ; (very highly flavoured..)

Rub the beef well in every part with half a pound of coarse brown sugar, and let it remain two days; then reduce tfl powder, and mix thoroughly before they are applied to the meat, two ounces of saltpetre, three quarters of a pound of common salt, a quarter-pound of black pepper, three ounces of allspice, and four of bruised juniper-berries. Rub these ingredients strongly and equally over the joint, and do so daily for three weeks, turning it at the same time. Just wash off the spice, and put the beef into a tin, or covered earthen pan as nearly of its size as possible, with a cup of water or gravy; cover the top thickly with chopped beef-suet, and lay a coarse thick crust over the pan; place the cover on it, and bake the meat from five to six hours in a well-heated oven, which should not, however, be sufficiently fierce to harden the outside of the joint, which, if properly managed, will be exceedingly tender. Let it cool in the pan ; and clear off the suet before it is dished. It is to be served cold, and will remain good for a fortnight.

Beef, 20 to 25 Ibs. weight; sugar, 3 ozs.: 2 days. Saltpetre, 2 ozs.; common salt, j Ib.; black pepper, 4 ozs.; allspice, 3 ozs.; juniper- berries, 4 ozs.: 21 days. Baked 5 to 6 hours.

Obs.—We have not ourselves tested this receipt, but the meat cured by it has received such high commendations from several of our friends who have partaken of it frequently, that we think we may safely insert it without. The proportion of allspice appears to us more than would be agreeable to many tastes, and we would rather recommend that part of it should be omitted, and that a portion of nutmeg, mace, and cloves should be substituted for it; as we have found these spices to answer well in the following receipt.

Spiced Beef ; (good and wholesome.)

For twelve pounds of the round, rump, or thick flank of beef, take a large teaspoonful of freshly-pounded mace, and of ground black pepper, twice as much of cloves, one small nutmeg, and a quarter teaspoonful of cayenne, all in the finest powder. Mix them well with seven ounces of brown sugar, rub the beef with them and let it lie three days; add to it then half a pound of fine salt, and rub and turn it once in twenty- four hours for twelve days. Just wash, but do not soak it; skewer, or bind it into good form, put it into a stewpan or saucepan nearly of its size, pour to it a pint and a half of good beef broth, and when it begins to boil, take off the scum, and throw in one small onion, a moderate- sized faggot of thyme and parsley, and two large, or four small carrots. Let it simmer quite softly for four hours and a half, and if not wanted to serve hot, leave it in its own liquor until it is nearly cold. This is an excellent and far more wholesome dish than the hard, bright- coloured beef which is cured with large quantities of salt and saltpetre: two or three ounces of juniper-berries may be added to it with the spice, to heighten its flavour.

Beef, 12 Ibs.; sugar, 7 ozs.; mace and black pepper, each, 1 large teaspoonful; cloves, in powder, 1 large dessertspoonful; nutmeg, 1; cayenne, J teaspoonful: 3 days. Fine salt, £ Ib.: 12 days. Beef broth (or bouillon), ij pint; onion, 1 small; bunch of herbs; carrots, 2 large, or 4 small: stewed 4J hours.

Obs.—We give this receipt exactly as we have often had it used, but celery and turnips might be added to the gravy; and when the appearance of the meat is much considered, three-quarters of an ounce of saltpetre may be mixed with the spices; the beef may also be plainly boiled in water only, with a few vegetables, or baked in a deep pan with a little gravy. No meat must ever be left to cool in the stewpan or saucepan in which it is cooked; it must be lifted into a pan of its own depth, and the liquor poured upon it.

Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches: Reduced to a System of Easy Practice, for the Use of Private Families : in a Series of Receipts, which Have Been Strictly Tested, and are Given with the Most Minute Exactness : to which are Added Directions for Carving, Garnishing, and Setting Out the Table ...

Eliza Acton, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale

Lea and Blanchard, 1845

Irish Moss Drink 1908

Irish Moss Drink Ingredients

A teacupful of Irish moss. Castor sugar to taste.

One pint of cold water. A little lemon juice.

A glass of sherry or Marsala.

Method.—Wash the moss very thoroughly, then let it soak overnight in cold water. Next day strain out the moss, put it in a clean saucepan with the pint of water, and let it boil gently for an hour. Strain off the liquid, add the lemon juice, sherry, and sugar to taste. Great pains should be taken in the flavouring, so as to disguise the somewhat unpleasant characteristic flavour of this seaweed.

The Complete Cook.,Lilian Whitling,Methuen & Co., 1908

Soda Scones 1908

Soda Scones


Three and a half level breakfast- Half a pint of milk.

cupfuls of flour. Two tablespoonfuls of sultanas.

Three rounded tablespoonfuls of Five level teaspoonfuls of cream

butter or good dripping. of tartar.

One rounded tablespoonful of Two and a half level teaspoonfuls

castor sugar. of carbonate of soda.

Metlwd.—Have ready a flat baking tin slightly buttered. Sieve the sugar, cream of tartar, carbonate of soda, and flour. Rub in the butter finely, add the cleaned sultanas, and mix to a soft but not sticky dough with the milk. More or less milk may be required. Turn the dough on to a floured board, knead lightly, make it into two rounds, and roll them out half an inch thick. Mark them deeply across in four with the back of a knife. Put them on the tin, and bake in a quick oven for about three-quarters of an hour. When done, brush them over with a teaspoonful of butter melted in a tablespoonful of milk, and break the scones apart; on no account cut them, or they will be heavy.-

The Complete Cook.,Lilian Whitling,Methuen & Co., 1908

19th Century Sweet Scones

Sweet Scones 445

Take 1 lb. flour, and mix with it one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, and a little salt. Then rub in 1 oz. butter and 2 oz. lard, and add 3 oz. sugar and the same quantity of currants. Mix the whole to a smooth dough, with about half a pint of milk ; cut into shapes, and brush over with egg. Bake from twenty to thirty minutes.

Ten Shillings a Head Per Week for House Books
Dorothy Constance Peel, C. S. Peel,Contributor Constable, Archibald, and Co, Butler and Tanner,
A. Constable, 1899

Oat Cakes 19th Century

Healthy! And Ancient!

Oat Cake 433

Mix two or three tablespoonsful of oatmeal with a pinch of salt and a little cold water; knead it well round and round with the hands for some minutes, then roll it on a pastry board, and strew meal on and under it; move it by means of a baking spoon on to the bake stone, and bake it on both sides over a clear fire. It is well to mix only sufficient batter for one cake, for it soon dries. Time, two or three minutes to bake the cake.

-Ten Shillings a Head Per Week for House Books, Dorothy Constance Peel, C. S. Peel
Constable, Archibald, and Co, Butler and Tannerm A. Constable, 1899

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Irish Soldiers Cooked Beef

But not only were the Irish soldiers in those days accustomed to catch their cows in a strange manner, but they had an equally strange manner of cooking them. They in fact boiled them in their skins ; having skinned a cow, they formed a bag or trough by lashing the skin firmly at tlie four corners to trees or stakes, and then having poured water into the trough, they kindled a large fire at one side, and they boiled the water and cooked the meat by heating stones to a great heat and throwing them into the trough. This seems to have been an adaptation of the manner of cooking adopted in the old Irish cooking places, called " the Boiling-places or Fire-places of the Deer." So that between the catching and the cooking, we cannot be surprised that the French were not a little astonished.

-Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society.,County Kildare Archaeological Society,Ponsonby., 1899,p. 43.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Leekie Manglam

Leeks have always occupied a favored place in Irish cooking-and with
good reason. Their popularity dates back to the days of St. Patrick.
One day, so the story goes, a chieftain who was being driven out of his
mind by his pregnant wife's demands for leeks (then out of season),
implored the saint's help. St. Patrick took a few juicy rushes, blessed
them, and turned them into leeks which immediately cured the unfortunate
woman's "longing sickness" and brought peace to her harassed husband.
There and then St. Patrick ordained that any woman suffering from the
"longing sickness" (modern doctors call it "pica" or "morbid craving")
shoudl be cured if she ate any member of the onion family.

Leekie Manglam (leek pasty) is well worth trying even if one is not in
an interesting condition.

Ingredients: 1/3 recipe for Lardy Cakes, (see this blog) ,3 large leeks,
4 slices streaky bacon, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup milk, pepper and
salt to taste, 1 egg.

Method: Parboil the leeks, drain, and cut them into very thin slices,
add the diced bacon, mix in crumbs, milk, and seasoning. Divide the
pastry in two. Use half to line a pie plate. Fill with the leek
mixture. Brush edges with water. Cover with a lid of pastry. Press
edges firmly together and flute. Brush with beaten egg and bake in a
425 degree oven.

-Maura Laverty, Feasting Galore.

Johnny McGorey Jelly

"Johnny McGoreys" is one name for rose hips, the seed pods of the wild
rose. "Sticky-backs" is another name which derives from the fact that
children who arefull of devilment liketo crush the pods and push them
down the back of an unsuspecting victim; the prickly fibers can be very

Ingredients: Take equal parts of Johnny McGoreys, crab apples,
blackberries, and damsons. Cut up the crab apples (including peels and
cores) comb ine with blackberries nad damsons and add water to cover.
Simmer until tender and strain through a jelly bag. Simmer the rose
hips separately in cider to cover. Strain through flannel to insure
that none of the fibers get into the jelly. Combine juices, measure,
and place in preserving pan. Add 1 cup heated sugar for each cup of
juice. Boil until the jelly will set when tested.

-Maura Laverty, Feasting Galore

Crab Apple and Bramble Jelly

Use 2 parts of blackberries to one of crab apples. Wash and cut up the
crab apples. Cook the fruits separately, with just enough water to
cover. When tender, strain through a jelly bag. Combine juices and
measure. Allow 1 cup sugar to each cup of juice. Bring the juice to a
boil, stir in the heated sugar, stir until dissolved. Bring again to a
boil and boil rapidly until the jelly will set when tested. Skim and
pour into heated jars.

-Marura Laverty, Feasting Galore

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nested Eggs

For each person allow 3/4 cup potato mashed with butter and cream, 1
tablespoon cooked peas, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons butter.

Method: Place the potatoes in mounds on a greased baking sheet. Press a
cup into each to make a hollow. Place a tablespoon of cooked peas in
each "nest," carefully break a raw egg over the peas. Season with
pepper and salt and dot with butter. brush with beaten egg and bake 20
minutes in a 375 degree oven. Serve with buttered par sliced carrots.

-Feasting Galore, Maura Laverty

Mealie Greachie

On fast days this is served as an accompaniment to the fried breakfast
eggs. Melt a tablespoon butter or bacon fat in frying pan. Add as much
flake oatmeal as will absorb the fat, and fry until the meal is toasted.
Some people like to include a little chopped onion.

-Feasting Galore, Maura Laverty.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don't play with your food but play during the meal!

When I talk of games to mind will come all of the famous board games-
endless sessions of monopoly, then the endless sessions of card
games....for the non player tedious as they can do nothing else but run
errands for the players. Nothing wrong with a games evening if everyone
is on board for the game but not for general feasts and celebrations
where a diverse audience is present. For this you need to consult the
solutions brought about through centuries of cultural adaptation.

The Irish tradition is filled with many many games. These were developed
by families waiting for others to reach them over the poor roads of the
time on foot or slow horse. It took several days for people to get to
their wakes and weddings. While the prepares and keeners were busy with
their work the children and others needed to be entertained. So out came
the short energetic and often violent games.

The games specialize in being short. They also were filled with
surprises. Acting and counting skills were required but no boards or
cards. Today one is amazed at the ability of participants to withstand
the penalties- being stuffed in the dung heap, hit on the
shins....covered with mucky ash.

Today we must be more careful or else risk being locked up-such is
freedom! However, all is not lost. The games can be modified with the
muck being substituted with allergy free powder etc....

Games of recitation can be done around the table between courses. The
food will settle better and the minds will be working. The host will get
a break and the energy of the children otherwise spent in causing
destruction and chaos will be burned off.

The dramatic games will take place between courses. Another way to add
to the event. A bit of high drama, acting and fun. Laughter is the best
medicine and the best course of the good feast as well!

For Great games go to the Wake Page where they are kept!

Watch this space as I provide all manner of diversion through games. Put
the instructions on cards and have someone select the game of the moment
from the deck. Let that person set it up and be the judge. Soon there
will be more room for that wondrous dessert!