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

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.