The following article has been put together for our Gastronomy Galway 2018 project. Most of the interviewees for our Parish History book were from a farming background and the common theme throughout are diet, threshing, stations, killing the pig, going to fairs etc. I hope you enjoy reading these extracts and that you get a sense of what life was like for past generations in this locality.
New bride had to look after smaller animals
During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, a lot of marriages were arranged. Men were often left in the position of reaching middle age and inheriting the farm and maybe looking after one or both elderly parents. A man may have had ‘a match made’ for him to get married to a younger woman, as they would hope to have children who, in time, could take over the farm. ……The bride would move into the groom’s home after the wedding and take on the housework. She would be expected to care for the smaller animals such as hens, pigs and geese and maybe ducks.
Layout of house
Most houses were thatched with two bedrooms and a loft at the end of the house. The kitchen was in the centre of the house. The big open fire often had a brightly painted brick fireplace with a metal crane hanging across over the turf fire and on this the pot of potatoes or the kettle would hang on a pot hook to boil. Bread was baked in a black pot (or ‘oven’) placed on a bed of hot coals from the fire with more coals placed on the lid. Every house had a dresser where the cups, jugs and plates were kept. The kitchen table and chairs and stools were made from plain wood, which would be regularly washed and scrubbed. Some houses had a settle-bed that would act as a seat during the day and open out into a bed at night for children. The outside and inside of the house would be whitewashed and sometimes a ‘bluebag’ was added to the bucket of whitewash to give a brighter shade to the outside of the house.
…….The ‘house stations’ were held in Spring and Autumn. As soon as people knew it was their turn to host the station mass, they would start to clean their house. The mass was always said in the morning. …Confessions would be heard in a quiet corner of the house. When the priest had finished saying the mass he collected the ‘station money’ from each of the neighbours attending the mass. They always had the money with them and gave what they could. He would then be served a breakfast of boiled eggs and maybe toast or brown bread. This was often in the parlour or best room. Tea and currant cake would later be handed to everyone as they sat around the table and chatted. Something stronger would