The Food we ate

Sowing potatoes in Killererin in the 1930s

Garra N.S. pupil 1938

Harvested potatoes
Photo: Shutterstock/TwilightArtPictures


Every year we sow about 2 acres of potatoes. My brother prepares the ground for them and makes the drills.  When the drills are made we put out farmyard manure and throw it in little heaps along the drills. Then two or three of us go along with forks and spread it along the drills. All this time, my mother has been cutting slits that is cutting potatoes into two or three with two eyes in each out of which the gas grows. When she has enough cut we show them; that is we get a bucket full of slits each and spread them along the dyke within a foot of each other. Then we come along and close them with a double-plough

Types of Potatoes

Almost every household sows a small amount of early potatoes for example: Epicures and Home Rulers. The others are chiefly Kers Pink,  Champions, Golden Wonders, Skeries, Donoghues, Aran Banners, Aran Chiefs, Aran Victors, Up to Date and Sharps Express. They are dug in October with a digger, a plough or a spade.


They used to eat the breakfast around nine o’clock, the dinner at two and the supper when they stopped work in the evening. Indian meal porridge with milk and oaten bread baked by the side of the fire on a griddle or the tongs for the breakfast, potatoes, an egg and buttermilk and oatmeal boiled into a thin porridge which they used to call “bruhán” for the dinner. Roasted potatoes, salt and milk for the supper. They used to call the roasted potatoes “cast”. They used to eat the meals around a [scib] in the middle of the floor and the one plate would do the whole lot of them. They used to have a little currant cake at Christmas and potato cakes.

When tea first arrived

When tea came out first they used to only have it in the morning. Before that they used to have little wooden mugs without handles called “noggins”.  They used not have any knives either; with the potatoes. It was a great custom for them to have called November’s Night.


(Originally published in Killererin – A Parish History, P. 388)

This page was added on 13/03/2018.

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