Food (Cahersiveen NS Folklore Project)

Q:   What was your most popular dinner?

Bacon and cabbage would have been our most popular dinner.  We would have it most nights, except on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.


Q:   Where did you get the bacon and cabbage?

My mother bought the bacon from the local grocery shop and the cabbage was from our back garden.  My father grew a vegetable patch in our back garden.


Q:   What other dinners did you have?

On Fridays we always ate fish, which was either herring or whiting. Our Saturday dinner was usually pork chops or spare ribs.  Sunday dinner was always something very special; we always had roast, fresh vegetables and gravy.


Q:   How often would you have dessert?

We would usually have dessert every Sunday and at Christmas time.


Q:   What did you have for dessert?   

We usually had apple tart and custard. No matter what the dessert, we called it pudding.


Q:   What did you have for breakfast?

We had porridge each morning and sometimes we had a boiled egg.


Q:   What time did you usually have your dinner?

My father finished at around 6 pm, so we had dinner between 6.30 pm and 7 p.m. We always waited until Dad came home for dinner.


Q:   Would you get treats often?

Yes, I got treats every so often, we all did. It was usually on a Sunday after Mass.


Q:    What were the treats?

The treats were Penny Butterscotch.  It was a type of Caramel bar.


Q:   Were there School Dinners?

No, we brought our own lunch from home.

Q:   What did you have for school lunch?

I had tea and bread each day.  I would have a piece of fruit, usually an apple or orange.  At a later stage, we had bananas.


Q:   Where did you get the tea and bread?

The school provided the tea and the bread came from the grocery shop. The loaf bread was not sliced.

Q:   What was the sandwich filling for the school lunch?

The filling was either butter or jam.  You couldn’t put both on the same slice.


Q:   What did you have for Christmas Dinner?

The starter would have been homemade soup.  Our dinner would have been goose, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts and mash.  The dessert was sherry trifle.


Q:   Were there any restaurants in your town?

Yes, there were a few restaurants, but we didn’t go too often.


Q:   Did you ever go out for meals?

Not when I was young, but when I was 17or 18, there was a café, where you could have teas or coffee and they also had buns and cake.


Q:   Were there any big shops in your town?

No, there were no big shops, but there was a local grocery shop.

Q:   Did you have crisps?

No, there were no crisps; instead we had biscuits, which were called Penny Biscuits.


Q:   Where did you get the dairy products?

We brought all our dairy products from the grocers. The cheese came in a big black bag; it was 18 inches long and 6 inches deep.  The shopkeeper would cut off the amount of cheese you wanted to buy.


Q:   What meat did you eat and where did you get it from?

We would have sirloin steak.  The butcher supplied the meat, where the big lumps were hanging on racks and he would cut off the amount you wanted.


Q:   Was there a Milkman or a Breadman?

I can only remember there being a Milkman and he came on a bicycle.  The milk came in cans with a spout, from which to pour it.


Q:   Did you grow your own fruit and vegetables?

Yes, we grew some vegetables.  There was a fruit and vegetable market in town every Thursday.


Q:   What food was imported?

Our tea was imported.  It came in boxes called Tea-chests, which measured from 6 inches to 2 feet.  They used funnels to put the tea into bags.


Q:   Did your local shops ever hold food fares?

No, I do not remember any food fares in the shops.


Q:   Were there any Bakeries?

Yes, the bakery sold buns with icing, apple tarts and cream cakes.


Q:   Did you bake anything at home?

Yes, my mam baked soda bread with currants, white soda bread and wheaten bread.


Q:   What kind of chocolate or sweets were there?

The chocolate company was Fry’s Band. They made dark chocolate with a creamy centre.  We also had toffee sweets .As well as that we had liquorice, which was longer than it is now and it was always black.


Q:   Would there have been pasta or rice?

Yes, we would have rice but no pasta.  Rice was often used for dessert. Mam used to make Rice Pudding very often.

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