School: Baile na Cille (roll number 1320)

Ballynakill, Co. Galway
Éinrí Ó Mainnín

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Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0051, Page 0045

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Long ago some of the people grew their own wheat and oats but those who lived in mountainous districts had to buy oatmeal.
The corn was threshed with a flail on the kitchen floor or in a barn. It was riddled then to take away the chaff and it was afterwards sifted to take away all seeds and dust. The oats and wheat were dried in a pot over the fire and at night the corn was ground with hand-querns.
Oaten bread was baked on the griddle and it was sometimes baked on the hearth-stone.
Clean raw potatoes were grated and the water was squeezed off them. The grated potatoes and boiled potatoes mixed with flour were baked on the griddle. This cake was called a "boxty" cake. A sign like a cross was make on the cake with a knife to make it rise very high. Water was used for kneading the dough and a pinch of salt and soda was put in the cake. When going to the bog in Summer each person brought the full of a pint vessel of oatmeal. About two o'clock they milked a cow into the vessel and then they ate all the oaten meal and drank the milk out of the vessel.

Michael Goonan
Michael Goonan
Ballynagar, Co. Galway