School: Bealach (roll number 5811)

Ballagh, Co. Roscommon
Domhnall Ó Daltúin

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Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0258, Page 149

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All country homes have churns- old old type is the barrel shaped churn - churo, head of the dash, lid, ''claibin'' which are placed over the lid - the handle of the dash passing through it. The churn is 4 feet high, 11/2 feet in diameter at top and 2 feet in diameter at the bottom. Churning is done twice a week in Summer and once a week in Winter-time. All in the house take a round at the churning. Before starting the woman of the house puts in salt and says ''In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
After about 20 minutes the milk is ''broke'' and the orders given to''keep to it'' as this is the important stage when the butter is forming.
In cold weather if the breaking is slow warm water is poured in - but in warm weather when the milk is too ''soft'' cold water is poured in during the process of churning.
Churning is done by hand and the handle of the dash is moved towards you and when raising it and and from you when beating it down. It is never moved up and down straight downas you would knock off the head or breakthe bottom ..... of the churn

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Daniel D'Alton
Mrs Mary Mc Dermott
Cartron, Co. Roscommon