School: Baile an Chnuich (Hilltown)

Hilltown, Co. Wexford
Simon Murphy

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Food in Ancient Times

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0882, Page 190

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Long ago the people lived on three meals per day, breakfast early in the morning, dinner at noon and supper when the days work was done.
It was also the custom to work a few hours before breakfast which consisted of Porridge and milk.
The dinner usually eaten was potatoes, salt and milk with butter occasionally and meat at odd times.
Supper consisted of wheaten meal porridge, milk and barley bread.

Nettles were often used as vegetables and the custom still prevails in giving nettles to turkeys to 'reddin' their heads.
Porridge was often made on sheeps milk.
People ground their own corn with querns many of which can be seen in locality to this day.
The tables were fastened to the walls and when not in use were let down by the walls.
Before the use of cups became common wooden vessels called "noggins" were used also wooden plates.
Tea was first used in locality about seventy years ago and it took many years before people became used to it, Many stories are told of people throwing out the water and using the leaves or of people using many times too much tea at a time. For years it was a luxury and only used on Sundays + feast days.