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Celtic Cookery : Irish Work house cookery pre-famine

Excerpts from the book :Ireland:Dublin, the Shannon, Limerick, Cork, and the Kilkenny Races . Johann Georg Kohl, 1844.
Compiled by Conrad Bladey. Posted by kind permission of Conrad Bladey . All rights reserved.

As among most classes in Ireland and England, the day is divided into three acts or meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
By the last is not to be understood the noonday meal but the chief meal of the day. The lunch is participated in only by the children and invalids. The healthy and full-grown are excluded from it. The hours at which these meals are taken are later than with us in Germany. Nine o'clock is the hour for breakfast, and four in the afternoon for dinner.

The breakfast, as inmost parts of Ireland, among those who have the means of decent maintenance, consists of new milk and stirabout, a kind of porridge of oatmeal ; the dinner is composed of potatoes and buttermilk. The children, for their lunch, receive bread and milk. On Sundays, holidays, and on every Thursday, a little brose, or soup, is given, in addition to the customary diet. An adult receives seven ounces of oatmeal and half a pint of new milk for breakfast, and four pounds of potatoes and a pint of buttermilk for dinner. The board of an adult is calculated to- cost one shilling and fourpence three-farthings weekly. That of the children is more expensive, on account of the bread, and the more liberal supply of milk. The most costly of all is the board of the children under two year old, who cost one shilling and sixpence three farthings a week, for which they receive one pint of new milk and a pound of bread daily.
There is therefore a potato diet for adults, and
bread diet for children, a rice and meat diet for the sick, and lastly, a fever diet for the class of patients always most numerous in an Irish workhouse-

I was astonished by the appearance of the potato-kettle at this house.

No less than 167 pounds of potatoes are boiled at once. This enormous quantity is all divided into portions of three and a half and four pounds, and each portion is enclosed in a small net.

All these nets are laid together in a large basket, and. this basket, with its nets and potatoes, is deposited in the boiler. When the potatoes are supposed to have been sufficiently boiled, the basket is wound up again by a machinery constructed for the purpose, and the poor are then marched up in military order, when each receives his net and marches away with it.-

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