Killing and Cooking a Bird for Christmas Dinner
Pat Smyth 21st July 2017 Skylark Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway
Killing and Cooking a bird for Christmas dinner
Interviewer: Clare Doyle (CD)
Interviewee: Pat Smyth (PS)
CD: Do you ever remember what you’d eat at Christmas, Christmas would be a special time
CD: Was it, and…
CD: Would you buy the turkey or the goose or would you have to kill it?
PS: You’d have to kill it, pluck it
CD: How would you do that now, how would you kill the turkey?
PS: A good knife
CD: Ah, right. And would that be quick?
PS: It would, yeah
CD: And then once you’d killed him what would happen after that?
PS: We…left it a while to die and … he plucked it
PS: Plucked the body
CD: And then he was ready for the pot
PS: And when it was plucked we singed it, like
CD: Ah right, and why…would you singe it?
PS: With papers. My mother, my mother…. My mother singed it, to see, just to make sure that the feathers, that there were no feathers left
CD: Ah, very good, the feathers would be off it then?
PS: Yeah, she done it with papers
CD: Right, and then he’d be ready for the pot?
PS: Yeah. She’d have to … she’s have to cut it
CD: Right. That would be a messy job, would it?
PS: Jesus, it would. Very messy
CD: I’d say there’s a bit of a smell then is there?
PS: Yes, burn them!
CD: Get rid of them!
PS: … on the open fire
CD: Right. And how would she cook the goose then, would it go into a big pot
PS: It would go into a pot
CD: And you put him on the fire?
PS: On the crane, as we called it
CD: Right. How…what did the crane look like?
PS: It was a steel crane, steel crane with crooks on it
CD: And you hang the pots off it, is it?
CD: So, you’d want your fire to be very hot?
CD: You’d burn the turf in it, is it?
PS: Burn turf or coal
PS: Or timber