Photography by Anne Cuffe
Coiste an Chillín, Maigh Cuilinn
An Cillín in the heart of Moycullen village stands as a reminder of our Christian heritage and culture. Today’s display presents a collection of cooking utensils and accessories used in the kitchen of most traditional Irish homes in our grandparents time.
The two skillet pots on display were used by my grandmother, one in which to roast fowl, reared on the farm and the other to bake bread. The iron skillet pot was greased with home made butter and sprinkled with flour, put on a trivet over hot coals to preheat in preparation for the handmade brown soda bread. A mix of brown and white flour with breadsoda, salt and buttermilk added to mix to a soft dough, lightly kneaded and shaped. A prayer was recited and a CROSS was cut on top as a sign of blessing on the food and the household, before putting bread into the hot skillet pot. The lid was then covered with hot coals, keeping temperature high, ensuring a soft beautifully risen soda bread.
The prayer used on this occasion together with many prayers recited during daily activities – PAIDREACHA DE RÉIR ÓCÁIDE, on lighting the fire, prayer before and after meals, blessing the cow, are recorded for posterity, to be found in a compilation of traditional prayers, ‘Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais’ by Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire. S.J.
Our display also incorporated fresh free range eggs as would have been available in traditional homesteads together with delicious homegrown fresh vegetables and preserves.
Fine china and embroidered cloths, made by my mother in law (who died in her 98th year in 2011) were used to decorate tables on the occasion of Parish Station Masses, a tradition enjoyed to this day around the country.
Coiste an Chillín endeavours to celebrate our rich heritage and culture which has clearly been influenced by a strong Christian faith. All are invited to reflect and celebrate our past at An Cillín.
We hope our efforts for the Galway Gastronomy Festival was useful and worthwhile. We thoroughly enjoyed our participation in the event on 16/3/’18