Goose Feathers and Dinner

Margaret Heagney

Margaret Heagney 21st July 2017 Deerpark Social Services Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Goose Feathers and Dinner

Interviewer: Clare Doyle (CD)

Interviewee: Margaret Heagney (MH)


CD: Was it your mother’s job to collect the eggs from the chickens?

MH: Yes, we always had out won hen and chickens, you know…

CD: Did you have any ducks?

MH: No, I don’t remember…Geese! Geese, no turkeys, the turkeys because they couldn’t survive on our land. But it was all geese. Geese we had at Christmas…

CD: And you had to kill him yourself then for the dinner, for Christmas?

MH: My mother wold catch the goose and she’d hold her between the two knees and I’d run away when I’d see her with the knife.

CD: I’d say that was a quick job was it?

MH: And she plucked the goose then, and she kept the down of the goose and that was making for mattresses for the bed and for the pillows, they were all feather.

CD: So, everything was kept?

MH: OH, nothing was wasted on the farm, absolutely nothing

CD: And how would you have cooked the goose?

MH: She pluck the goose and she’d keep the feathers, and she’d call me or one of us, “bring me a bag to put the feathers into, tie that now”, she’d say and put the feathers into a place until she got more. Ant then she’d buy the ticking, we used to call it and she’d down at night and she’d sew that on her knee.

CD: Any what was that now?

MH: It was to make the mattress. For the bed. Ant then she had a smaller piece make the pillows

CD: Right

MH: It would be lovely and soft in the bed, you’d sink into the bed so you would

CD: That sounds lovely

MH: It did. But it wasn’t good, the hard bed was much better

CD: Yeah

CD: And if you were cooking the goose now, how would she cook him? Would she cook him in a pot on the fire?

MH: Yes, it was always done in an oven. She’d put it over the fire for so long, about an hour and then she’d take it up and she’d put the coals around, put the oven on it and put coals on the top and she’d keep an eye on it would be there til it was cooked

CD: So, he’d be there a good long time?

MH: You’d peel a few potatoes and put them in to roast them as well.

CD: And they would be your own potatoes from the garden, would they?

MH: Oh, everything came from the garden, we bought nothing

CD: So, you didn’t have to go to the shop hardly at all?

MH: No

CD: Probably for tea leaves and that was it?

MH: Tea and sugar

This page was added on 07/08/2017.

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