Pat Smyth 21st July 2017 Skylark Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway
Interviewer: Clare Doyle (CD)
Interviewee: Pat Smyth (PS)
CD: Did you buy the butter, or make your own?
PS: Make our own butter.
CD: Ah, right. And how would you do that?
PS: You’d have to churn, strain … separate the milk
CD: Ah, right. So, you’d milk the cow in the morning?
PS: Cows…milk the cows in the cabin
PS: And milk
CD: And collect up the milk?
PS: Collect up the milk and put it into a container…
CD: Like a bucket or a basin
PS: A galvanised bucket
PS: What you‘d get, what you’d get one time, you get a basin and you’d get a galvanised bucket … get the galvanised bucket or you could … get the galvanised bucket to separate the milk
PS: You’d fill it up with milk and when you have the buttermilk, you could put the milk, the buttermilk into it
CD: And what kind of a churn did you have, was it a timber one?
PS: A timber one
CD: And you had a handle on it?
PS: Yeah, there was a handle, and a dash inside in that
CD: What’s the dash look like?
PS: It looks like… it looks like a stair, steps on it
PS: One going that way, and one like that
CD: So, they go in different directions
PS: Make, like an ‘X’ to make it work …
CD: Right. And you just have to press it up and down, is it?
PS: Yeah, yeah
CD: That would be hard on the arms, would it?
PS: You have to put …
CD: You have to keep going?
PS: You have to put in the churn, connect the handle and there was, there was a thing on it, a bolt…
CD: Ah, right
PS: And you screw, screw it
CD: Screw it in tight
PS: And you keep…
CD: And whose job was it now to do that?
PS: We all used to have to do it
CD: You all took a turn
PS: And it’s … about an hour
CD: That’s not too bad
CD: And how often, would you do that every week?
PS: Oh, you do it every week, yeah
CD: Wold you use a lot of butter?
PS: Every second day even!
PS: Yeah. We used to use a lot of butter
CD: And what would you do, once, once the churn… you’d have to take the butter then, out of the churn, what would happen after that?
PS: You, eh, you put it into, on an iron, steel plate
PS: Put the two, the two…
CD: They were like paddles, were they?
PS: Yeah, you’d take it out, take it out and leave the butter then, leave it on the table
CD: And you could use it straight away?
PS: You could, and it was lovely then