A round three-legged pot was
used in the cottages for roasting, baking and stewing. It hung from a chain
(slouree) over a turf fire in the big open hearth (chiollagh). The lid was flat
and could hold a fire on top to ensure an even heat when
Before the advent of cast-iron ovens,
some cottages had ovens built into the wall beside the fireplace. They were
heated by burning fuel inside until the desired temperature was reached. Then
the fire would be brushed out with a goose wing.
As it was a lengthy task to prepare the wall ovens, most baking
was done on the griddle over the fire or in the pot-oven.
Baking day would bring forth a batch of plain and fruit bonnags
(large scones) and soda cakes, which were traditionally made with buttermilk -
but sour milk is a reasonable substitute.
2 1/2 Cups of Plain Flour (brown or white)
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of
1 Tablespoon of
1 Teaspoon of Bicarbonate of
Teaspoon of Mixed Spice
1 Cup of
Put dry ingredients in a
bowl. Rub in the butter. Gradually add the buttermilk and a few drops of
vanilla essence and mix to a soft dough. Ad a little more buttermilk if
Shape into a round and bake for
about an hour in a moderate oven.
It should be
three to four inches thick and slightly loaf-shaped.