Christmas traditions

As we were putting the Christmas cake and Christmas pudding recipes up on the website I was chatting with Cathy about Christmas traditions that she remembered in 1950’s Ireland. It is so amazing how different times are today compared to when she was a child. Really society has moved so fast it’s hard to comprehend.

A few interesting things that I learned was that Christmas cakes were not baked by everyone as not everyone had an oven. A pudding was mostly baked as it could be boiled over the fire and although puddings have been around since medieval times it was the Victorians who developed the boiled/steamed pudding as we know it today.

Christmas Pudding Recipe

However the most crazy thing Cathy told me was that in her house the wing of the turkey was used as a duster!! I suppose maybe this is where we get feather dusters from!. I

The turkeys were reared from September by her mother Bridget. They were fattened up for Christmas and the poor things met their end much to Cathy’s screams and roars as a child. They were plucked and hung for about a week. My grandmother would have wrapped the turkeys in layers of brown paper tied with brown twine the knots of the twine was then sealed with melted sealing wax and posted to her brother in law in Dublin. No chilled transport then! We just walk into the supermarket and pick a turkey off a shelf. I am always amazed that although life is easier in ways by modern conveniences we still have such busy lives.

Maybe over Christmas you could ask your parents, grandparents about what Christmas was like when they are children as so much information is lost so it’s great to share these traditions while we still can. Did they ever use or hear tell of a turkey duster? Please let us know !

2 replies
  1. Mary Flynn
    Mary Flynn says:

    I too remember using goose. Wings and Turkey wings as dusters. They were particularly useful for cleaning soot out of the top of the range. When the range was cool we lifted the plates off the top of it and brushed the loose soot out with the wing then used an L shaped scraper to remove the soot that had hardened. We used the wings in our house and they were also used in my Grandmother’s house in West Limerick.

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