In this extract Hugh Smullen talks about his grandmother's cooking. He remembers that she was a good cook and that she used to cook on a range that was heated by the fire. They had no gas and no cooker just the fire and a range.

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And did your grandmother or your mother, did they ever use recipe books or would they have done it from their memory? Would they have cooked from their memory?

The cooking? Ah yeah, they wouldn’t have any recipes, it was just their memory, you know … my mother wasn’t what you’d call a great cook, just ordinary fair, you know, just the bare thing, my grandmother was pretty good alright, she’d cook fancy things …

But she never wrote it down?

She never wrote it down unfortunately and like, just to describe the kitchen then in Blessington Street, that was … there was no gas, they didn’t have a gas stove, they’d a big range, a big black range …

Like an Aga type thing?

Yeah, but before all that, you know, a huge big thing and em they’d have that and then the gas... there was a gas light, just a little mantle, just a bit of a light not... and she used to cook... it was the fire and she used to cook everything beside … this oven she had was beside the fire and she heated the fire then she used to do all her cooking, I don’t know how she done it at all … they had returned, they had been in America for a number of years and they’d always have the coffee pot on the fire, you know, the real coffee, you know, the beans, they used to put eggshells in it for the sediment to fall to the bottom, like.

Oh right, I’ve never heard of that one


21:55.2 - 24:43.1


About this item


Dublin City Life, Housing, Food and cooking



Date Added



"Hugh Smullen describes his grandmother's cooking.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #194 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:52 am)