Sister Mary Josephine of Fright ~ Part 2

This week I continue my tale of five years attending the Domestic Science classes led by Sister Mary Josephine of Fright.  Last week we covered the half that included biology, hygiene and sewing.  This week we move to the cookery class and the kitchens.

The school was new.  Although there were three classes ahead of us we were the first group to work our way right through the five years of the secondary level education system from entrance to leaving Certificate.  The cookery room was bright with a large blackboard on the end wall and in front of it was Sister Mary Josephine of Fright’s desk.  Two rows of smaller desks with locker type cupboards faced the large one and the blackboard.  Two pupils shared each desk.

This was the only opportunity we had any chance to choose who we worked with.  My pal N and I worked well together.  We are still friends and Elly looks on her as a second mother. The kitchen had three cookers, two gas and one electric.  The gas cookers were different in size.  One was similar to most household cookers with four rings on the hob, a grill and one oven.  The other one had eight gas rings on top and two ovens of equal size.  The electric oven was at the far end of the room and to this day I wonder if it was even connected to an electrical supply, since we never used it.

Our Bible for the five years was All in the Cooking Part 1.

In the first chapter, we discovered the basic kitchen equipment. Just click on each photo to enlarge.

With all the cooking and baking that went on at home we survived for years without an apple corer, piping bag (we used greaseproof paper formed into a cone shape) or an Éclair pipe!  We did not have a weighing scales either.  An egg was two ounces and a tablespoon was an ounce, so a graduated measure was not required.  We had no need for a pastry board because the kitchen table had an enamel top, ideal for pastry making.

The refrigerator is becoming a household necessity – well I do remember the days of extreme heat, when we stood glass pint bottles of milk in a bucket or saucepan of cold water to slow down or prevent them from turning sour.  The lbs of butter were set on the tiled hearth in the coolest part of the house.

I hope you take careful note of the rules for meal planning. 😉

Now to help you, we have some helpful measures.

Spoon measurements are at the top of the page and they are for ordinary household spoons and not special measuring spoons.

Now we are on to the serious cooking recipes

Well now you know where I found the recipe for yesterday!  It sounds almost as tasty as kidney or liver soup! 🙁

What to follow it with?  Boiled fish perhaps!

Followed by…..

And for dessert….

I actually had to make carrageen Mould – yes me!  I who cannot even tolerate the smell of milk!

There was only one dish we were encouraged to eat before we went home and that was scrambled egg from the breakfast menu.

We were taught how to boil an egg! 🙄

We are coming near the end….

Did you read the Ideal Diet carefully?  Go back and read it again,  Now tell me where you find women mentioned!  This book was written not by one, but at least four women!!!!!

But I have kept my favourite until last.

IN VALID cookery.  OK I gave it that name.

Nurse Hitler, are you reading?  I want a refund… Where was the bone china and the stamped silver-wear when you were looking after me?

There were plenty of recipes all insipid and sounding tasteless, so I refuse to include them.  In all my lifetime of looking after ill people, I have never handed them insipid colourless mush to eat.  Small morsels of tempting colourful food (on a larger plate) helps.

Maybe next week I’ll finish with tales of what actually went on in the school kitchen…..

15 thoughts on “Sister Mary Josephine of Fright ~ Part 2

  1. Magpie11

    Well, how do you boil an egg?

    Given that eggs are kept in the fridge more often than not (not in this house hold) then…for a medium sized egg…place the egg(s) in a saucepan with enough cold water to come about 3/4s of the way up the egg(s). Slowly bring the water to the boil and once it is boiling boil for 3minutes. Remove the egg(s) from the water and serve.
    99% of the time the yolk will be soft and beautifully runny and the white firm but not too rubbery.
    Always remember that the egg carries on cooking after removal from the water.
    I got this method from a cook book that came with my mother’s first ever electric oven…an Ideal I believe.

    As to adding the parsley that sticks out of the top if you a good cook

    If you’re a good enough cook you’ll work it out!

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Magpie – I remember that post! I boil an egg occasionally (three eggs a week are my limit) just the way you do it, I like the yolk runny to dip my Toyboys soldiers in! 🙄

  3. bikehikebabe

    The 1st thing you learn (the world over) is how to make a white sauce.

    Mix flour with butter, add water & cook while stirring until it thickens.

  4. wisewebwoman

    I was blessed in that I did not have to take Home Ec (Domestic Science) because it conflicted with the the physics and chemistry classes.
    I count myself blessed to this day.
    Bleurgh on top of bleurgh.

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – I will do my best.

    BHB – In Ireland making a white sauce with water would be considered sacrilege! Milk was the liquid we added. Full cream milk! Yuck!

  6. bikehikebabe

    Yes, I think it was milk we added. I forgot.

    As for full cream, I could eat that by the spoonful. As a child & teen, our cream came in a jar from the farmer. When you turned it upside down, it didn’t budge. This is what I shoved on my cereal.

  7. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – I learned more about how not to cook in school, than how to do it properly! Next episode will explain all. As for Science, I was told my maths were not good enough to be allowed near the science lab.

    BHB – I am glad you were able to eat the cream. I of course was unable to partake in any dairy foods so white sauce was pushed to the other end of the table.

  8. steph

    Enjoyed that a lot, thanks Grannymar

    I hate to think what’s coming next week? 😯

    Would you mind doing me a favour please?

    I’d like you to post the Invalid Cookery instructions to the…

    c/o Ms M. Harney

    Thanks! :mrgreen:

  9. Baino

    Sounds much like my domestic science class. I remember thinking what person recovering from illness would find brains fricasse and blanc mange in the least bit appetising. Then of course I experienced hospital food! I learned how to cook from my mother, amazing what you can do once you learn the basics.

  10. Magpie11

    BHB…. love the way you say “Mix Flour with Butter etc” Makes me chuckle to think what my mother would have said if I had done that!
    I HAD to make a roux “properly” and add the milk slowly….

    As for the full cream milk…. we had unpasteurised Guernsey Milk. If at all possible we would sneak the cream off the top for our cereal… my tattle tale sister of course would always tell if she thought hat i had got away with it! If mother was there we had to stir it in! Or put our hand over the foil bottle top and shake it up!

    I miss the cans and bottles with that rich yellow layer of cream on top. Nowadays even Channel Island Milk is homogenised.

  11. Grannymar Post author

    Steph – Glad you enjoyed it. I’ll leave you to pass the info to your friend since I don’t have her address!

    Baino – blanc mange would be enough to give me a relapse!

    Magpie – The roux was a long slow process and woe betide if you ended up with lumps. There were no blenders to right the problem back then.

  12. Kate

    I have a book just like this – amazing recipes that I would never think of cooking let alone eating.
    We had a ‘meat safe’ when I was child in our ‘pre-refridgerator days – it was metal with little holes in the door to stop flies getting in – it was kept in the dark pantry and stood on a marble slab to keep it cool!

    I excelled at cookery in school – well there had to be one saving grace didn’t there?

  13. Grannymar Post author

    Kate – I knew of people who had meat safes, one family had it hung on an outside wall on the shaded side of the house.

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