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TITLE
Diet on a Caithness Croft
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CAITHNESS_CROFTING_27
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Mr & Mrs Campbell
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
2790
KEYWORDS
crofting
crofters
crofter
croft
crofts
peats
peat
hearths
cooking
croft house
croft houses
crofthouse
crofthouses
audio

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In this audio extract Mr & Mrs Campbell talk about their diet on a Caithness croft. Mrs Campbell refers to two cheese products: crowdie or croodie, a soft, white cottage cheese; and cheesies, also known as caibags, a hard, white cheese like a mild cheddar.

'Mrs C: Cooking's different, aye. Ye'd no electricity, ye'd no water. Ye'd cart it all in an -

Mr C: Carry it out.

Mrs C: Carry it out. It was all quite - a lot o hard work.

Interviewer: So, you wouldn't necessarily have an inside toilet then?

Mrs C: No, no. It was an outside toilet we had.

Interviewer: Right.

Mrs C: Mm-hmm. An then it's at least twen- twenty-six years since we got the water.

Mr C: After that.

Interviewer: So, so, the water?

Mr C: The mains.

Interviewer: Oh, the mains.

Mrs C: Twenty-six years ago we did the house here.

Interviewer: Yes.

Mrs C: We put the bathroom in it, an the water, an all then. We got hot water an everythin then. It's been twenty-six years since we had that.

Interviewer: What did you use yourself from the croft for cooking and for feeding the family?

Mrs C: Well, we had potatoes an we had our turnips an our vegetables.

Interviewer: Yes.

Mrs C: We all had vegetables all the time. An then when we'd a cow we'd milk the cow an we'd our butter an our cheese an our...

Mr C: Poultry.

Mrs C: ...all that. Mm-hmm. Ah mean it was harder times then, you had to.

Intereviewer: What sort of cheese did you make? Did you make the one sort, the local - ?

Mrs C: We used to have the crow- we used to make the crowdie, an then I used to make the cheesies - ye know, ye put in a press?

Interviewer: Yes.

Mrs C: Mm-hmm. Leave it in so long an then put it out to dry.

Interviewer: Yes.

Mrs C: We used to use it. Mm-hmm. Then we had our - We'd our salt herring and we used to kill our pig an have salt pork and that - ye see we'd no freezers at that - at was before we had any freezers or anything like that - it was all salt stuff, ye know?

Interviewer: Did you have a smokehouse?

Mrs C: No.

Interviewer: You never smoked bacon?

Mrs C: No. Naw.

Interviewer: You pickled?

Mrs C: But we used til cure our bacon. Used to put it into a - what they call it?

Mr C: A brime [brine].

Mrs C: A brime. We used to make up a brime wi different pickles - and, we used to -

Mr C: Brown sugar an cloves

Mrs C: Brown sugar we got. We'd a recipe for that.

Interviewer: Saltpetre?

Mrs C: Yes.

Mr C: That's correct.

Mrs C: Uh-huh. An we used to be using that an then we'd leave it in there so long an get out an hang it up - roll it an hang it up - an it was really very, very nice. Ye'd like it now; it'd be lovely now to have.

Interviewer: Well I've tasted it and it's - That's why I was saying, ye know, I'd like to have a few acres an have a pig and a c-

Mrs C: Yeh.

Interviewer: Because -

Mrs C: It was lovely then, ye know?

Interviewer: Yes.

Mrs C: An they shout now that salt is no good for ye. The salt's off long ago.

Mr C: Ye lost more sweat then; the salt didn't affect ye.

Interviewer: I think if you're working hard, you can eat anything.

Mr C: Aw, ye can eat anything. Yes, ye get rid o the salt.

Interviewer: Did you - You obviously did all your own baking?

Mrs C: All baking. Well, I still do all my own baking.

Interviewer: Yes. What did you make, then?

Mrs C: Well, scones an oat-, well, his mother used to make a lot of oatcakes - I used to make oatcakes but now it seems we, we don't make them; we buy them. An scones an pancakes an all that sort o thing.

Interviewer: Bread? Did you make your own bread ever?

Mrs C: Not, not very much, never made much bread.

Interviewer: Did you buy bread from the van?

Mrs C: The van used to come then, once a week.

Mr C: Mm-hmm.

Mrs C: Well, in fact, I think vans came twice a week.'

Up until at least the 1930s crofters tended to be as a self-sufficient as possible, buying only a few necessities such as sugar, salt and flour. Rural areas were served by mobile shops, called the vans. The main crops were oats (which provided oatmeal as well as other oat preparations), potatoes and turnips, with lesser amounts of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and leeks being grown. Only a few cultivated strawberries or much in the way of fruit. The cow produced milk for a range of dairy products, and pigs and poultry were reared for home consumption. It was also normal to buy in a barrel of salt herring to last over the winter. It was not until the 1960s that many rural houses acquired a main water supply.

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Diet on a Caithness Croft

CAITHNESS

1980s

crofting; crofters; crofter; croft; crofts; peats; peat; hearths; cooking; croft house; croft houses; crofthouse; crofthouses; audio

Highland Libraries

Caithness Recordings: Crofting & Farming

In this audio extract Mr & Mrs Campbell talk about their diet on a Caithness croft. Mrs Campbell refers to two cheese products: crowdie or croodie, a soft, white cottage cheese; and cheesies, also known as caibags, a hard, white cheese like a mild cheddar.<br /> <br /> 'Mrs C: Cooking's different, aye. Ye'd no electricity, ye'd no water. Ye'd cart it all in an - <br /> <br /> Mr C: Carry it out.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Carry it out. It was all quite - a lot o hard work.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So, you wouldn't necessarily have an inside toilet then?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: No, no. It was an outside toilet we had. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Right.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Mm-hmm. An then it's at least twen- twenty-six years since we got the water.<br /> <br /> Mr C: After that.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So, so, the water?<br /> <br /> Mr C: The mains.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh, the mains.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Twenty-six years ago we did the house here. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: We put the bathroom in it, an the water, an all then. We got hot water an everythin then. It's been twenty-six years since we had that.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What did you use yourself from the croft for cooking and for feeding the family?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Well, we had potatoes an we had our turnips an our vegetables.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: We all had vegetables all the time. An then when we'd a cow we'd milk the cow an we'd our butter an our cheese an our...<br /> <br /> Mr C: Poultry.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: ...all that. Mm-hmm. Ah mean it was harder times then, you had to. <br /> <br /> Intereviewer: What sort of cheese did you make? Did you make the one sort, the local - ? <br /> <br /> Mrs C: We used to have the crow- we used to make the crowdie, an then I used to make the cheesies - ye know, ye put in a press?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Mm-hmm. Leave it in so long an then put it out to dry. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: We used to use it. Mm-hmm. Then we had our - We'd our salt herring and we used to kill our pig an have salt pork and that - ye see we'd no freezers at that - at was before we had any freezers or anything like that - it was all salt stuff, ye know?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did you have a smokehouse?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: No.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: You never smoked bacon?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: No. Naw.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: You pickled?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: But we used til cure our bacon. Used to put it into a - what they call it?<br /> <br /> Mr C: A brime [brine].<br /> <br /> Mrs C: A brime. We used to make up a brime wi different pickles - and, we used to -<br /> <br /> Mr C: Brown sugar an cloves<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Brown sugar we got. We'd a recipe for that.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Saltpetre?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mr C: That's correct.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Uh-huh. An we used to be using that an then we'd leave it in there so long an get out an hang it up - roll it an hang it up - an it was really very, very nice. Ye'd like it now; it'd be lovely now to have.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well I've tasted it and it's - That's why I was saying, ye know, I'd like to have a few acres an have a pig and a c-<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Yeh.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Because -<br /> <br /> Mrs C: It was lovely then, ye know?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: An they shout now that salt is no good for ye. The salt's off long ago.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Ye lost more sweat then; the salt didn't affect ye. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: I think if you're working hard, you can eat anything.<br /> <br /> Mr C: Aw, ye can eat anything. Yes, ye get rid o the salt.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did you - You obviously did all your own baking?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: All baking. Well, I still do all my own baking. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. What did you make, then?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Well, scones an oat-, well, his mother used to make a lot of oatcakes - I used to make oatcakes but now it seems we, we don't make them; we buy them. An scones an pancakes an all that sort o thing.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Bread? Did you make your own bread ever?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Not, not very much, never made much bread. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did you buy bread from the van?<br /> <br /> Mrs C: The van used to come then, once a week. <br /> <br /> Mr C: Mm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Mrs C: Well, in fact, I think vans came twice a week.'<br /> <br /> Up until at least the 1930s crofters tended to be as a self-sufficient as possible, buying only a few necessities such as sugar, salt and flour. Rural areas were served by mobile shops, called the vans. The main crops were oats (which provided oatmeal as well as other oat preparations), potatoes and turnips, with lesser amounts of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and leeks being grown. Only a few cultivated strawberries or much in the way of fruit. The cow produced milk for a range of dairy products, and pigs and poultry were reared for home consumption. It was also normal to buy in a barrel of salt herring to last over the winter. It was not until the 1960s that many rural houses acquired a main water supply.