Tag Archives: family life

Feeding Time

On the farm. Cooking was never a huge priority for me before becoming a farmer’s wife. I loved to cook and it was often fancy but I could get away with the odd take away or frozen meal. Not for this farmhouse I’m afraid. To start with, the farmer is spoiled rotten and he’ll tell you that himself. The priorities for cooking are as follows; it has to be wholesome, feeding men who are working intensively for hours outdoors.

Then it has to be in great quantity, you have no idea how much farmers can eat and as for the small little boys coming up behind them, a gallon of milk a day goes nowhere. There has to be enough in the fridge/freezer/pantry at any time to feed an extra if one should one arrive for feeding at the door. The meal has to be of good quality, for the health benefits, farming families who milk twice a day, 365 days a year cannot afford to be sick, so it’s meat, vegetables, carbs and dairy to fill the bellies. We buy our meats, fish, vegetables and other as locally as we can. We bring in milk from our own dairy. Lastly, it has to be varied and tasty, varied because we sit together everyday at the table and it’s good not to be able to predict the day’s dinner and tasty because, life my friends, is short.

Breakfast is porridge, wholesome brown bread, tea and fruit. Lunch this time of year is most likely homemade soup and is eaten after first milking at 12pm when our four year old comes in from playschool. Dinner that we’ve now moved to 4.30pm to accommodate our school goer is a hotpot, meat-and-two-veg, curry or whatever takes the farmer’s wife’s fancy. It’s one pot for all generally in the farmhouse, the children eat a smaller portion from the pot. There’s no time for special orders. The eldest lays the cutlery, the second ‘does the cups’ and the baby decorates the floor. We eat together everyday. After dinner, there is tea with biscuits, icecream or if you’re very good, a cake. Fresh cake does every occasion make. Sponge cake for a birthday, chocolate gateau for a visitor, carrot cake to carry out visiting.

Somedays, I feel like I spend my days cooking and then I remember I do. Feeding five, six people a day is no easy task. I am like every mother and some fathers who do the same every day for their families there is no doubt. But, somehow, it seems different in a farmhouse, you’re fueling a hard days work on the farm and I am the train driver throwing coal into the engine fire from my very own stove. Eating out is a real treat that we really delight in (if it’s good) and I relish any cup of coffee that I don’t have to make myself. Feeding time on the farm; an all consuming, sometimes funny, delicious, family affair.


It’s been a long day and I’m rambling here, trying to stay awake. The farmer is still outside as it continues to be our busiest period of the year. Honestly, how does he keep doing it? Today, I brought our two youngest boys to our nearby town, Listowel, to do a few messages, as my mother would say.

And there I witnessed something incredible. Remember, it’s late and I’m tired so hold your judgement on what I might find incredible. Low and behold, I found that my toddler had turned into a young boy. I mean a proper young boy. Outside of the incident where he showed the lady in the hotel his eyeballs (could have been a lot worse), he was dreamy.

Ok, I’ve been holding back on you. Up until now, I haven’t been that honest really because as I’m his mommy, it’s my job a). to love him and b).to be his PR woman by way of telling you ‘Oh, he is a little rap-scallion, a rogue’ etc. etc. but let me tell you when it came to the terrible twos (which by the way carries on for a good two years), he was awlful. He is what a boy is meant to be, uproarious, boisterous, spirited times ten. I no longer own a functioning lamp in my house, this larger than life Tasmanian devil has broken it along with a television, several telephones and so many pretty cups I’ve stopped counting.

And I know, it’s easy to judge and think that boy is just unruly but mainly he’s just a real character, taking over the room, a force to be reckoned with. He will break your heart and then take it back and fix it up with a hearty laugh and a hug. That said, it has been really stressful taking him out. I mean really stressful. So today, prepared to cajole him along the streets in Listowel with narration, plaumause, promises and ashamedly sometimes threats, he defied me ultimately by being absolutely adorable.

I had forgotten that it happened with my first son too, overnight, he turned from ‘terrible three’ to ‘fabulous four’ and life got a lot easier. So hold tough Mommy and Daddy if you’re reading this thinking you have produced a little heir who you will be most likely visiting behind bars someday, for unexpectedly, one day, something readjusts and they turn into the lovely boy  or indeed girl they were meant to be and you think, well you don’t think, you take a gigantic sigh of relief. Phew. That was hard work. Now, go and enjoy them.

Just a Spring Day

It’s just a Spring day on an ordinary Dairy farm in North Kerry. Farming wise, we’re on the threshold of the year. You need not react to anything the sky bestows on you as it has this year’s farming faith in her hands. Last week it rained and rained and the cows stayed in, the land was wet and we knew we needed a couple of good, dry weeks.

Low and behold, she turned, April has come and brought with her some fine weather. Drying the fields weather. I dare not type it. It’s fine weather. We know, April could throw anything at us yet but sur’ we’re ready. We’ve been here in all states of Grace, smiling, knowingly. The farmer himself, being of Hearthill, is more adept at not reacting to the weather, his wife on the other hand wills it to be and then it is or it isn’t.

For today, there’s talk of wobbly tooths, sunshine and a hot chocolate picnic on the beach. All under a powerful sky, to the backdrop of the mountains of Co. Kerry, Ireland. Ordinary stuff. Ordinary, beautiful stuff.

Your Spring day to enjoy.