A Receipt to Make Barm

A Receipt to Make Barm

A Receipt to Make Barm

Boil one pound of good [flour], a quarter of
a pound of Brown Sugar & a little Salt
in two Gallons of water for an hour
when milk warm Bottle it & cork
it clos it will be fit for use in 24 hours

after breakfast take half a teaspoonful of
grated ginger in a wine glassful c/ water

From: Microfilm 04225 / 02 | Page 7
Swineford; County of Mayo; Diocese of Achonry. Baptisms

Barm is the frothy crud that floats to the top when you make wine or beer. It can be used as a leavening agent for baked goods.

I don’t know if the last part is related to the first in some way. I doubt it, though. I think it’s just run together: the recipe for barm, then directions on the making of a preparation to be taken after eating breakfast.

What really interests me, though, is that this was written at the beginning of one of the Irish Catholic parish registers I’ve been searching. This particular one contains baptisms in Swineford, County Mayo. I cropped the page so you can see the date: 1817. The first part of the volume also includes a recipe for a medicinal concoction containing green capers, then several pages with bookkeeping figures and names of parish workers, their work terms, and what they are to be paid, down to the cost of nails for a worker’s shoes.

Clearly the priest used this book as a ledger and personal diary, before re-purposing it as a baptismal register.

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