Introduction / The Island / Island Life
Food and Supplies
Food was very much what could be produced on the island. At times, this must have been hard with large families dependent upon a good harvest and fishing.
While the cattle and ox might be sold on, the native sheep were eaten. This didn’t happened with the large breed sheep. When the pig was killed, it would be cured and hung up in the roof of the house. Pieces would be cut down and used when needed.
A lot of fish was eaten. This included haddock, if they could be caught. Cuithes (small coal fish) were dried in large quantities and eaten with home made butter. Tatties (potatoes) would have been a staple. Cabbage and neeps (turnips) were grown.
Each house would have its hens, which produced eggs and were eaten. Oatmeal and bere would be baked into bannocks. Flour might be bought in and kept in case supplies were cut off.
Cooking would have been on an open fire in the old days or subsequently on a stove.
There was a small shop at Cott at about the time that the school was built (1884). In later years, groceries might be obtained from the shop van that called to Shoeha at Guith in Eday once a week or by walking over to the Coop. This was of course subject to the difficulties of transportation between the islands.