The Old Dresser

Story & Recipe

Matthew McDonagh

Matthew McDonagh

The old style dresser was the focal point of the old kitchen. The dresser consisted of an upper display area which sometimes had glass. Dressers were used to show off china. The lower section was normally made of 4 cupboards. Dry food was kept in these cupboards. A large jug of milk was kept in the middle section. Dressers were often kept in the centre of the room. Dressers used to be popular. There was no running water. You would have to go to the well. The plate below is an example of good dishes that were displayed.

The information above was collected through interview with my granny Phil Monaghan.

This is my great granny Gavin’s Treacle Bread recipe. She made it for my nana.


  • 1 pound of flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 600 grams of brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Half a pint of milk
  • Butter


Pre heat oven to 190°c

Mix dry ingredients and rub in butter.

Mix eggs, milk and treacle in a cup. Then pour in.

Cook for 45 mins to 1 hour.

Original Writing

This page was added on 13/02/2018.

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for telling us about the dresser. I discovered one in an old shed that I think belonged to my great-great-grandmother. It doesn’t look very well now because it is so old, but because of your story I imagine how it looked when it was being used

    By Clare Lowery (19/03/2018)
  • This story reflects alot of history. I liked how you described a dresser in detail as I can now visualise it. The plate is beautiful. It’s a very important feature in Irish country life.

    By Liping Xu (18/03/2018)

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