Day Forty - Exam time - Week Six ... DONE!


"The" day finally arrived ... the day that seemed an eternity away six weeks ago 🧐...  I woke around 7 a.m. decided to catch up on the usual social media, post the blog and then I started to think about herbs and salads ... I really need to work on this whole priorities thing! When I left my cottage for the school I felt fairly confident about anything I could be asked in the recognition exam ... but before we got to exam time, we had a pizza demonstration to deal with ... today’s demo from 9 a.m. was all about pizzas or variations on pizza’s. The demo was presented by Darina with her able assistants Pat and Tiffin, there was also a guest appearance from Phillip, of Saturday pizzas that finished with a bit of pizza tossing! 😱

I’m not sure how many pizza topping variations we went through ... but it covered everything from doughs to sauces, to savoury toppings, to deserts! The pizzas etc. below...

  • Bread Dough for Pizza
  • Philip’s Pizza Dough
  • Garden Câfé Pizza Dough
  • Tomato Sauce for Pizza toppingVVC Isaac’s Tomato Sauce
  • Potato, Rosemary Focaccia
  • Focaccia, Roasted Red Onion, Gruyère, Thyme Leaves
  • Pizza Margherita
  • Cian’s Garlic Pizza
  • Pizza, Slow Roasted Pork, Thyme and Aioli
  • Pizza, Roast Peppers, Olives, Gremolata
  • Pizza, Roast Pumpkin, Chorizo, Flat Parsley (recipe only)
  • Pizza Bianca, Mozzarella, Rocket, Pesto
  • Pizza, Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese, Rosemary
  • Pizza ‘Face’
  • Pizza, Broad Bean, Blue Cheese, Parsley, Lemon
  • Evelyn’s Red Hot Pizza
  • Breakfast Pizza, Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill
  • Sfinciuni
  • Calzone
  • Stromboli
  • Ham and Cheese Sfinciuni
  • Piadina Romagnola
  • Mediterranean Pizza, Char-grilled Vegetables
  • Char-grilled Pizza Margherita (barbeque)
  • Nettle, Ricotta Pizza
  • Carta Musica
  • Panzerotti
  • Sgabei
  • Square or rectangular pizza

After a lunch made up of all the remaining cooked pizzas (we ate some in class for "tasting" purposes) and more ... (I didn’t eat much as I was eager to get my herb and salad recognition exam over and done with) ... I was waiting outside the door at 12:50 ready to go ... I was first in ... 10 herbs identified and 2 recipes (names) for each, 10 salad leaves identified ... wine presented and poured ... table laid - success, done by 13:02! ✅💥

Now I had the semi anxious (just wanted to get the thing over and done with) wait until 14:20 and my thecnique exam. The garden dinning room became a waiting area as a load of us messed around waiting to see what our fate was (what techniques we would get)? ... every time Florrie came in to call someone into the designated exam kitchen I asked her what techniques I had, jokingly ... the answer was always the same ... monkfish !!! 🐟😂

I eventually got called in and shown to my assigned kitchen work space ... my examiner ... Rachel Allen 😄 !

So as I mentioned yesterday we each had two standing techniques we had to do (chop and sweat an onion ... and make a paper piping bag) ... but then the two additional ones I got were ... peel and segment a citrus fruit (that one I hate) and make shortcrust pastry and line the baking tin (great when you have hot hands) ... One of the things they expect when you walk into the exam is to write a quick order of work so you can complete all the tasks in the most effect way possible ... so I made my pastry and got it into the fridge to chill ... I chopped and sweated my onion ... I then segmented my orange and made a paper piping bag successfully with parchment paper for the first time (and it stayed together) ... then i rolled out my pastry and lined the tin! Job done ... I’m fairly confident that everything was done in good order and with a positive result! 👍


The rest of the afternoon I spent doing a quick spring clean and some household chores ... then a group of us headed to the Ballycotton pier to go swimming ... for those of you who don't know me that well ... I am not the biggest fan of heights nor from running and jumping off high things ... so when we got to the pier I had every intention of climbing down the ladder into the water with as much grace as I could possibly muster ... however ... when we arrived a group of the younger students were there and seemed intent on seeing me jump straight off the pier ... so when the rest of the guys ran off the pier and jumped ... I have to admit I succumbed to peer pressure and followed suit ☺️ ... there went every element of grace I ever had ... as a chunky 40+ year old leaped from a 15ft pier ... FAIL.😂😇 We stayed in the water for around 30 minutes and I have to say there is something so nice to being in the sea ... even in the Celtic sea! 😄

After a quick shower the guys got the fire going back outside the cottages and soon there was 10 or 12 sitting around the fire ... with a selection of sausages and chicken being cooked! I couldn't stay all night as I had to make a run into Cork to collect a special delivery from the Dublin train ... job completed and a sense of order restored 😄😇

Tomorrow we'll see what the plan is ... hopefully not too much shopping 😂

Can you believe six weeks now done! Halfway through ...🤫