Day Five - End of week one ... already!
Another day and another early start, today I was on vegetable & herb duty, which basically involves going with the gardeners at 7:30 a.m. and cutting some herbs from the greenhouse and herb garden. There was no vegetables on the cooking list today that were available in the greenhouses so it was just herbs today, Marjoram, Parsley, Sweet Cecily, Rosemary, Wild Garlic Flowers. Having a chat with Haulie (one of the gardeners) this morning was very interesting especially hearing about the issues they are having with fodder for the cattle and the effect the bad & long winter has been having on the farm. They are running weeks behind in both their planting and vegetables being ready for picking!
The days cooking started at 8.15 with the now usual scramble for ingredients and everyone eager to begin their preparation as soon as possible. Today I wasn't stressed at all and sauntered around the kitchen feeling fairly relaxed and chirpy! The cooking itself went well and I was very happy with what I prepared. My first time making proper jam for keeping! My salad and pasta dish were seasoned well and flavours were really good but my presentation let me down a tad. Apparently I was overly generous with the salad leaves and goats cheese and my pasta sauce should have been a little thinner ... tell me what you think ! 😆 (joking)
Thinking about it now my salad probably was a main course portion ... I guess I'm just a feeder! Best quote of the day came from Richard (my teacher for the day) to me as he checked my mushroom slicing ... "your mushrooms are like snowflakes (and here's me thinking something good was going to follow) ... but no ... "each one is different" BURN ... they certainly won't let you get ahead of yourself here!
Lunch today was relaxed as I had managed to complete my dishes early so I had time to go back to the house and get changed before the afternoons demonstration! Rory O'Connell was presenting again today ... with the focus on Ofal, lamb sweetbreads, kidney, heart (in a number of warm salads), cabbage salad and a black eyed bean stew (Indian style), creme caramel and crunchy orange butter scones ... and we got to see our first example of sugar work (caramel baskets)
All in all it was a good end to the first week and I even forced myself to go to the gym for a bit of pain and pleasure!
We also made our first foray into Ballycotton and a lovely little pub called the Blackbird (with a food van out the back run by an ex Ballymaloe student, doing fantastic fish and chips etc. 😁) Apparently this pub usually becomes the local for the cookery school students so I am sure we will be back again ... like Tomorrow night!
No lie in for me on Saturday morning as I am on Pizza Duty in the cafe tomorrow ... no rest for the wicked ... or so they say! 😁