Day Nineteen - Week Three ends with best day yet!


It started off miserable, cold and windy ... not me ... the day ... it ended up (well I won't go into that but it was late ...) but for most of the day I felt calm, collected and casual ... kind of like how I would like to be remembered but have not quite mastered that fully yet 😁

Was in the kitchen for 8 a.m. as usual and pottered around collecting ingredients for a while before getting stuck in ... today I was making a classic lemon meringue tart, filleting and cooking flat fish fillets, steaming spuds & making brown yeast bread 😉

You look at the list of recipes and you don't think it's a lot of work ... but when you're in the class with teachers and other students, time just gets eaten up ... I still don't quite understand why, I think it's because there is a large element of “stop / start” ... asking questions, watching techniques, waiting for an oven or for a teacher to review ... anyway you get used to it ... you have to do things "the Ballymaloe way" ... this way will not be to everyones tastes, you will see herbs or flowers on all my plates ... and traditional plating ... but what you need to be cognisant of all the time is that you are learning techniques and the basics of doing things and therefore you are happy to do it the "Ballymaloe Way" ...

I had another bread disaster today ... I forgot to mention that yesterday 😇 ... but the last two days I made brown yeast bread, yesterday the shelf was too high in the small oven so it hit the roof (how apt!!!) and today I wasn't concentrating 100% and I adjusted the wrong oven (so essentially I burned the bread ... not too bad but enough to forget about it)👎

My main dishes couldn't really have gone better, filleting a flat fish for the first time, piping meringue for the first time ... I was on a decent high after it ... good marks and comments (maybe Tracie was in a really good mood as it was her last day! Thanks Tracie ... we will miss you!)

The afternoon demo was with Rory again ... and I think this one was my favourite so far, Dishes demo'd ...

  • Caesar Salad
  • Warm Salad of Gubbeen Bacon with Poached Egg and Coolea Cheese
  • Classic Roast Chicken with Fresh Herb Stuffing, Giblet Gravy, 
  • Redcurrant Sauce
  • Traditional Bread Sauce
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Celery
  • Swede Turnips with Caramelised Onions
  • Rory’s Swede Turnip Purée with Olive Oil and Parmesan
  • Grandmother’s Sponge with Raspberry Jam and Cream
  • Summer Blackcurrant Pudding
  • Chicory, Watercress, Apple and Hazelnut Salad
  • Roast Chicken Salad with Tarragon Dressing
  • Potato Crisps with Truffle Mayonnaise

The reason this was my favourite ... it was the simple things ... Rory carving a roast chicken and presenting it in portions, the perfect poached egg ... I asked what his secret was ... apparently just fresh eggs ... (no vinegar!) but the simple tastes ... a perfectly proportioned victoria sponge ... it was fantastic! A great end to week 3 in the kitchens

Week Three in school may have been ended but weekend three was only beginning ... an impromptu gathering outside Pennyworth (my cottage) turned into a firepit chill out (cheers Tom and Bobby) and then a trip to the Blackbird (to wish Tracie goodbye and good luck) I bumped into 2 former students now working at Ballymaloe house (Charlotte and Grace) and it was great chatting to them and picking their brains on how the course (and you as a student) evolve(s)! 

My night ended with a 2 a.m. spring cleaning of the garden ... re organising the "chill out" area and gathering up empty bottles of wine ... Job done

Tomorrow ... Rugby ... that is all!