Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A 9 baby, a 9!!

Today was our first 'real' day of cooking at Ballymaloe. Dragging myself out of my cosy pit called bed, I did my half hour of exercise and then ready to start…..pat on the back even if I do say so myself but seriously, when you start thinking about buying yourself some 'comfy' pants you know you're in trouble! There is literally soooooo x 1000 food on offer here!

Walking down to the school kitchens today you could literally feel a buzz in the air. That wonderful first day of real adventure, the first day of the rest of your life. It was so very exciting. Everyone was super duper excited to be actually cooking and hopefully NOT cutting themselves! Lists of recipes were given out last night to decide between us and our partner for the next week what we wanted to each cook today. My duties were quiche lorraine, lemonade and poached apricots in sweet geranium syrup.

Every morning on entering our work stations (see how I have the lingo down!?!) we hand in an 'Order of Work', this, apparently shows our teacher for the week our thought process and it's a great way to really think about what happens when and how long it takes.  For example once you've made your short crust pastry and are blind baking it for the 30 mins needed, wouldn't it be a good idea to get on with something else?
I really enjoy this as some times this comes quite naturally to me and other times…well, let's just say it is a big confusion and I always miss something!

So every day at the end of our cooking session, have I mentioned I didn't cut myself today?! We plate up and our teacher taste tests our final product. I am proud to say that my quiche received a 9! You know this out of 10 right? So yippedee do dah, I am pretty bloomin' happy with a 9! I did something a little different with the lemonade too as everything at the moment seems to be sweet geranium so added mint to it instead…it was well received from the boss so it's all gravy.

Today was an absolutely fantastically sunny day. No rain I might add and just lovely. Blue blue sky, green green grass and the sound of chickens. After another 'trying to be but failing miserably' small lunch we had plenty of time, so I took the opportunity to walk around the grounds, without getting wet! They have some amazing things here, there are beech hedges that are over 200 years old. The most important beech hedges in Ireland. There is a living wild flower meadow monster…a folly made of shells. Some wonderful things.

All in all another pretty fantastic day and no accidents plus getting into the rhythm of things which is good although feels like we've been here 3 weeks rather than 3 days!

Knives at the ready!

Oh and these biscuits are my first attempt at piping! I'm in love…so cheesy I know, but hey.

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