Saturday, November 28, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Ballymaloe House

Afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House
The students of the 12 week cookery course were invited to afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House as part of our culinary learning experience. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon walking the grounds, touring the wine cellar, meeting the on-premise coffee bean roaster, viewing two of the sumptuous guest suites, visiting the event center, named The Grainstore, and finally, sat down for afternoon tea. As we sipped from elegant fine bone china teacups and nibbled an array of sugary biscuits, Tim Allen told the magical story of how the home became his parent's, what it was like growing up in the large country manor, and how his mother started the empire it is now. The afternoon was a refreshing change of pace for all the students and some (me) almost forgot we needed to get home and start writing up our order of work for the next day's cookings!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Final Exam Time at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Walled Gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School turning brown in the fall.
Hello!! How is everyone? I miss home so bad. My bed! My car! Running on an actual path! Running! My friends! My Mom! My Dad! Sleep! Babysitters (you know who you are)! So much to say, I'm not sure where to begin. The 12 Week Cookery Course students are heading into week 10 at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Last week, some of the highlights were poaching a ray wing (basically a huge sting ray with massively sharp spikes all over it and slime. So much slime.), saucing up some spicy pork ribs (going to use that recipe again!), Christmas demonstration day (Pam sure knows her Christmas Cakes!), tasting Lustau sherry with the actual makers from the Jerez growing region in Cadiz, Spain, an olive and olive oil tasting (my belly hurt so bad that night — too many olives!), butchering a pig and helping the Nomad Food Company throw a pop-up dinner at school, making of puff pastry, a tapas demonstration, and most loomingly, preparing for our final exams!!! Daunt, Daunt, DAAAA!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week Eight at Ballymaloe Cookery School

How Julia Child would've sealed a classic French Paté Terrine, with fluting paste, not tinfoil.

I'm never going to be the same again. Without sounding like an egotistical culinary snob, at this point in the Ballymaloe 12 Week Cookery Course my culinary prowess has been elevated to such heights the universe's destiny to utilize me as a scepter of cooking knowledge is certain. So much has been covered, to actually attempt processing the knowledge while still enduring the process of learning is entirely overwhelming in itself, but let me try.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Midterm Exams at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Tim and Darina Allen in the Fruit Garden at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
We're heading into week eight at school which means almost four weeks have past since the last update on the lightening-fast-paced cookery adventures. If silence is any indicator of lacking mental energy remaining for these at the end of my day then let this be clear — I am tired. So. Tired. A teensy, weensy part of me wants the course over to allow a time of processing all I've cooked/read/learned/seen/heard/experienced. But, the other mostly large part of me says: bring it on! more. more! More! MORE!!! What else can I learn? Cook? Do? See?