Today has been the first day of our course. It’s been a day of orientation around the cookery school and the grounds and the first step towards entering the kitchen.
We had an almighty storm last night. As we met for breakfast this morning in the cookery school, a decision was made that we’d go out and walk around the farm first thing. Breakfast was lovely. We were served a delicious selection of treats which included stoneground oatmeal porridge with brown sugar, soda breads (white and brown), spotted dog and Tim’s amazingly good sourdough. There were other delicious treats available too, such as Irish and British farmhouse cheeses, pata negra jamón, labneh and a delicious apricot and pistachio fruit salad. This was served in plentiful quantities with coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. What a way to set ourselves up for the day.
We then took a tour of the grounds with Darina to see what was what, and we had a brief introduction to the very many varieties of fruit and vegetables grown organically onsite. We will all have the opportunity to learn much more about harvesting and growing them later on.
This was followed by a lunch in the dining room. Again, it was superb. We started with tomato and basil soup with soda bread – so simple yet utterly delicious. Then we enjoyed this lovely plate of local fish and home produced treats, with farm eggs and homemade sausage, followed by cheese and hazelnut meringues with ice cream and poached rhubarb. Oh and coffee.
We then settled down for our first demonstration. Ballymaloe teaches cookery by meal and then by recipe and technique, so we are shown every afternoon what we make the next morning, which we will then eat for lunch, which is a nice way to do things. Three hours later, we had been shown how to make a huge number of dishes, which we’ll make tomorrow – our first day in the kitchen.
Despite being a fairly easy first day, I’m feeling tired. There is so much to see, do and take in. Also, the internet is very, very slow, so I’ll have to share more photos with you another time – they are taking me an hour each to upload! I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you all about my first day in the kitchen. Wish me luck!