Day Four – Independent cooking

Rachel's foodFirst of all, I’m sorry, I don’t have many photos of today. I have just been so busy, the day passed in a blur.

Today started early with chicken stock duty. We arrived at the school just before 8 to get started. Fortunately, I was assigned to onion duty, not breaking up chicken carcasses.

Once that was done, it was time to get into the kitchen and get cooking. I had prepared my order of work last night, and off I set to get on with my cooking. I ran behind as I really didn’t know where to find everything, and the scales were so busy, I had to queue a fair bit whilst I got all my ingredients together. Still, I managed it OK.

I had to make a soup, a salad and some biscuits, which weren’t particularly difficult, but working in a more cramped, busy environment than at home took some getting used to, and I did run behind.

Fortunately, I managed to get everything done and plated up OK for my teacher to taste and mark. Then, as I was waiting for her to come over, having given her a 5 minute warning, Darina walked into the kitchen, over to me and started to conduct my tasting. No pressure!

My soup needed thinning a little with milk, but otherwise the seasoning was good. My salad was “delicious” and my biscuits were good but could have been baked a little more evenly. We were marked out of 10 and I scored a 6 for the soup and 8 for the salad and biscuits respectively, which I was pleased with.

We then had to clear down everything and check all the equipment in our section. I swear to God someone had taken one of our whisks as we spent nearly an hour trying to locate it in the kitchen, whilst missing out on lunch. I was really tired, hungry and in need of a break, and the rules state you can’t leave without having your kitchen straight.

This meant I was nearly an hour late for lunch, and had to wolf my food down before rushing in to demo. I should have had a break to change, so was not feeling great when I went into the afternoon demo. However, as I walked in, I saw that our teacher for the afternoon would be Rachel, which cheered me up no end and we had a really excellent demo this afternoon.

Tomorrow is a theory day – these are the days we focus on cheese, wine and so on.  I haven’t had chance to check the schedule yet, so I will wait and see what’s in order tomorrow.  Tim Allen is running a gardening talk first thing tomorrow, so I will be off to that first thing to see what it’s like. He did a cheese making session tonight, which, sadly I missed. I did make the laundry induction session though!!

Today has been another really tiring day. I’m off for some rest before another busy day tomorrow. Thank you to you all for your support and lovely comments.


  1. Well done, great marks. How infuriating to have lost the whisk, it all sounds exhausting. I met Rachel just before Christmas, she seemed so positive and focused, I can imagine her demos are inspiring.
    Enjoy the cheese and wine tomorrow. Jude x

  2. Susan says:

    Every night I read these posts and feel exhausted and I’m not doing anything! It’s early days and you are doing well…x

  3. Jenny Davies says:

    Isn’t it funny how on the third or fourth day, everything catches up with you and you start to feel left behind by it all! Don’t worry, it’s a lot to do with familiarity and finding out the best way of doing things. By the end of the week you’ll be an old hand at it. 😀 How fabulous – but nervewracking – to have Darina do your tasting! EEK! However, very, very well done for your marks. ~feels proud on your behalf~ Then, to have a demonstration from “the lovely Rachel” as she’s known in this house (to be said with an Irish accent, of course). LOL Aah, you’ve been touched by the Ballymaloe Angel – it’ll all be a breeze from now on. 😉 Go get em tomorrow, Tiger. 😀

  4. Vivien Lloyd says:

    Like Sue I feel exhausted reading about your day! It’s all new so much to take in I’m sure you will find it gets easier and well done with your marks ( tough being marked )
    Good luck with the jam. Are you going to make marmalade ? Can’t wait to hear about your preserving adventures Viv xx

  5. Jayne says:

    Good marks for your cooking, well done! Arrgh the whisk, after having Darina taste your food- stress!! I echo other comments, it does sound exhausting! Really enjoying reading your posts! Have. A good day today! .

  6. Kerri says:

    These posts are fantastic, sounds like you are learning so much – I think you are so brave! Sounds exhausting though so make sure you are getting lots of rest! Miss you! Xxx

  7. I can well imagine how exhausted you are. That’s what I find is the hardest thing, the physical tiredness really does kick in when you cook for hours on end. I bet you must sleep well at night and I hope you have a good meal and a rest tonight. Thanks also for finding the time to read my post, so good of you when I am sure you down time is minimal :)

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