Day Six and Seven – The second day in the kitchen and the weekend

Rory's demo

The last two days have passed in a blur, so here I am a day or two late. As you may recall, Friday morning was back into the kitchen again for us.  Despite having planned everything and arrived in decent time to prepare, everything I did seemed to go massively wrong. I ruined everything I cooked. I’ve not much to say apart from the fact that I was so disappointed by this. My teacher said my food wasn’t too bad, but I could have done so much better – she did compliment me on being a “worker” though!

Anyway, after a late, rushed lunch again, followed by duties of cleaning the ovens and feeding the hens (joy!) I made more progress than Wednesday by managing to get back to the cottage to change my clothes before afternoon lecture.

Friday afternoon featured our first demonstration with Rory. We covered a lot of ground in the four hours of the lecture and Rory is a very engaging and interesting teacher – full of knowledge and very generous at sharing it. The afternoon finished around 6 with a tasting. I was on my third duty of the day: serving.

After we finished, I went off for a swim and then down to the Blackbird, a great pub in Ballycotton, which seems to be the place for students to go. I could see why – it was a lovely local pub with a great atmosphere. Most people on the course went down there and even some of the teachers were there, too. I didn’t stay too late as I had to get up really early on Saturday morning to go the market.

Midleton Market

Midleton Market

We had a thick frost overnight and I was late to arrive as it took me an age to get all the ice off my car – it was so cold. I helped out on a stall called The Rocket Man, which is run by a past student and his mum making fresh Middle Eastern inspired salads. I started off at Midleton market and then popped down to Douglas market for a while. It was a lovely day despite being freezing cold and a great opportunity to see a bit of the local area. I managed to get lost on my way back and ended up at a place called Cobh and had to get a ferry back!

It was such a lovely evening when I returned I went for a walk along Garryvoe Strand followed by a swim and a little relax in the outdoor hot tub.

Today it’s raining very heavily, so I’m not up to much, just off to the gym and to get some rest. I’m so tired.

I need to plan for my cooking tomorrow. I have two salads to make plus something else, so I’m just hoping I can’t mess those up. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck!


  1. Jenny Davies says:

    Sounds to me as though you were experiencing “cook’s jetlag” and your brain had just packed up under the pressure! Hopefully, having had a couple of days of “downtime”, you’ll be back on form again. Nil desperandum – after all, if you went there and cooked everything brilliantly, you’d be wondering what the heck you were doing there and whether you really needed to have “classes” or not. 😉 Good luck with tomorrow – take it steady and you’ll crack it. :)

  2. It must have felt awful when things went wrong for you but I imagine you weren’t alone here! I think tiredness and stress has a huge part to play in this and I also think it is part of the learning process. Here’s to a new week and think doing some exercise to unwind is a good idea :)

  3. I cook lots from Ballymaloe and Rachel Allen cookbooks and have read so much about the place so loving hearing your insights. It does sound very tiring and stressful but great that you’re fitting in swims and visits to friendly pubs, you’ll end up getting so much out of the whole experience.

  4. Katie Cakey Lench says:

    You’ve got so many new experiences going on – try not to put too much pressure on yourself Charlotte. It will seem less overwhelming once you’re properly settled in :-) Have fun xxx

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