I came in even earlier than usual this morning to get my mise en place done, as I had five recipes to make this morning. Even so, I didn’t manage to do very well – the fish dish I made just took so long to make, and we had to fillet the fish together, which took ages, too.
Something seems to happen to me in the kitchen. I go in all organized, on time and know what I need to do, and then throughout the course of the morning, no matter how hard I work, I seem to get further and further behind and struggle to get my food out on time and manage all the clearing up, too. I’m trying not to rush so that I do things properly along the way, but I seem to get more and more out of control as the morning progresses. I’m not really too sure how to put that right, but there we go.
I find the equipment is taking a while to get used to. As I started making the tomato fondue, I placed my carefully sliced onions in the pan on the lowest temperature on the smallest ring to sweat, but I still managed to burn them within 5 minutes. I know full well how best to cook them and can manage them perfectly at home, but I just don’t seem to be able to manage it at Ballymaloe.
My marks were OK – generally 7s, but the teacher said it all tasted good. I think I got an 8 or 9 for my marmalade, although I’m not sure how it could have been improved.
I did manage to have lunch, get changed and ready for my flight in the break. We had Rory for the afternoon’s demo and we spent some time learning how best to butcher half a lamb carcass. By this time though, I must admit, I was struggling to stay awake after the hectic week. It’s not only physically tiring, but mentally, too as we have long mornings in the kitchen followed by a huge amount of information to assimilate every day.
I managed to get off on time after demo and catch my flight back, arriving back just before midnight. It’s been really nice to come back and relax this weekend. I’ve started to psyche myself up for Monday morning already though, as I have another 5 recipes to do on the day, too. Hopefully Monday will be a better day…