I can’t quite believe it’s been a week since I last blogged. But then I look back and think about my week and realise that it’s been quite a hectic few days. I had a good day in the kitchen again on Thursday, and spent some time practising my techniques for the mid-term exams on friday.
We were given a list of techniques which we would be expected to know how to do, such as fillet a fish, joint a chicken and so on, and also a list of foods we could be asked to identify, plus a number of additional techniques we were required to be familiar with. I hadn’t managed to cover all of them in the course yet, so spent quite a bit of time practising, as I had missed a number when I was ill the week before. Our exams were scheduled for friday afternoon, so we had a demonstration morning (pizza making with Rory) beforehand. Below is a photo of one of the breads we looked at. I was one of the first up, and was so nervous, I could hardly finish my lunch, which was a shame as Philip cooked us pizza in the wood-fired oven, too. I raced back to change into my whites and before I knew it, was being called into the exam room. I was feeling really nervous, and don’t remember too much about the exams, except for that I thought the theoretical side went well, but I messed up the practical. Nothing new there! I was so annoyed with myself afterwards, but what is done is done.
I had a nice weekend which provided me with a little break to escape from the Ballymaloe bubble. On saturday, I took myself to the Crawford Gallery in Cork City for lunch, which was very enjoyable. And on sunday we had lunch at the cafe at Ballymaloe, which was also good. I really like it there – it’s so simple, but the food is generally good – just the kind of thing I want to eat at the weekend.
I had a busy couple of days to start the week in the kitchen. Monday was a good day, and I am with John in kitchen 3 this week which is great. Tuesday wasn’t so good – one of those days when you can’t seem to do anything right, but I don’t think I was the only one feeling this. Still, I took myself for a walk after class, which was a lovely opportunity to get some air and have a change of scenery.
Yesterday, wednesday, was a different day, as we cooked today instead of having a day of theory. I got up early and went to do the organic gardening class with Susan Turner which was just wonderful. Although I didn’t have too much to do in the kitchen, I still managed to take forever to finish my cooking. As someone who did the course recently tweeted me: