Days 48-53


You might be wondering what the photo above is. It’s the wall outside Ballymaloe. Did you know that the lovely little greens you see go into our salads here?

This is a perfect example of the Ballymaloe style of cooking. Which is lovely, and something I find myself increasingly drawn to. When I eat out now, I do compare the food to what we have here, and it mostly is not as good.

Since I last blogged, we’ve had a number of really interesting demonstrations, including a wonderful pasta demo today by Gillian Hegarty who is an amazingly talented lady and is joint head chef at Ballymaloe House. It really was inspiring listening to her this afternoon.

Over the last week, I’ve found I have really enjoyed our afternoon demos. The topic areas have been really interesting and I’ve learnt a lot. I have particularly enjoyed the butchery and pasta making. The food we are cooking seems to get better and better, too.

I had a wonderful weekend with my parents and it was super to see Jude last week, too. I started the week feeling really motivated and enjoying cooking. I’ve been staying late and getting in early to do the things I am particularly interested in around my day.

On the flip side, this afternoon, we had our exam results, and I’m really disappointed with how I got on. I’m really frustrated with how I seem to mess up things I know how to do in the kitchen when I know I’m being marked. I just loose my calm and my mind and mess up what I’m cooking. It’s something I’m not sure how to sort out, but I’m going to have to try as final exams are just four weeks away.

I find myself torn between enjoying the classes and finding it hard to believe how the time is flying. And then in the evenings, it really hits me how lonely and unhappy I feel here, and I wish my time here would be over sooner, which is so unlike me.

Tomorrow, we have our day of theory back, and Thursday, we have our first school trip, where we will be doing a whistle stop tour of Counties Cork and Tipperary. I’ll report back soon.


  1. lynn Hill says:

    Thanks for sharing your week with us again Charlotte, what a lovely wall of greenery. So sorry that the you are feeling lonely in the evenings, could it be the tiredness? I hope you enjoy your theory day and school trip.

  2. It was super to see you last week and I was both amazed and impressed by the two demos I was lucky enough to see, my biga is in a bowl I the kitchen, fingers crossed for the ciabatta tomorrow!
    I ate two salads at Ballymaloe House with Pennyworth over the weekend. Like you that is one of the things I love, the focus on fresh seasonal food, both farmed and foraged.
    I’m sure you’ll find the next few weeks fly, take care. Jude x

  3. Oh dear Charlotte, I feel for you and your results not quite going to plan. It really seems that you both love and loathe it at the same time. The thing is you can cook amazingly well and I do wonder if maybe you are someone that learns better when not in this kind of environment. Anyway you can cook, I am still using your books all the time with excellent results!

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