Today we woke up to a beautiful sunrise… appreciated even more given the imminent change in the weather forecast; rain was on the way.
Wednesday, our first proper day cooking in the kitchen. From 08:30 I was ready to go, weighing out all the ingredients I’d need, getting my order of work signed off by our section teacher Sorcha and by 0900 – cooking.
On my menu today was Quiche Lorraine and Winter Fruit Salad with Sweet Geranium Syrup. I’d planned out my schedule of work and according to my (in hindsight fairly naive timings) I was going to be done and dusted with both meals by 10.50. I’d have an hour to spare! Ha. If only I knew.
Making the quiche was my favourite part. Rubbing flour and butter to make the shortcrust pastry, chilling, rolling out thinly, gently pressing into the tin, blind baking and then filling with the most amazingly creamy filling. The ingredients we have to work with are just incredible. Eggs picked fresh from the farm. Thick Irish cream and bright yellow Irish butter. Bacon from a happy, local pig. Cheese from a happy, local cow. (They tasted so good they could only have come from happy animals) Onions and fresh herbs picked every day from the garden. It was hands down the most delicious quiche ever! (Objectively speaking obviously)
But, it was more like 11:50 when I finally plucked the quiche from the oven. Time just flies! There is so much to learn, so much to see and hear going on around you, so much to remember from the demonstrations yesterday. So much salt to add. 11.50 was just in time to plate up and get my morning’s work assessed by Socha. And we were both pleased with the result.
After lunch, just as the rain began to fall, we sat down to our afternoons demonstration given by Rachel Allen. Rachel is Darina’s daughter in law and someone who even I have watched on the Food Network TV and who is just so lovely and Irish and friendly. It was a delight. Pastas, winter salads, scones, sweet tarts and jams were just some of the items in the feast we had cooked up in front of us. I can’t wait for Friday already! This menu is what we’ll get to cook (and eat) on Friday morning.
It’s Friday because tomorrow is a full day of lectures. Kicking off at 0900 with – get this – a full morning’s lecture and tastings on cheese! How amazing is that. Music to my ears. (It’s then followed by afternoon of health and safety and food hygiene standards …. so they might balance each other out in terms of excitement)
It was lovely to curl up in front of the fire this evening with my fellow housemates and catch up on the day’s events over a cup of tea, glass of wine and an orange. After a pretty full on day of tasting and eating this is the only kind of dinner one feels like.
What an amazing day! And sorry, I’ve used the word amazing 6 times in this post. It’s a lot. But, it’s a lot less than how many times it’s actually come out of my mouth over the past 4 days 🙂