Week 4: A summary in numbers


Four weeks at Ballymaloe are now done and dusted. From cakes to cockles, butchery to bread making and cheese to chutneys; we have covered so much in the last few weeks. Darina was right back in week one when she called this gastronomic bootcamp. Four weeks of culinary cardio and strength training for all the senses.

So my wrap up of week 4 in numbers:

Eggs consumed on Tuesday morning (aka omelette day) – Amidst the omelettes, frittatas, and terrine I’d say at least 8

Omelettes made – 5

Sourdough starters made – 1

Loaves of sourdough made – 1

Loaves of sourdough eaten – 1.5 (oops)

Discussions about sourdough – multiple (like wild yeasts they’re everywhere and increase under suitable conditions)

Ideal ratio of fat to meat in a burger – 20%

Blue plasters – 1 (It was Monday morning on my vegetable peeler. I blame the weekend’s prosecco)

Burns – 0 (impressive)


Visits to Midleton – 1

Hours spend kneading bread and creaming eggs (e.g. working up a sweat) – 5.5

Daffodils and spring flowers out and about – so many! Spring has sprung here in Shanagarry.

Bread loaves plaited – 1

Breeds of pheasant – 140

Number of game birds seen up close and personal – 5 (guinea fowl, pheasant, snipe, woodcock and duck)

Number of game birds eaten – 1 (guinea fowl)

Number of game birds plucked – 0 (I need to step up)

Layers of sponge in my chocolate cake – 4

Pieces of paper intended to become piping bags but that ended up in the bin – 3

Cakes tasted – will you think less of me if I say it was probably about 10

Number of piglets captured on camera – 0 (I know, I know)

Varieties of fresh garden herbs memorised – Now more than 2, but still less than 10. But improving.

Number of days until our exam -11 (Happily, I miscounted last week!)

Amount of study I need to do – Increasing on a daily basis

Inedible seaweeds in Ireland – 0 (so in other words, no need to be shy when foraging on the beach)

Puddings eaten with seaweed – 1 (And it was Carrageen moss. On the menu this week)

A few snaps to finish and over and out for another week







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