Week 8: A summary in numbers

Sunday stroll on Garryvoe beach

Week 8 finished up with snow (yay), sickness (boo), fun squid facts (see below) and more seriously good food. In fact, on Thursday (Italian day) it was so good, I ate it all before I could even think about possibly taking any photos.

Thursday was a lot of fun. Making fresh pasta is the best thing ever! I was making spinach pasta for my lasagne verde and it’s incredible to see the bright green colour that comes from adding steamed spinach to the egg yolks, 00 flour and salt. To me, it’s right up there with the soda bread magic. That something so amazing can come from such simple ingredients. Sandwiched between a rich ragu and thick bechamel sauce – this was lasagne, but not as we know it. Thursday was basically a pasta feast; lasagne, tagliatelle, cannelloni, tortellini, etc etc. Needless to say I went for a rather looooong run on Thursday evening.

(Oh and Thursday also featured tiramisu. Wow. There are no words. (Ha – well there are certainly no pictures!) Lots of alcohol, coffee, chocolate, fresh eggs, mascarpone… this is seriously good. Translated, tiramisu means ‘pick me up’. I think a more appropriate translation is ‘fall in love with me’)

All things fish, was the focus of the demo on Thursday afternoon. And so here is my fun squid fact. Did you know that the squid has a long, hard sort-of-spine thing inside it, which looks very similar to a feather scroll one might have written with back in the day. This, combined with the sack of ink the scroll also has, means it’s knows as ‘The Scribe of the Sea’ – cool huh? I love that fact.

(Tangent: This just prompted a major internet procrastination moment and I found myself googling “squid facts”. Did you know there is a website called Squid World, featuring all the facts about a squid you could possibly want to know. Such as the fact a squid has 3 hearts. And swims tentacles first not head first. Fascinating. But also major digression.)

Unfortunately on Friday I started to feel ill. I did manage to make a white chocolate mousse with candied kumquats – but, I could hardly enjoy it. I felt pretty rubbish, so hot footed it to bed not long after and spent the majority of the weekend there. Big boo. Especially as it snowed outside! Not for long, but a good dusting. There were lots of pretty pictures taken.

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A dusting of snow

Anyway – week 9 ahead! Time is marching on. So let’s wrap up today with a quick summary in numbers:

Sourdough loaves made – 0 (it was my self imposed week off)

Days until wine exam – 17

Days until our 3 course menu we cook for our final exam is submitted – 11

Hours we have to cook our 3 course meal plus one bread – 3 (and points are deducted for every 15 minutes you go over)

Weeks until our final exams – 4 and counting

Recipes needed to make lasagne – 4 (1 for the ragu, 1 for the pasta, 1 for the bechamel and 1 for the lasagne)

Hours taken to make lasagne – the best part of 4

Types of pasta eaten in one meal – unsure. Maybe 5? But definitely more that I’ve ever had in one sitting. (And possibly more than I would recommend)

Tablespoons of alcohol in tiramisu – 6. (3 of dark rum and 3 of brandy. Plus a little splash extra for good measure)

Steaks cooked to medium rare perfection – 1

Souffles made – 8

Souffles eaten – probably around 3…. I had to taste other people’s you see

Wine tastings (official) – 3 (including champagne)

Hours spent in bed feeling ill and experiencing major FOMO – too many

Here’s to week 9 and all the adventures it will bring. On the cards so far: Pickled ox tongue, a whole school outing to local farmers markets and producers (roadtrip!), more fermentation, brioche, a trip to Cafe Paradiso… can’t wait.







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