Day 12 – Birds and Herbs

The kitchen was BUSY today. Having so much free time yesterday lulled me into a false sense of security. There was no downtime for omelette practice. But it was invigorating. I felt hurried at times but not like I was losing control, and no tears. Everything takes longer in the kitchens here than it does at home. I still don’t know where all the equipment is and sometimes I hesitate because I want to do things the ‘right’ way.’ I end up asking questions like ‘How do I whip cream?’ and ‘Is my salad tall enough?’ I made spicy apple chutney, traditional brown soda bread, roasted aubergine, red onion and chickpea salad with mint paprika yoghurt dressing, and a spring fruit salad with scented geranium.

In the afternoon demo we were visited by local Garda Sergeant and game hunting enthusiast (cannot remember his name). He talked to us about hunting and showed us how to dress the birds. A lot of people are really against hunting, (Rachel Allen got a lot of heat for it a while ago) but if you eat meat an animal has to die. And birds that are hunted in the wild usually have happier lives and deaths than the animals whose meat we buy in the supermarket.

In the evening I did some exercise with some of my classmates and we walked back through the herb gardens where we had a herb study session. Essential to know the difference between dill and fennel!

I learned : This ingenious hack for draining aubergines. Just sprinkle with salt and set up like this. I’ll be making a lot more moussaka from now on!


There has been a lot of controversy lately over stuffing. People say it should be cooked on the side and not in the cavity of the bird. Rory disagrees and says that as long as the meat is fully cooked (until the juices run clear) there should be no risk of food poisoning. It’s stuffing not on-the-side-ing.

Food of the day : Roast guinea fowl, made by Rory O’Connell in the afternoon demo. Tastes like (dark meat) chicken!

Line of the day : ‘If there’s no gelatine in that pudding what’s holding it together?’  Rory : ‘Karma.’