Day 19 – Focaccia, Flowers, Fried Cheese

(Ballymaloe is preparing for Litfest so there are flowers and visitors all over the place.) 

Today’s bread was rosemary sea salt focaccia. For once I was allowed, even encouraged, to use the Kenwood mixer. Focaccia dough is very moist so doesn’t lend itself to hand kneading. This made it slightly less enjoyable to make – I like feeling the squidge – but still a satisfying experience. The school uses an amazing Greek olive oil and Maldon Salt, anything with lashings of those will taste good.


I also made a salad of Ardsallagh goats cheese almond crusted croquettes with roasted red peppers and black olive tapenade dressing, and baked pollock in spicy tomato sauce. I’m not a fan of roasted red peppers. They’re slimy, oily and a pain to make. But I do love goats cheese, especially when it comes from such an amazing woman, and I always enjoy a visit to the deep fry. It’s relaxing to drop something in and stand there watching it sizzle from white to toasty, golden brown. An exercise in mindfulness.

I learned : 

(Not related to food or Ballymaloe but) Shania Twain’s real name is Elaine Twain.

Food of the day : Raspberry Kombucha. This was served at lunch and I love the tart, bitter fizz.

Line of the day : ‘Why aren’t we serving our own food proudly?’ Darina is all for foreign food but champions cabbage, ham and potatoes. Rightly so!