Ballymaloe Uncategorized

Day 28 - Breakfast Wine, Afternoon Tea

(Frustratingly, my camera card reader has broken. I took pictures of amazing cakes today and got some good shots of myself carving a lamb with a saw but I won’t be able to share them for now. The garden pics were taken on my phone and the flowers were from last week. They are irrelevant to this post but will have to do for now.)

People have been kind of frantic this week. On Friday we have a herb, salad and technique exam. We have to perform four techniques chosen at random from a list including things like poaching eggs, jointing a chicken, making a paper piping bag and filleting fish. We also have to identify salad leaves and herbs, and match them to recipes. This morning farmer Haulie kindly brought us on a walk around the farm to help us study. It was very helpful, now people are only freaking out about the technique portion!

In today’s wine class Colm McCann had a sobering message (ha) about alcohol abuse. He says wine is, ideally,  the best supporting actor of a meal – it should be drunk in small amounts, always with food and children should be allowed to drink it from a young age so they respect it. He says that when wine is drunk this way it is as good for you as kombucha. I like Colm’s style.

(Insert picture of wine bottles here. Not hard to imagine).

In the afternoon demo chef Pam made some fabulous treats for tea. There was sugar, sparkles, piping bags and flowers all over the place. I just love watching a person so in their element. Pam said that when she was a child she always made elaborate cakes for bake sales when the other kids brought plain buns. Her cakes were always the first thing to go so she knew she was on to something. She is still baking dramatically to this day – and now she gets paid for it! She squealed with delight as she showed us doilies and cake decorations. Seeing someone’s excitement is so nice.

(Picture some beautiful cupcakes here).

In the evening I had a butchery workshop. My partner Hilary and I carved up half a lamb together and then reassembled it like a jigsaw puzzle, a very satisfying experience.

(Here I will be carving up a carcass).

I learned : Myrtle Allen, founder of Ballymaloe House once owned a restaurant in Paris called La Ferme Irlandaise.

Fosters beer is one of the biggest winemakers in Australia.

Natural wine is better for you, in part, because it is sulphur free. Sulphur inhibits the liver enzyme that breaks down alchohol.

Food of the day : Simnel cake. Am I getting older or is this all of a sudden crazily good??

Line of the day : From Chef Pam. “The fun you can have with a piping bag and some colours is endless.”