It's week 7 down here at Ballymaloe which is pretty strange. We're over half way through the course now and things are really stepping up. The breads are becoming more elaborate and we're being given more dishes than ever to cook in the kitchens in the mornings. Also, a bunch of people are after getting sick which meant that 11 people cried off cooking on Monday morning! That may just have been Monday blues for many students and most are back to normal again thank goodness.
We had our exam on Friday which was strange - it was a bit like waiting to go into the Leaving Cert exam but in a good way. I did well in the herb / salad recognition (full marks) but I made a complete pigs ear of my french omlette in the technique exam. The second the egg hit the pan, my heart sank as I knew it wasn't hot enough and things just went downhill from there. Not to worry though, onwards and upwards.
As an end of exam treat, one of my classmates hosted the most amazing barbeque at her home on the grounds of Ballymaloe house. There was a lamb on a spit which was the most suculent meat ever tasted, most students brought something homemade from breads to salads to pickles to dips and the wines were pretty special since we're all a bit more aware of what we're drinking from all the talks given by Colm McCann and his guest speakers. The cottage looks out on a field in front of a forrest and benches were laid out for us to sit on. Paper lanterns were hung around the cottage for those afraid of the dark and Harry brought along his karaoke machine to keep everyone entertained.
I've been invited to a friends house on Friday night for drinks & nibbles and will be bringing little crostini with Ardsallagh goats cheese(truely a revelation), rocket & confiture d'oignon (another revelation). I'll have to post the recipe for this when I "get out" as this is something every foodie should try (and get addicted to).
I'm off now to a wine tasting followed by breakfast demo followed by bongo drumming. Tough life!!!