Week 4 Ballymaloe Cookery School…1 month down

8 Plait Yeast Bread

I cannot believe I have been here a month already. Time is flying by and I just want it to slow down and last forever! The theme of week 4 here at Ballymaloe Cookery School was all about bread. For me, at least! It started off with my adventures into Sourdough the week before and then expanded into the mindful moments of kneading a beautiful yeast dough. I fell head over heels for this bread. I loved making it and watching the end result turn out so beautiful. It was definitely worth those mind boggling sequences. That moment when you cut into a loaf of your own freshly baked bread is magical. Feel the crust crumble under your fingers and the smell of the yeasty dough rise into the air. The advantage of making all of these delicious breads is your teacher will most likely let you bring it home…smothering them in butter with a freshly brewed cup of tea. Completely unnecessary after a day of tastings and 3-4 course lunches but still….fresh bread, could you resist it??

This is the little chap who is waking me up every morning…even on my days off when I long for a sleep-in. My body has been craving a long and undisturbed rest and the next thing I hear a cock-a-doodle-doo before the sun has even had a chance to rise it’s pretty little head.

Cockerel

This little lady is just so precious. I love her…but I don’t think she really appreciates me toddling after her when she’s going for a gander around the garden.

Ballymaloe Hen

Every morning leaving our cottage and going into the kitchens, we pass the gorgeous herb gardens. So enchanting, I love it!

Herb Garden

On Friday afternoon before our last demo of the week. Darina brought us foraging down at Garryvoe Strand. Scarves, hats, thermals and big jackets were donned and we piled into cars to head down for some fresh sea air. When we got down to the beach, we walked out to a seaweed filled marsh. Darina went through the history of foraging in that area and told us all now that the recession has hit, more and more people are foraging and selling this natural produce to make a living. What a pretty nice past-time too.

We paddled around looking for Perry-Winkles and making sure we didn’t stock up on Horse Perries. As the old folks say ‘Don’t eat Horse Perries. Okay then! From what I gather, they are just a little bit toxic for the human system and we can’t tolerate them so best to avoid them.

Foraging

Darina Garryvoe Strand

Katie Foraging

Horse Perries

Jess Foraging

Our foraging session was short and sweet but so much fun. Afterwards, everybody was so rejuvenated, happy and laden with Perry-Winkles. I love the energy that fresh sea air and a little jaunt along the shoreline gives you. I wish we could do that everyday.

When we got back to demo, Darina had a platter of fresh sea food ready for cooking and serving. I’m definitely falling more in love with Shellfish every time we have it here. I tried my first Perry-Winkle, Clam and Sea Urchin on Friday. Yum!!

Sea Urchin

Darina Shucking

Looking forward to shucking some Oysters and having some delicious Shellfish for lunch tomorrow. Will be so hard to resist eating all of then in the kitchen πŸ˜‰

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