Friday, 18 January 2013

Week 2

It has been one of those crazy long weeks. You feel ill, then you're better, then you're ill again, tensions rise and pans boil over. Yep, it's been one of those….good but long.

Whilst everyone is snow fighting in Blightey, we have had a pretty mild week here in Cork. Rain a couple of the evenings yet today, bright blue skies. Almost warm (she says wearing 2 thermals).

Cooking wise, it was great! High scores all week, great compliments and some great feedback from teachers. I'm trying to build more and more things into my routine each morning to get myself super duper practised with organisation and so far so good. Yesterday I made 7 things in 3 hours, today slightly less but you win some, you lose some.
We had some great lectures from Artisan Food Specialist Eddie Oneil, who makes and tests cheeses around the world. He was a wealth of knowledge and it was great trying some of the stuff we made with milk in the space of 3 hours.

As a lot of you know there has been huge talks this week about the quality of our meat control (google Tescoe Horse Burger) and food waste (ITV's programe What a waste). It's something we are all guilty of, food wasting that is. It's really lovely to live in a place that uses up every bit of scrap food. If it doesn't go for the hens or the compost it goes into the stock pot.

Even better, is that we are taught five different things to do with one veg/piece of meat etc. For example take a piece of lamb. First day roast it, the juices we use for stock, the fat we skim off the stock we use to seal pate in its jar. Or let's say a lemon that you have squeezed to make lemonade. If you have roughly 10 whole lemon skins make candied peel with them and with the sugar syrup you cook them in make lemonade. The lemon skin then can either be used for jam or for chocolate dipped candied peel presents. Maybe you'd prefer to add them to a cake. If you don't have 10 at one time, pop them in the freezer till you do and then do it.

We are constantly made to reassess how and what we use every item we cook with. The possibilities are endless, so if you just think about one thing this week, please think about this. You'll save money and the rubbish!

Tips from Ballymaloe at the end of week 2:

1. After scoring soda bread, always prick each piece. Let's those pesky fairies out.

2. If you've forgotten to get your butter out for a recipe and it's toooo cold, grate it in!

3. Scones are the new bad boys of the cake world…believe me!

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