Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ballymaloe Day 28, February 15th - France vs Spain

Well the exams were nearing ever closer so some of us students went down to the greenhouses to have another look at the salad leaves and the herb garden. At least it's getting light earlier in the mornings now!

The herb garden


The peas we planted a couple of weeks ago!

The greenhouses

In the greenhouses we saw Rocket, Mizuna, Mibuna, Tatsoi, Pakchoi, Butterhead, Cos, Green Mustard, Red Mustard and many more. We have 20 to learn for Friday plus 20 herbs!

Back in for 9am we had a short demonstration of tasty Millionaire’s Shortbread and then Bay Lough Farmhouse Cheeses. Then it was time for the French wine lecture. We were joined by french wine expert Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau wine merchants and shop in Kilkenny.. There was loads of great wine and we went through some of the main wine regions, Burgandy, the Rhone Valley, the Loire and so on. He also explained a bit about the appellation d’origine contrôlée in France.



All these before lunch!



For the afternoon we had a massive Tapas demonstration with Rory and Emer, one of the teachers here. It was brilliant and gave me loads of ideas for a feast when I get home. There was a whole leg of Spanish ham carved from a stand, Manchego cheese, octopus, chorizo, anchovies, small spanish peppers, salted cod and tortilla and so many tasty morsels! Then at the end to go with the tasting plate, Colm McCan came back to talk to us a bit more about Sherry and we tried a couple with the food. Amazing!

Octopus!

Membrillo & Manchego

It was a feast and a half





Back at the cottage we were revising hard memorising our herb recipes and practicing our techniques. We practiced chopping veg and making omlettes all evening, the novelty soon wears off I can tell you. Then we quizzed each other on salad leaves and herbs, fun times! There are 20 techniques to learn and if I ever see a paper piping back again it will be too soon!