Week 8: Around the World

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This week I went from Ireland to Italy, popped over to Thailand & back via France. My week started with Irish stew, followed by pasta & tiramisu, chicken & coconut laksa, and some brioche to finish. My virtual globe-trotting was accompanied by some gallivanting: seeing Nina Conti with Mr. WB on Tuesday, and dinner at Ballymaloe House with a bunch of my classmates on Thursday.

It was quite funny to go to Ballymaloe House and see items on the menu that I had cooked, or was due to cook the following morning! It was also nice to get out and spend time with some of my classmates in a more social setting, even if I was at the quieter end of the table. We got put into our own private little dining room near the conservatory- some rowdiness was obviously expected! However, our rowdiness merely extended to one of my classmates swapping speaking for singing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes it’s the little unexpected moments that are the most special. There’s been a clutch of chicks growing up in the Palais de Poulets for a few weeks now (more of that to come). I like to stop and look in through the hatch at them on my way to the kitchen each morning.  As James & I passed on our way back from dinner, nearing midnight, the hatch was open, emitting its usual warm infrared glow. We lingered, leaning into the warmth, chatting and watching the chicks.

Culinary discoveries this week included the fact that pasta actually is that easy to roll out in the machine (I felt very proud holding my long sheet of pasta), and that I make a well-seasoned Irish Stew. I even managed to fit in some extra techniques to fill out our required Technique List. We have a lengthy list covering everything from ‘Cook potatoes’ to ‘Extract meat from a crab’, which our teachers sign off each time we learn a new technique. Making Tomato Fondue & Scrambled Eggs also gave me something to eat on Pasta/Tiramisu day!

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Francis got his very own brioche, with a bigger chocolate version for Mr. WB. In case you think I was feeling left out, my extra chocolate tart filling went into a little ramekin free of pastry as the ‘cook’s perk’, so a good week all round.

Quote of the Week:

Rachel (Allen) had been talking about a seaweed smoothie after her run on the beach. Her reply when I commented on how healthy she is:

‘Oh, but I’ll have a gin & tonic when I go home!’

(Rachel approved her Quote of the Week, adding ‘Just one’)

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