Week 9: Bearnaise & Burnout

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, all that activity last week must have taken a toll. Usually, Weeks 5 & 10 are when the grumps hit everyone; I got them a week early. Maybe it was the move to a new kitchen, increased pressure to be ready & serving on time, or maybe my brain just can’t absorb or process any more information. I felt like I went backwards instead of forwards after my great week 8. A big dose of hormones didn’t help matters. Nor did the fact that the exams are drawing nearer, and it’s time to start revising.

I’m a bit late writing this, and when I look back at my diary, I actually did achieve quite a bit each morning, but it obviously didn’t feel that way! My order of work Monday should have read: ‘Do everything….twice’. My first flaky pastry dough (or detrempe in fancy culinary lingo) was too tight, so I re-did it. My first praline was too dark, so I re-did it. My white yeast bread wasn’t quite kneaded enough and refused to be shaped into pretzels. Now, I made a beautiful Hollandaise sauce… and then let it split when the saucepan of water keeping my jug of gold over-heated.  But, it’s by our mistakes that we learn, and I’d rather have to do something again & get it right the second time.

By Thursday, even though my cooking went well, the tiredness and hormones let loose. Faced with trying to check the equipment in my section, lunchtime duty, finishing late, and lack of lunch,  the floodgates opened. In fairness, whether you were nice to me, nasty to me, or merely poked me with a stick, I’d have started to cry at that stage. Let’s just say that Ballymaloe teachers are a patient & caring lot in these circumstances.

Enough of the Moaning Myrtle! There were, as usual, lots of good things in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABallymaloe this week. The students’ pop-up restaurant merits a whole separate post. I jumped at the chance to do a Fermentation Workshop Tuesday evening, and thoroughly enjoyed sampling kefir and kombucha and making my own sauerkraut. I like the idea of keeping my gut happy (as well as resolutely gluten-free). Hopefully, my gut also likes my experimental brown rice sourdough.

We also had a canapes demonstration on Wednesday with Rory at his artistic best, and very happy by the looks of the photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot only that, but even my tetchy Thursday ended on a good note- tasting Beaujolais Nouveau, just released that day. Cheers!

Quote of the Week:

‘I’ve got horseradish buzz going on’- Rory (O’Connell) using a white substance to clear his sinuses….

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