‘The day was beautiful, even under strip-lights. Outside birds sang, a new morning dawned, people lived and grew and got better and looked forward to getting older. I bought a coffee and ate an over-sweet muffin and they tasted like the most delicious things I had ever had.’
‘After You’ follows the story of Liz Clark, first brought to us in ‘Me Before You’, a book I enjoyed, even I did not weep copiously like all the reader reviewers mentioned in the end pages. Continue reading “After You-Jo Jo Moyes”
This is a consistent refrain of Ada’s, the eponymous ‘Dressmaker of Dachau’. Though not over-used, it did wear a little thin on me by the book’s end.
Mary Chamberlain takes us on a journey following Ada from the glamour of London & Paris through her experiences in the Second World War & afterwards. Ada dreams of escaping her humble working class origins being a couture designer with her own ‘House of Vaughan’, a journey which starts as an apprentice seamstress, but ends somewhat differently. Continue reading “The Dressmaker of Dachau- Mary Chamberlain”
Forget *’La-La Land’, I’m in Limbo Land at at the moment. Every day, I’ve been coming home wondering if today is the day that my Ballymaloe results will be sitting on the hall floor, waiting for me. It’s been over 10 weeks now, though it seems far longer.
Before I’d even settled back into ‘normal’ life, I spotted this on Instagram: the dining room, set up for the First Supper of the next group of students. It was like the first time you see your ex walking past with someone new. Continue reading “Limbo Land”
There are other blogs that will give you tips around Ballymaloe’s 12 week cookery course, such as the excellent Una Minh-Kavangh’s Spill the Beans or French Foodie in Dublin, but here’s The Whimsical Bear take. Continue reading “Twelve Week Tips”
On Saturday 19th November, the 12 week students ran a pop-up restaurant in Ballymaloe Cookery School, fundraising for Slow Food International. I’m even later writing about this than Darina was in The Irish Examiner! Continue reading “Week 9 1/2: Pop Goes the Restaurant”
Bye bye to the Ballymaloe Bubble. I’ve swapped a 100-acre organic farm for my suburban back garden vegetable plot, the enthusiastic crowing of the roosters for the overhead rumble of planes en route to Cork airport, my chef’s whites for my Speech & Language Therapy uniform….. and I’m not sure that I like it.
Continue reading “Week ’13’: Back with a Bang”
Please read this book. I do not use the adjectives ‘charming’ or ‘heartwarming’ lightly, but I really can’t think of any more apt to describe ‘Etta and Otto and Russell and James’. It made me smile, made my heart swell, and sometimes broke it a little too. It is a book of beautiful, simple, spare writing. Continue reading “Etta and Otto and Russell and James- Emma Hooper”
“The lake wind blew down from Canada and in through the slats of our room, and played about our faces and hands, and snuck into our layers of socks, and found out our vulnerable toes.”
This is a beautifully written lyrical book. Continue reading “On Canaan’s Side- Sebastian Barry”
Once upon a time (the Friday of Week 3), gardener Aidan advised me that he was looking forward to the day’s work: collecting a clutch of one-day-old chicks to bring back to the Cookery School. Continue reading “Chicken Run”
There were plenty of good things this week. Monday’s demo was a list of ‘student requests’ ranging from pho bo to bagels (and ignoring my query of whether a gluten-free version was possible). Bravo to the teachers for packing a phenomenal amount of recipes into the afternoon and still managing to finish by 5.30. Continue reading “Week 12: All Good Things”