If last week was a long week, yesterday was a long day. It started at 7.45 with an hour of organic gardening with Tim (Allen) where we planted some veg in the raised beds behind the cookery school. I put in a courgette plant. I have high hopes for it! Wednesday is lecture day which might sound a bit tedious but not a bit of it. The day began with ‘Biscuit of the Week’ (which we ate at coffee break) and was followed by a whole morning talking about milk and what you can do with it. Darina was joined by Eddie O’Neill, Dairy Artisan Food Specialist at Teagasc’s Moorepark Research Centre and together they talked us through the making of cream, butter, yoghurt and cheese. That sentence really doesn’t do the morning justice – it was so interesting I could be here all night talking about it.
The afternoon was all about wine. In particular, the Reisling (pronounced reesling – always), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes. The first wine we tasted (all wondering how on earth we were going to stay awake for the afternoon after a few slurps) was a Muscat – smells of grape, tastes of grape – turned out to be a low alcohol wine (0.5%) made by Torres! The wines that followed had plenty of alcohol in them but of course you could use the spittoon . . . . as if!
Back ‘home’ for a quick change then to the cake demo. Sadly, there was no tasting. At the beginning there was coffee and cakes which I missed and that was the tasting! We all had a raffle ticket in our folder and there was a draw at the end of the evening. I have never been so relieved not to win a raffle – a taste is one thing, but a whole cake?
Today. Soda bread, chicken curry, rice and raita. The oven was too hot (right temp) and the bread was a little too brown and also a bit dense, the rest I think was ok. My ‘extra’ task for the day was feeding then hens. A lot of the cooking scraps go to them – no wonder they lay such great eggs. Rachel Allen was in charge of the demo this afternoon. She is exactly as she is on tv – she has a lovely bubbly personality and a great sense of humour.
The day ended with a long walk along the beach – and me taking a silly picture.