day 73, wednesday

Oh gosh, where to start? It’s been such a busy day. First of all the wine exam at 8am – I wasn’t taking it so I lay in bed for an extra hour! This morning’s demo was made up of items requested by students – ranging from homemade sausages and salami to pressed chocolate cake and chocolate nemesis from The River Café in London. A low fat day? – I think not.

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This was the pressed chocolate cake or what was left of it after lunch. I had to try them both – in the interests of furthering my knowledge of food, of course – but I did choose creme fraiche instead of double cream, a (very) small step in the direction of lower fat! How good were they? Well, believe it or not I have a more savoury tooth than a sweet one, and much prefer citrus desserts to chocolate but . . . . the chocolate nemesis was sublime! The pressed chocolate cake was very good too. A tiny portion of either would definitely suffice.

After a very late lunch, local gamekeeper Tom Duane (and lovely black lab Benny), came to talk to us. Talk about skinning a rabbit – well, he did! He also showed us how to pluck different game birds and gut them as well. Benny also had his turn when we watched him retrieve a bird (already dead) in the garden.

And the day continues with an olive oil and vinegar talk and tasting session.

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This was perhaps better than the wine tasting. We worked our way along the row of olive oils and then the vinegars, dipping (and definitely no double dipping) our bread to try each one in turn. The oils were all a little different – and there is no right or wrong, it’s a question of personal taste. There were balsamic vinegars, sherry vinegars, wine vinegars and also Darina’s special balsamic vinegar which was about 25 years old. We got a drip on the back of the hand and it was beautiful!

When I got home Angelique had decided to make pasta for her ‘Ballymaloe family’.

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Cheers!

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