Day 29 – Apples And Oranges 

(I continue camera – less. I will hopefully be able to rectify the situation over the weekend. Until then it’s iPhone and old pics. Above is a picture of the blue sky from my bedroom a few days ago. Below is the most inspirational couch in Ballymaloe.)

Today I made : An apple tart.  I have made quite a few here but each requires different techniques. Today’s used two kinds of pastry – shortcrust on the bottom, flaky on top – and a fluted edge.

I also made mint and apple jelly which is meant to go with lamb but I will most likely spread on toast.

Also some mini jam tartlets with scraps of pastry that we ate as snacks, and I practised omelettes to prepare for tomorrow’s technique exam. It may look like I didn’t make much but I can assure you I had a busy morning. I also had to return to Tuesday’s pâté de campagne which needed to be sliced and sampled.

This evening my housemates and I had a study party. We bought chickens, fish and oranges and practised our knife skills while quizzing each other on herbs. I successfully made a paper piping bag after four failed attempts (you have to be able to fill it with water and have no leaks). I better get asked to do it tomorrow!

I have studied and practised as much as I can. My goal for the exam is to remain calm under pressure. Even if things go wrong you just have to enjoy the experience or what is the point??

I learned : Ciabatta was invented in the 1980s by an Italian baker who was worried French baguettes were invading Italy.

Food of the day : Polenta with butter and Parmesan. We were given a taste after the demo and most people threw theirs out but I love the stuff! It’s like a savoury, grown up Ready Brek (cream of wheat).

Line of the day : From Darina. “Agriculture is the best form of healthcare.”

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Órfhlaith

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