Today I made : Cardamom and yoghurt cream with green gooseberry and elderflower compote. This dish is ideal for a place like Ballymaloe – it is simple but so luxurious thanks to the high quality produce used. My teacher Sue and I went outside to pick elderflower straight from the trees for this. One of my favourite desserts so far.
I also made a mimosa salad. When I first heard these words my ears perked up. I imagined segmented oranges doused in prosecco. It is actually a bed of seasonal greens framed in egg whites and kalamata olives, topped with yolk and parmesan. Some say it looks like a mimosa flower. I think my version would be nicer.
Finally I made some baby cinnamon rolls with leftover flaky pastry dough that my classmates and I ate as midmorning snacks.
In the afternoon demo Rachel Allen showed us some fabulous Asian dishes, and cooked crabs. Here are their last moments of life. Rachel gave them a good death and delicious afterlife!
In the evening my Hungarian classmate Marian talked to us about her family’s vineyard, Simigh. If you are on holiday in Hungary, look out for them, they were really quite good!
I decanted my kombucha for its second fermentation. This is the fun round when you can add flavour. I liked my dessert from this morning so much I picked some more elderflower. I am just 24 hours away from a floral kombucha.
I learned : Crab is some of the cheapest shellfish out there. A medium sized crab costs between 1 and 1.50. However, they are very labour intensive so crab dishes are quite pricey in restaurants.
Crab claws are the most sought after part but you should always buy whole crabs. Some fishermen catch crabs, remove the claws and throw the bodies back in so the poor defenceless creatures suffer enormously.
Gooseberries are yum but their leaves are poisonous. My teacher liked my dessert except for the fact the garnish could kill someone.
Food of the day : Saffron rice with barberries, pistachio and fresh herbs. Rice is often a bland affair but not when it’s made like this!
Line of the day : From Tim Allen, talking about making bread. ‘Sometimes you just feel like it will never come together, just be patient and it will.’ About so much more than carbs!