Thursday, 1 March 2012


Pink Ginger Cookery School
This has been another action packed and fun filled week in Ballymaloe Cookery School. My weekend back in Dublin got off to a great start with some lovely tapas and wine in Dax Café Bar on Friday night, followed by a morning at The Pink Ginger Cookery School with Eimer Rainsfort on Saturday morning. Eimer worked in Avoca for 11 years and has now set up a boutique cookery school in her beautiful house in Sandymount. Eimer has a huge range of courses. You should check out her website for further information on her class schedule.

Pasta Making and Dancing on Tables!
The weeks down here at Ballymaloe just seem to be getting busier and busier and I am finding it hard to keep up to date with blogging so I am sorry if it has been a little sporadic as of late.
Monday was a fantastic day of pasta making in the kitchen. We made every type of pasta you could ever imagine and lots of different sauces to go with them. Homemade pasta and dried pasta are worlds apart in terms of flavour and texture and once you have grasped how easy it is to make your own, it is definitely worth making at home. 

Monday night we had a spontaneous mad night partying in one of the cottages. On the way home from the supermarket at 7pm we decided to just pop in to say hello to friends of ours down the road and next thing we all had a glass of wine in our hand! Several bottles later and lots of dancing on tables, we got home at 2am and I was up again for salad duty at 8am!

Best Day of Tasting Yet
I think the menu from the demonstration on Tuesday was one of my favourite tasting afternoons yet. We had some incredible rack of lamb with delicious sauces, like apple and mint chutney and membrillo and rosemary aioli. We also had potato and mushroom gratin, provencále mussels (grilled with breadcrumbs and garlic - my favourite!), pommes dauphine -  a mixture of half potato and half choux pastry deep fried, delicious tarte tatin and hot lemon soufflé for dessert. How could you refuse that?!

Dynamic Vegetarian Cooking
Wednesday morning was focused on vegetarian cooking which was absolutely fantastic. It was influenced quite a lot by Indian cooking with lots of freshly ground spices and chilli. We learnt how to make samosas, onion bhaji's, daal, spinach and mushroom pancakes and lots of really interesting and wholesome salads such as red quinoa tabouleh with toasted pinenuts and pomegranates. All the food was bursting with flavour and you'd never miss a piece of meat after trying these dishes. 

Wine Class and Ballymaloe House Kitchen
Wednesday afternoon was our fifth wine Class with Colm McCann, the sommelier at Ballymaloe House. I can't believe the course is nearly coming to an end. There is already talk of final exams and how to prepare. This will definitely have been the quickest three months of my life!

We were given a whistle stop tour of Austrian, Spanish, South African and Italian wines and we got to taste 8 or 9 different wines from different regions. We were lucky this time that the wine class was scheduled for the afternoon but I did have to go to work up in Ballymaloe House kitchen that evening and was feeling a little heavy headed before I went! I didn't give myself time to sit down as I knew I would need a nap, so I headed straight up there and dived into it. 
It was a really great night to be up there as it was the Ballymaloe Cookery School staff Christmas party. Yes - Their Christmas party! Apparently they didn't have time with their last 12 week students before Christmas so they are only getting around to having it now. It was really nice to have helped cook up some food for the teachers and there was a great buzz about the place. I have never seen such a relaxed kitchen - not that I have seen that many - but there was lots of laughing and joking going on!

School Tour
Today we went on an action packed school tour around Cork, Waterford and Tipperary. I have so much information to share I want to make a separate post about it but don't fret, I will get on with writing it as soon as possible to tell you all about it.

For now, I am going to say goodbye and get writing my order of work for tomorrow!

Below is a photo of my latest bread success - sourdough!

Chat soon,

Laura x


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