Week 7 & 8
Week 7 was a short week, as we had a bank holiday on Monday after our lovely trip to Kilkenny for the Food Festival and after our midterm exams the previous Friday. Foodwise we’ve had an interesting two weeks. We started by looking at various burgers including pork, beef, veggie and lamb. We learned about some beautiful Toonsbridge cheese, and had a thanksgiving demonstration. We had a great brunch demonstration with various wonderful ways of preparing delicious eggs in several ways. Then, a great poultry and game day where we prepared chickens, ducks and geese. I have to say though that this day was a test of my patience!! My goose kept showing signs of being undercooked and stayed in the oven far too long ending up in being overcooked and missing out on lunch… oh well! I’ve absolutely loved the lamb dishes that we have ended up cooking here. We have made some beautiful stews, pies, salads and I’m really inspired to cook more lamb when I get back. Friday of week 7 brought some potted fish and fish pates. I have to say that week 7 was not great. I was so worried about the results of my midterm and missing home and it ended up transferring to my cooking. This was a good lesson.
We started week 8 by making pasta, which, for those that know me know that I love making pasta. Of course this was a bit of a different method of how to make pasta, but it went really well! I was also super excited to learn to make Tiramisu. I know there are many people that don’t like it, but I love it! We experimented with some curries and then both weeks we’ve been continuing with our breads including focaccia, brioche, milk dough, and more! Our Wednesday (full demo day) of week 8 was a great vegetarian morning producing some really beautifully tasty salads and phenomenal cheese croquettes. Wine lecture was back which we always love to see Colm, our sommelier. We then finished off our week with terrines, pates, soufflés and sweet crepes. Friday’s demo which means our Monday cooking brought some beautiful fish including sea mullet, wild salmon and on the dessert or “pudding” front – ice creams!
We had a field trip to the beach where we did some foraging of seaweeds which was really fascinating. It was great to learn the different species and compare them to both the east and west coast species in Canada. I find that the Irish really take advantage of the nutritional benefits of seaweeds, which I think there may be room for additional uses out in BC…. Stay tuned!
There was a lady that came and talked to us for a Slow Food event; Cora Doherty a neonatologist. She spoke to us about the effects of a mothers’ nutrition and our genes on our future health. There was some intriguing conversations on childhood nutrition and prenatal nutrition. There were some folks in the audience that talked about how they were recommended by their doctors to only feed their children, especially girls, organic chickens as there are too many hormones and steroids etc. that are affecting their health, especially hormonal health. It’s good to hear that message is coming from doctors but also quite frightening that we are seeing effects in children. This reinforces the importance of knowing where your food comes from, especially your meats.
To finish off week 7 & 8 10 of us gathered and headed to a little town called Durrus, just outside of Bantry to go to a great food event at Good Things Bakery and Cookery School. Fingal Ferguson who I’ve chatted about before (the chorizo god) put on a Food by the Fire event where he roasted a pig on a spit as well as a pork shoulder and some ribs. The food was phenomenal, and we had a great time, although it would have been wonderful if there was a bit more of a demonstration part of the dinner. It is so fabulous being surrounded by amazing foodies. We travelled all over to find great food this weekend without a complaint, even the opposite, much excitement about the next meal! If you are ever in West Cork, an absolute must is a new café restaurant called Monks Lane in Timmoleague. Ok so over and out for now, enjoy the photos!!