Ballymaloe Day 80: Channeling my inner Florrie!

To say I’m exhausted is an understatement – I feel like the blood has been drained from my body and I’m left with a hollow shell of a person.

Today we had our main practical exam, and waking up after a surprisingly good sleep, I was anxious to actually just get into the kitchen and start cooking.

My official starting time was 11.30am, so there was a bit of hanging about before I began.

With last minute prep to be done, and a flick through the recipes and order-of-work, I braced myself for a long day’s cooking.

Channeling my inner Florrie – who’s one of our brilliantly supportive teachers here – I gave myself mini-pep talk throughout the morning, and fully aware that I was probably going to go over time, I kept cool.

Despite a brief power failure (just before I was going to put my bread in the oven), and having a battle with palm sugar, all-in-all it went quite smoothly.

This may shock you, but I went about an hour and a half over the designated three hours, but I didn’t mind and I certainly wasn’t the only one. My main goal was to plate up dishes that I was proud of and that I would gladly serve up to anyone.

So here they are, in all their glory!

To start: Spiced Indian Pakoras with Mango Relish

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For mains: Chargrilled Squid with Chili and Parsley Oil and Vietnamese Cucumbers

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And finally for dessert: Yoghurt and Cardamom Cream with Pomegranate and Rose Blossom Water

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I also made a white soda bread, which thankfully seemed to come out well – but we’ll see what Darina thought.

By the way, I got to take Brienne home tonight, and I’m happy to report that she’s a very happy cheese!

The rest of the night I’m just going to chill and probably get to bed early – I’m wrecked. Bonne nuit.

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