Today I was finally in the zone. Today also marks four weeks in Ireland.
Really? The days fly by. Nights are too short.
|The calm before the storm in our kitchen.|
|and it barely begins...|
|in the thick of it!|
The routine has settled in:
- Daily: Make sure I have my Order of Work filled out for the instructor to see how I have planned my morning hours of multi-tasking cooking. Leave our house at 7:45-7:50 to arrive at school 10-ish minutes later. Go to my assigned kitchen and station. Begin prepping for the morning. Partner and I will have divvied up the 4-6 recipes, which need to be completed (and our station cleaned) by noon, at which point the instructor will come and grade my creations based on accuracy, taste and presentation. We also must be accomplishing skills on the Skills list which our instructor signs off on. So.. not only must I joint a chicken (and about 50 other such skills), but do it three times to show I really do know it. Each day I have a different assigned chore. We eat a lunch of our morning’s prepared foods. The afternoon session of the next day’s recipe demonstration goes from 1:45 to 5:15-ish, after which we taste test everything. Also daily I should be filing all of my recipes and organizing my notes. Hasn’t happened yet, and am a bit panicked.
- Mondays: Begin cooking with a new partner in a new station with a new kitchen instructor.
- Tuesdays: Ditto of morning cooking and afternoon demonstration.
- Wednesdays: A no-cooking day (yeah! Street clothes!). It is also the 7:45 am morning organic garden(ing) walk and talk by the head gardener. Then we are in lecture from morning until late afternoon. We have a “biscuit” of the week (that’s “cookies” to us yanks), a cheese presentation, sometimes a wine presentation, and in the afternoon cooking demos.
- Thursdays: Bring our bed sheets in to be exchanged for new clean (and ironed) ones. Ditto of Monday and Tuesday.
- Fridays: Ditto Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. This afternoon we get our next week’s new partner and kitchen/station assignments. We also get our packets full of information, notes and recipes for the coming week.
Between different kitchens, partners, station set-ups, constantly attacking new recipes, I have felt like I was constantly a beat behind. But today, it flowed and, well, I was in the zone.
Here is a “taste” of what today in the kitchen was like: My assigned dishes were: 2nd day finishing of rhubarb jam, Moroccan spiced lentil soup, shortbread cookies with cream and strawberries. I was somewhat sad that I didn’t get to make the assigned Irish Stew, but will have to do that on my own I guess.
|We are judged down to separate veggies being cut exactly the same size.|
In just two weeks from today (Friday), we will have midterms that will last 4 hours and test us on our knowledge of what we have learned thus far, both practically (joint a chicken, sharpen your knife), head knowledge, and identifying spices, herbs in the garden, and foraged greens. By that point we will be half way through the course.
Tomorrow Brian and I take off for 36 hours. First we’ll go to the larger town of Middleton to the great Farmer’s Market (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/09/farmers-market-midleton-cork-ireland/).
Then we will drive half an hour to Cork to visit the English Market (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fPMSAyRsDo).
From there we will drive to 90 minutes to County Kildare to ferret out St. Brigid’s Well, and Monastery.
I hope soon, I can file four weeks of amazing.