An early morning brush up on techniques, not cooking but the ironing after a third party blueberry fool related incident yesterday required an urgent washing of the whites. This time the power remained constant and by 7am I was ready to go, or at least I would have been had an early start been demanded. Today however was lecture day and a gentle stroll up to the school saw me jostling with the early coffee crowd in Kitchen3.
From there to Demo and the Cheddar variety of cheese took centre stage with an explanation of the Cheddaring process and some fine examples to taste including Hafod, Montgomery and Keen's. The a short demonstration and explanation of the cheddars produced in Blaenafon by Sue Fiander-Woodhouse again with cheeses for tasting. The presenter of this short insert was articulate and passionate but I missed his name as my mind was elsewhere.
Now how many people start the day with a glass of sparkling wine before 10am and the promise of another four glasses before lunch? If you are a Ballymaloe student you do. John Mc Donnell the Irish head of Wine spoke about the range of Wines coming from the biggest island in the world.
No random passing troubadors were within range of Ballymaloe today so lunch was served sans musique. Lamb dominated the menu again but there was also beef!! I was so pleased that I had to photograph it.
Finally we returned to Sherry- one couple from Luxemburg joined us for the whole demo just for the Sherry! Tonight there were two offerings a Lustau Puerto Fino a bone dry elegant wine and a very rare 30 year old Del Duque Amontillado. The rarity coming from the fact that the Solera system means constant blending and very few single vintages exist. Both were very pleasant and this under rated wine deserves a wider appreciation and to be served chilled in proper glasses not those minute efforts in which it usually appears. Tomorrow a visiting Italian producer will appear at lunchtime and another tasting beckons. If it is as good as today's offerings I will enjoy.