Saturday, 30 October 2010

Ballycotton was rocking last night as students celebrated the end of exam fever. No longer would herbs be identified with the enthusiasm of the great British public analysing the difference in profile between a Heinkel and a Dornier at 10,000 feet in 1939.

My own evening started quietly around 6 in the local pub where a group of the more mature students met to discuss the first half of the course in quiet and relaxed surroundings occasionally being served if the barman chose to recognise us as customers. In fairness this lack of attention applied equally to the local inhabitants sitting morosely at the bar.
As the Ulster Munster Magners League game got under way a few more drifted in to watch and the ending of the Children's Halloween party in the GAA ground next door saw a small trickle of fathers popping in for a pint, and a coke for the kids, but the atmosphere remained calm.

Time for a taxi to Ballycotton, party capital of Shanagarry Bay! As it was only eight we thought about eating before more beer but the closest restaurant was not open to the public as there was some kind of Lingerie Party inside ( a restaurant closed on a Friday night!), another had the chef on holiday though they had not bothered telling anyone, and the pub which does all day bar meals apparently ends the day around 6! This left only the local fast food place open (Friday through Sunday). We resolved to visit later and headed for the Blackbird.

On arrival it was quiet though all that would change as several taxi loads of students arrived. I managed to get a shot at the beginning of the evening

but then mercifully my camera battery expired saving you from the bacchanalian excesses which ensued. War stories were swapped and repeated as more new arrivals entered the bar and then repeated as more alcohol was consumed as the volume of noise increased and, the majority of customers being young ladies, the pitch of conversation also increased. Think aero engine warming up and you get the effect.

By 10 two of us could not stand the pace without food so we staggered the 200 metres to Skinny's, a fast food outlet perfectly in line with Kings first rule of restaurants - it had a laminated menu- where my double cheeseburger was apparently the meal of choice for Johnny Depp when filming in Ballycotton. The Garlic cheesy chips weren't bad either so, fortified by cholesterol and carbohydrates we headed back to the pub for another couple of hours. Eventually around 12:30 I decided that bed was probably the best policy and, blagging a seat in the minibus transporting the attendees of the aforementioned Lingerie Party I headed back.

Six weeks over, the halfway point. It's all down hill to the end except that from here on in the learning curve steepens, the techniques become increasingly complex and the standard expected is higher. Still, the school has run for 40 years and about 8,000 have passed through so it cannot be beyond our abilities to succeed.

So anyway, what happens on Saturday? Well it's off to Midleton Farmers Market, bit busier this week must be the Halloween thing and the need for organic Pumpkins. Make soup or pie not silly lanterns! A quick burst through the supermarket to buy the things that Farmers Markets don't supply - toothpaste, recycled organic toilet rolls etc. Next over to pick someone up and reunite her with her car sensibly abandoned before last night's trip to the Blackbird. Lunch, washing the whites and then just pure relaxation, good book coffee that sort of thing.
 Tea turned out to be burgers, but not just any burgers. These were organically reared Angus cattle, seasoned with a little Thyme and served with Dijon Mustard and Emmental cheese, and cooked rare.

An early night beckoned, a period of rest before the final push for another six weeks, would I be tempted by the Angels and Demons night in the Blackbird? I doubt it but I am looking forward to a night of sleep in which not every dream will have a herb and salad content or a fillet a round fish against the clock element. With the clocks going backward tonight I am cheered by the thought that I shall have an extra hour in which to do THE FILING.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Exam Fever and a crispy Calzone

Tyres smoked as they struggled to find grip, leaving thick black lines as evidence of their effort - but no matter what this was a car crash that was going to happen.

Fortunately probably not at Ballymaloe today and hopefully not to your blogger. A miserable day with lashing rain as I picked my way through the sodden fields trying to avoid the obvious puddles but arriving with a somewhat soggy shoe and one that was just soaking. Early morning salad duty when everyone else has to be in at 9:30 means little chance of a lift so I wended my already weary way like the proverbial ploughman - except that he had finished the day's labours and mine were yet to commence.

Good news, there was no salad duty!! Bad news 70 pizza bases had to be rolled and the dough was still in a 3 Kilo lump. Still the technique ( a buzz word round here) was that for rolling white yeast rolls so whilst the weigh up team cut dough into 220 gram chunks, the rest of us formed it into balls and rolled it out.

With enough "volunteers" this task can be done in a relatively short time and the more we did the better we got and the nicer the bases looked. Mr Domino I will be available after all - unless Mr Hut or Mr Express sign me up first.

Once made, many would be cooked in the wood burning Pizza Oven:

though others would be cooked in conventional ovens or fried either dry or deep as the versatility of the humble Pizza was demonstrated to its very limit.

The latest addition to the Allen dynasty is Phillip who is not only a master of the Pizza but a very good butcher too, not so much gaining a son in law as gaining two craftsmen and teachers.

Not only would Phillip be cooking in the aforementioned oven but he explained the technique (that word again) for spinning the dough to stretch it - we were not allowed to practice on the newly rolled bases. He also gave a brief history of the Pizza and explained its versatility. From simple Margherita to involved Calzone and Sfincuini via Piadina and even an explosive chilli based Pizza we saw them all.

And tasted many!! Guess what was for lunch? along with some fine Focaccia breads.

This feast of fine Italian cuisine was designed as much as anything to take our minds off the forthcoming exams and lunch was somewhat quieter than usual as little groups continued both speculation and last minute revision.

I had the Technique exam first and was in the first group scheduled to enter the kitchen. 30 minutes with 4 techniques to demonstrate. We were pretty certain that we would each have to chop and sweat an onion and also make a paper piping bag but beyond that the techniques were random.

How delighted I was to see that I had to joint an entire chicken. One of the things that I had only done twice in its entirety but understood the technique well enough to have a reasonable stab at it. (Actually no stabbing just slow methodical strokes with a boning knife). I even remembered to separate the wing pinion for stock and to turn part of the wing inside out for a cocktail/canape drumstick!!

not my actual jointing a s cameras are not allowed in exams

The onions were finely diced and sweated off with a little seasoning and a butter wrapper to retain moisture and the piping bag looked like an elf's hat.

 Just the sauteed mushroom to go. The trick here is really high heat, plenty of butter and seasoning and to use your filleting knife to cut them vertically and what passes for high speed in students with only six weeks experience. Remembering to fry them in small batches and place into a warmed bowl for presentation I also remembered that they should all be returned to the pan just before serving to maximise heat.

35 minutes and I was out! Others had tasks like making glazed carrots, making shortcrust pastry, making scones or filleting fish. I guess that I got lucky with four techniques that I could do.

The on to the herb and salad exam. 10 herbs to identify and suggest recipes in which they could be used. Not too hard and the tricky Dill or Fennel position can be resolved by a tasting. Salad leaves harder and one I could not remember the name at all so won't be getting 100% there then.

Finally two bonus techniques, present and pour a bottle of wine and lay a place setting correctly including three glasses. The wine probably OK and the place setting excellent provided you are a left handed person who does not drink wine and needs a spoon to handle all your food.

Overall not as bad as many had imagined and, I think that, the real purpose is to give a reality check on progress to date and identify areas in which you may need help ( in my case the kitchen) or are excelling.

I think that the Blackbird in Ballycotton will be busy tonight!!

and I bet that the local Hell's Angel will be there too.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Eaten, dead or alive

(apologies for the late arrival of yesterday's blog  - slow web speeds here prevented upload)

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house etc. Actually twas the night before exams and all round the school, groups of students discussed herbs and making a fool. Yes exam fever was biting hard in East Cork and the thought of identifying 20 herbs and salad leaves was causing misery on a scale usually only encountered at a Smiths concert. What is the difference between pak choi and bok choi, coriander and flat leaf parsley, sweet Cicely and chervil. Huddled groups gave the latest hot news about the exam - you have to fillet a tuna and make sashimi, I heard it was boning a whole horse, You've to make 50 loaves of bread. Actually most of the speculation and worry was probably unjustified. Yes there is an exam on herbs, salad leaves and techniques but the reality is that it is more of a progress check than a competitive exam on which your chance of going to Big School rests.

In the meantime there was real cooking to be done. Today I had to make a cold cucumber soup and then convert 1/2 pint of that into a mousse and cook an apple upside down cake with a fudge sauce. By 9 the soup was made and chilling in the fridge and the gelatin was sponging. By 10 twee espresso cups of mousse were chilling and awaiting garnish and presentation. Tack;e the apple cake. Cut two apples into 8ths, sprinkle with soft brown sugar in a lined frying pan, pour over the cake mix and bake for 40 mins in a 180 oven. Take out and cool, make a fudge sauce and pour over the cake. Present.

The mousses were dressed with shrimp and got their own photo

The chilled soup went into a chilled bowl on a chilled plate but, as it was basically white in white on white it did not get a shot. The cake, covered in an unctuous oozy fudge sauce sat proudly on the plate. How to dress it for presentation? Whipped cream of course but you need that extra wow factor so Chantilly Cream with a cunning glug of Calvados to match the apple based cake. Went well. No photo though as the cake slice did not survive the rigorous tasting and the main cake was whisked away for tomorrow's lunch.

Speaking of lunch, today was vegetarian day except for my shrimp dressing. But a visit from an Italian winemaker who insisted on everyone trying his white with lunch as it would go well with the meal. It did.

Demo started with a brief explanation of the farming of sea urchins and abalone.

These little fellows would later appear in a seafood platter.

The the Italians produced a red for us all to taste before we got down to the real business of the demo.Alessio Guidi gave us the history of the Aviognense family and vineyards as well as the two tastings. The only slight qualm which I felt was that he looked a little like both Fabio Cappello and Ed Milliband, not a look which I would wish on anyone.

Next the actual Demo which featured Kerry and Dingle Pies (Lamb in pastry) Banana Bread, Gingerbread, Pasties (lamb) and seafood. Much of this was to be eaten raw and the proportion increased when as the clams cooked it became clear that one had gone off but, as it could not be identified they all got trashed. To preserve the sensitivities of certain Welsh readers I have refrained from photos but along with mussels and clams, prawns and oysters there were the aforementioned urchins and abalone. Again seafood produced the quote of the day as Rory cut open an urchin and placed the sparkling roe onto the tip of a teaspoon before consuming it. "Rory are those urchins alive or dead?" "Lets say very recently deceased"

A masterclass in oyster shucking could well pay dividends in the future though for the record I prefer mine in a Steak and Kidney Pie rather than on the half shell. Mrs K she is a big fan of the salty one and will select them if they are on the menu, though usually only a modest dozen.

Tomorrow is the big day, mass panic will break out in about 10 hours but I am remaining relaxed. We will be tested but not destructively and anyway at 8ma it is my job to prepare the salad for lunch and, if that does not drop a hint as to the likely content of the herb and leaves content nothing will.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Tapas 101 and the Australian Wine Industry

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.

We tried the sparkling and two whites and two reds. Personally I much prefer white wine to red, though I suppose that is because I have a very unsophisticated palate, the whites were pleasant and the reds though stronger also would have a look in at home. I had not realised that Pernod Ricard, Fosters and Constellation dominated Australian wine production but thanks to John I now have a much better understanding of the producers who provide 4% of world wine and have the biggest market share in both Ireland and the UK. John also donated a wine DvD to every student which will come in very handy for revision purposes and future reference.  An informative speaker John was also entertaining, a trait not always shared amongst experts in their subject. A very good morning.

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.

The afternoon was the Tapas demonstration with tapas in all of its many forms demonstrated by Darina and Rory. I had not realised that there were eight categories of tapas from small pieces on cocktail sticks (Pincho) to Cazuelitas (tapa in little pottery dishes) as well as fritos ( fried). Tasting proved epic with a range of tastes from fried peppers (some volcanically hot and impossible to pick out and avoid) to chickpea stew, Jambon Iberico, salt cod two ways, tortillas etc. The easiest way to describe them would be to post the photos which also include Darina's response to Rory dismembering small animals by taking a sword to an innocent Ham. Unfortunately the web speed is down yet again and I cannot post them.

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.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Yee Hah- it's Tuesday

I awoke in a cold sweat. Not that of fear for the incipient exams but that of emerging man flu. Actually it was ordinary flu and Lemsip and kitchen heat soon dispelled the original achy feelings and by lunchtime I had achieved a complete, if miraculous, recovery. Not that the exams aren't important but they are on Friday and Thursday evening still leaves plenty of panic time.

Into the kitchen with my new knife case which is immensely practical for carrying knives but opens to about the size of a billiard table when you want to get them out! Today looked very busy with four kinds of pate to be made and combined into a fish terrine. Not only that but it had to be accompanied by a tomato coulis, cucumber pickle and Melba toast. Then I had to make shortbread biscuits, pipe cream and add strawberries to make a tasty strawberry sandwich.

Good news! I only had to make the Smoked Mackerel Pate and combine others efforts into the terrine!! Oh yes, and make the coulis, pickle and Melba toast. The terrine had to rest between the addition of each layer and would take all morning if not longer. To add to the fun the boats were late back into Ballycotton and both Shrimp and Crab were on the boat. By the time that they had cooked, cooled and been processed into the relevant pates, and cooled again the prospects of Fish Terrine as a starter for lunch were minimal at best and heading for the horizon like an amphetamine fueled antelope.

I made the pate and accompaniments before tackling that old adversary pastry/biscuit mix. On Friday, in the battle with Choux Pastry, food won. Today in the eternal struggle of man versus food Man would try for revenge. The Piping bag would get its second outing and this time the cream would be whipped to a consistency that would not pour out of the end, oh no! any further whipping would have produced a visit from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cream. Any further and I would be producing butter.

Amazingly the biscuit dough behaved and even turned a nice golden hue after 10 minutes in a moderate oven and I was able to plate up some reasonable looking dishes:
Smoked Mackerel Pate

Tomato Coulis

Strawberry Shortcake

Side View

The Fish Terrine did not finish in time for lunch so we shall have it tomorrow. As the non-pate students had all cooked lamb stews of varying varieties my own lunch was minimal, two tiny pates and some salad leaves. Tomorrow we shall be aeating vegetarioan dishes as we shall on Thursday. For a non Lamb eater there can be times with a distressing lack of protein though this is I think a ploy. The lack of protein and red meat may just curb the ambitions of the younger course members - put bromide in their tea and give me meat is my response.

You can never anticipate what will happen next at Ballymaloe, last week we were whisked off on a random Periwinkle hunt today a random group of Bluegrass players turned up and insisting on playing at the beginning of our Demo.

Yee Hah
The musical intervention over we returned to serious stuff with a demonstration of vegetable curries, what to do with a left over fool - fling it thought I, freeze it thought our leader, and produce it as a parfait.

After 3 days off it was good to be back in the routine, knackering though it may be. Tomorrow it's lectures all day with Cheese of the week, Biscuit or Cake of the week, Wines of the world, Australia and an afternoon demo of Tapas followed by Sherry Part 2. There may yet be a twist in the tail in the Cheese section. Read tomorrow and find out whether there was.

Monday, 25 October 2010

I don't like Mondays

Bank Holiday Monday in Ireland, the last before Christmas, but for students at Ballymaloe - another day of graft.

School was closed so no cooking or Demo but the first exams loom on Friday.  

Woke on schedule despite having had the latest night since I arrived. Quick trip to the pub where of course I limited myself to non-alcoholic libations and watched the mesmeric undulations and gyrations of the local (German) mushroom forager to some music which started well. Sadly this did not last and disco pap was polluting the Ballycotton air with the intensity of a Hungarian chemical spill. A couple of students were there but seemed to share my own views about the music. Sometimes the smoking ban has unexpected benefits like leaving the scene of the crime. Anyway, to bed perchance to dream – sadly about being pursued by a huge pile of paper and four ring binders.
You will recall that I spent much of Sunday finding inventive ways to avoid the filing that accumulates over the course of a week, so Monday was to be filing day. However, first there were the matters of a few more cunning plans to postpone the evil moment.
 I still had ironing to do so, coffee, shower, more coffee then into the laundry room. Apparently we have to look impeccable for the exam so a crisp set of whites was not only a priority but essential. As ever I warmed up on some shirts in ascending order of smartness to “get my eye in”.
Even this was far from simple. Twice the iron went cold, twice I discovered that this was because the fuses had tripped (the second time was less of a surprise and remedied much quicker). Four shirts, two sets of whites 30 minutes – unlikely to break any records, but even so only 8:30.

A quick check of the techniques likely to come up in the exam revealed Poached Eggs. My past record with poached eggs has included one memorable failure – over poached by about 10 seconds. Now this would not have mattered normally, but this was with tiny Quail eggs in the national final of Britain’s Best Dish, and they cost me up to £3,333 each. Failure on Friday would be even worse. Hmmm.....  Poached Eggs? that’s breakfast as well.
Off to the kitchen, pan on, boiling water swirling in a perfect vortex, organic egg slipped gently into the simmering liquid, toast on and buttered, egg removed and drained before plating. That will do.
A further cup of coffee managed only to push the time to 9:30 and the filing was still waiting.

Contemplating the filing

But, I had used the last of the bread. Clearly replenishment was needed so a trip to the local filling station and shop was the option. Bravely refusing offers of lifts, I picked up a rucksack and set off. Sadly even at my pace (and including a little browsing in the shop) I was back by just after 10. More coffee needed to steel the nerves but it lay there like a huge black shadow overhanging my very existence. Now or never, I thought, and though the latter was highly attractive, the possibility of searching feverishly for  a recipe or not being able to identify the subtle differences between a Fino and Manzanilla Sherry was too much to bear.
Amazingly it took only 45 minutes and meant that from12 the day was mine.
Except that I still had techniques to practice, slicing and dicing, sweating onions, making paper piping bags, presenting and pouring wine. Lunch was a segmented orange - using an exam technique – and, for entertainment, I put together two perfect paper piping bags.

The Skelligs?  No, paper piping bags
As the weather turn a little cooler and damper a good fire will be comforting of an evening so I laid one for the return of our housemates.

Tea will consist of sausage sandwiches with lots of lovely sweated onions as another technique gets cleared then just the Order of Work to do.
Tomorrow is another day: cooking, Demo then an extra jointing and filleting class just to improve our chances. Life back to normal after the jollities of the holliers.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sloely does it

Sunday morning saw an early start to watch the Grand Prix. Unfortunately the Friday evening downpour seemed to have reached Korea and the race was delayed and then pedestrian under a safety car. Much more action was taking place on the road between Pembroke Dock and Cwmbran. Mrs K, making her way home, had become enraged by a German driver who seemed to think that Priority Boarding meant that he had priority over everyone else in the Priority Boarding queue and drove to the front despite not being first to arrive.

Some revenge was exacted when, using her superior knowledge of the geography of the ship Mrs K beat him up. Actually the text continued on another line "to the Club Class lounge". She hoped that he would get off asap as she had to get home to sleep before driving another 3 hours to Brighton. I awoke to a triumphant text message "Wopped the arse of the Germans.on the 1st straight" Honour satisfied she clearly did not exceed the speed limit at all in the 90 minutes it took to cover 120 miles.

The delays to my proposed early morning viewing meant that the washing could be started early so by 8 the all important whites were reflecting the bright autumnal sunshine and a second load, of other colours, was on the go. Storms in Korea also allowed sausage and bacon sandwiches to be cooked and consumed. That left only the filing and a heavy heart.

Fortune smiled in the form of Steve my housemate announcing that we had better do a recycling run. Given that the mutilated carcasses of four chickens and assorted flat and round fish lay hibernating in bin bags and enough bottles to re-launch Threshers lurked in boxes aside the hen bucket of scraps this was a good idea. Off we went to the recycling area at Ballymaloe to do the necessary. As a bonus we were able to raid the wood shed for more logs for the fire.

I hear foodies asking why did we not make stock with the remains of the jointing and filleting class? Well, some of the fish was eaten last night and more will be used today but we will not be making stock. To produce a good one you need good carcasses. Ours were obtained from a well known low cost supermarket for very little as we intended only performing surgery. These cheap and scrawny little birds would have made a very thin stock at best and, unlike organic free range birds they may well have contributed some unwanted medications and supplements. Hence the black bag and consignment to non- recyclable oblivion.
(illustrative Chicken only)
Next I decided that the room could do with a good hoovering. Are you getting the impression that I was trying to delay the filing? Well, maybe I was. Left to my own devices, as some housemates were away for the weekend and others just out for the day, I found activity to expand into the filing time, my piping bag needed to be washed, my knives had to be placed in their new case - the old one was not particularly robust and several inches of razor sharp stainless steel had begun to poke through offering random acts of unexpected surgery to anyone touching it - we needed twigs to light the new logs collected during the recycling expedition etc. etc.

Exciting views of my new knife case
Now there is only so much time that can be occupied before the necessary has to be done - especially if you want to enjoy the upcoming bank holiday, so with the enthusiasm of a sloth on mogadon the filing began.

Then I remembered I have not written today's blog. Oh deep joy, you o esteemed readers have given me another reason to cast aside the paper into plastic placing, ring binder organising, alphabetationthat was my due and postpone it for a while. I was getting around to it slowly but that again reminded me that I promised updates on the Sloe Gin and you haven't had one for a week or so. Here it is and making very nice progress in terms of colour though the tasting will be some weeks off.

The (long) weekend starts here

Saturday was much better weather and, refreshed from my first  night's undisturbed sleep in 5 weeks and an invigorating "Rainfall Shower", I ventured outside for an accurate weather appraisal and some pre-prandial nicotine. "Are you looking to use the spa?" asked the pleasant security guard. "No, I am having a cigarette" I replied. "oh yes, its hard not being able to smoke in your room, er which room is it anyway?" Nice subtle approach I thought and decided to reward him with the truth. "Room 130, and this is the nearest exit" "Yes, it would be Mr..?" "King" I responded. "Enjoy your stay" he said before departing doubtlessly to check my credentials.

Back in the room I underwent a similar interrogation by Janet before I managed to persuade her that the sun was indeed beating down and that the call of the breakfast room was becoming overwhelming. Breakfast over (see yesterday's blog) we checked out having left a helpful customer comment about not serving instant Nescafe sachets in a tin purporting to be Organic Brazilian Coffee - or indeed any other Nestle products.

The Farmers Market in Middleton was the next stop for JT to take lots of pictures, mainly of me near Ballymaloe Cookery School related items and stalls. I am not in any of the following:

From there we did some supermarket shopping to obtain essentials and the makings of a satisfactory al fresco tea for JT to eat in Rosslare Harbour whilst waiting for the ferry home. Having experienced the Friday monsoon I added an umbrella to the list of essentials for the course and invested a massive €4 in a suitable parapluie.

Lunch was taken late in Ballycotton where the first chips in 6 weeks accompanied some lightly battered and freshly landed codling whilst my dining partner partook of a homemade Lasagna and complained about the accompanying Garlic Bread as it appears to be some kind of sin - but only in her current dietary regime Did I mention that she has lost 1/2 stone?

The thorny issue of returning home arose with pressure to set  date to sort the ferry crossing. After minimal debate we decided to see whether Ballymaloe House could accomodate us for one night before returning to Wales. A quick trip over to the house confirmed a room and dinner that evening. I even got a student discount on the room even though I will technically no longer be a student!

Around 4 Mrs K departed for Rosslare to start her journey home and I caught up with last night's blog and partook of an additional master class in jointing chickens and filleting fish with the additional bonus of practicing making paper piping bags. Tomorrow being Sunday the filing and washing return to the agenda big time if I am to enjoy the late autumn bank holiday on Monday.