This is my “letter” to the new students starting the 12 week course in January 2016. This time last year I was getting ready to start what turned out to be a life changing journey. I now cook with more of a conscience, and with more adventure.
Here are my tips for making the most out of YOUR journey.
1. Get the coffee into you. It’s going to be a long day.
2. Make the most of the days, sign up for all the extras- butchery and bread were my favourites.
3. Take copious notes. Believe me, you won’t remember everything.
4. Go to all the lectures, especially towards the end when often students are tempted to stay at home and cram- you’ll miss them when you’re finished.
5. Go foraging. It’s great fun, and a chance to get out and about in the (fingers crossed) sunshine.
6. Offer to pour the wine. It gives you a chance to stretch your legs- you’ll need it.
7. Try EVERYTHING. It’s your opportunity to taste ingredients from all over the world, and more importantly, top quality produce from the doorstep of the school.
8. Spend time with other students. I now have friends for life from those mere 12 weeks.
9. Take every morsel of knowledge from the encyclopaedia on food that is Darina Allen. She is my hero.
10. From the welcome at the door, to every single teacher and member of staff, to the suppliers that speak with such passion about their products. Every single person is dedicated to the cause. I miss them all!
Since leaving Ballymaloe I have strived to put into practice all I learnt. I use my blog to write about what we grow on our farm, and what I cook with those ingredients. I enjoy more thatnever making cakes, and now sell them weekly, helping the collective family waistline. I still get to bake what I love, but don’t have to eat it. Truly a win win!
I hope to expand this in the new year, and already have bookings for my demonstrations.
So best of luck, you’ll love it. Enjoy every minute of it. I wish I was coming back to do it all again.