Today is massive. It's my first day at a three-month culinary program at Ballymaloe Cookery School, operating on a gorgeous organic farm in County Cork, Ireland. I'm stoked. And just a little bit terrified.
Don't worry. I'm not about to turn this site into a blow-by-blow of everything I learned at school today. No way. I will, however, learn some interesting stuff, and I'll be sure to work it into my future recipes.
BUT. Today was Day One. And we toured the farm, officially. It would be a crime not to share some pics of this gorgeous place, especially since we lucked out with a rare cloudless spring day.
Ballymaloe spans about a hundred acres, with organic fields blooming with rhubarb, chives and potatoes, verdant greenhouses, rolling cow pastures, free range chicken coops, tiny creameries and a pig sty. Composting is a big thing here. So is butter.
I had at least five "oh my gosh I get to live here!" moments, mixed with more than a few "oh my god I have to live here?" moments. Quite honestly, it's been overwhelming. Three months can seem like nothing, and everything. Especially surrounded by 56 new friends / total strangers.
Happily, the balance of emotion netted out positive by day end, after a day spent roaming the farm and gorging on housemade labneh, crusty soda bread, tiny Ballycotton prawns and creamy tomato soup, among other deliciousness.
No recipe today. Just some pics and the promise of farm-inspired recipes from some new kitchens to come.