i seem to have a thing for french winemakers... :)
tuesday morning's cooking was all about breakfast. i made blackcurrant jam, 1/2 of the citrus salad (in order to get my 'segment a citrus fruit' technique checked off) and a full irish breakfast. the morning was structured so that at 11am, we were all cooking our rashers of bacon, sausage, black and white puddings, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs and then heading directly into the dining room to eat them. not a bad way to mix up the morning. when we had finished eating, we went back into the kitchen to finish cleaning/washing up, have our dishes tasted and then we could retreat back into the dining room to enjoy an assortment of scones, muffins, bread, muesli, granola, homemade yoghurt, jams, poached fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice. everyone was also allowed one glass of buck's fizz (champagne and orange juice).
by noon, we were finished eating, the kitchens were clean and we didn't have to report to afternoon lecture until quarter past one. it would be an understatement to say that we enjoyed the down time. :)
we spent the first part of the afternoon demo listening to louis boutinot, a wine export manager living in south africa, talk about two false bay wines, a chenin blanc and a pinotage. after a quick taste and chat about the wines, louis was on his way and rory was on to demonstrate fileting a flat fish. seemed much more simple than fileting a round fish, but then again, rory makes most things look easy...
the flat fish was a black sole and used in a recipe for spiced goujons (or fingers) with coriander aioli and chilli salsa. rory continued on by showing, once again, how to joint a chicken. he used the separated pieces in shanagarry chicken casserole and then went on to make a pheasant with chorizo, bacon and tomato casserole, a rabit mustard and sage leaves casserole, ulster champ (mashed potatoes with peas), buttered cabbage, pilaff rice, a lemon tart with candied lemon zest, a medjool date tart and chocolate covered fruit and nuts. demo wrapped up at five and after tasting the variety of casseroles, i went back to the pink cottage with emily to drop my knives and recipes off in my room before our 6pm wine lecture.
we were extremely fortunate to have as our special wine lecturer guest, luc lapeyre, of minervois, france. he only visits ireland every other year - when france is playing ireland in rugby in ireland.
how adorable is he?!
luc's english isn't fluent, but between a few students and guests, his comments about wine, his vineyard and wine making were understood by all of us. we tasted three of his wines over the course of an hour:
domaine luc lapeyre les san bres 2008
a grenache, syrah blend
domaine luc lapeyre l'amourier 2008*
a grenache, mourvedre, syrah blend
*luc feels this wine best represents his vineyard
domaine luc lapeyre les clots de l'amourier 2007
a grenache, carignan, syrah blend
like pascal, i could have listened to luc all day. i'm definitely eager to visit his vineyard!
after the wine tasting, elisa, charlotte and i drove over to the garryvoe hotel where they have a gym. i went on a ballymaloe student guest pass (a cost of twelve euros) and elisa went as a guest of charlotte (also twelve euros). as we were signing in at reception, i saw that there was a circuit class on tuesday evenings at 7pm. i said to charlotte that it was too bad we missed it (it was ten after seven) and the receptionist told me i could head upstairs and just join in. when i hesitated, she came from behind the desk and drug me over to the elevator, punched 4 and up we went. when we reached the 4th floor, she had me follow her off the elevator and then she opened the door to a classroom, told the instructor i wanted to join and then she gone.
there were three other people in the room in addition to the trainer, two girls and a guy. they were working through their second circuit when i joined them. we did nine stations (lunges, step-ups or run-ups, star jumps, bicycle crunches, bench jumps, mountain climbers, push-ups, squat jumps and jumping jacks), 30 seconds at each station, without stopping. we repeated the circuit 4 times, resting for about a minute in between. i loved it and hated it at the same time. what a reality check for me! as i moved around the room, i tried to figure out how i could run the five mile loop around the school at a good pace and yet struggle so much with circuits. i have been kidding myself to think i'm in 'good' shape!
after the circuit training, i met up with elisa out in the main gym area. i had peter, the gym trainer, show me how the power plate worked. for anyone who isn't familiar with that (as i wasn't), it's a machine (the latest fad in the exercise world) that looks like a floor waxer. it has three time settings (30 seconds, 45 seconds and one minute) and four intensity or vibration settings (30hz, 40hz, 45hz and 50hz). to use it, you just pick an exercise that you'd typically do on the floor (say a squat or plank), pick your time and intensity and hit 'start'. the machine vibrates at your selected intensity for your selected time while you try and hold your move and fight the vibrations. i did a few planks to try it out and then asked peter his thoughts on actual benefits from the machine. he agreed that it was just a fad but that i'd probably get the most out of squats and planks.
exhausted from the circuits and feeling the vibrations from the power plate, i was ready to head back to school.
i had a light dinner, a quick shower and then headed to bed, thinking about how sore i'd be tomorrow.