From Ireland to Boston

fishing boats DingleFishing Boats in Dingle

Written earlier this week

My great Irish adventure comes to a close at the end of this week. What an experience it has been! I’ve had a lot of fun, met a of very warm and welcoming folks. The students and teachers that I lived with and cooked with every day for the last two and a half months will stay with me forever. That is not to say that this adventure has not had its ups and downs. The weather has been epic and not in a good way. I think it is fair to say that Irish weather stinks. During the three months that I have been here, we saw rainfall amounts that have not been matched in the last 50 years. I know that my friends back in Boston are not going to have much patience with my complaints about rain, but “you kinda had to be here”. The Irish people have lots of really unattractive expressions that describe the velocity with which the rain is falling out of the sky (see me later).

Ballymaloe, however is  a magical place. The vision that the school founded on and that Darina Allen and her family have been able, with immeasurable energy, to carry out over the past 30 years is quite amazing. It takes incredibly hard work to manage a farm and cooking school of this size and reputation. There are the farmers who care for the cows and dairy, the chickens, pigs, the incredibly beautiful herb gardens, soft fruit gardens, the huge and extensive glass houses. There are the chef instructors and kitchen staff, the folks who work in the school shop, the staff that run Saturday pizzas in the cafe, the long list of guest speakers, the office staff and of course the Allen family who give the daily cooking demonstrations, entertain guests, organize the local farmers markets and an endless list of other jobs.

At the end of the day, the most memorable thing about my Ireland adventure was the wonderful people who I met along the way and I met some really good ones. To the five people I share a house with, to some of the extremely lively chef/ instructors, to the Allen family, to my wonderful student friends and to all the people who made me feel at home in Ireland – Thank You!

So, here are some photos from my last few weeks in Ireland. It was a grand adventure, but I am really looking forward to going home and seeing my family.

 Pana BallymaoleBallymaloe fieldThe grounds at Balleymaloe Cookery School

KitchenThe kitchen where I cooked with Julia 3 days a week

(we made baked goods, sauces, stews, pickles and marmalade for the farmer’s market)

Florrie, Annette and JuliaFlorrie, Nettie and Julia

landscape IrelandThe Beautiful Irish Countryside

red audi 2My cute and zippy car rental with which to explore the beautiful Irish countryside

Milla and StephTwo of my housemates: Milla and Steph

CowsSweet Jersey Cows

more canapesCanape Demonstration

Rachel AllenRachel Allen

ItaAnother housemate: Ita

Gardens at Ballymaloe HouseWalled gardens at Ballymaloe House

Canape demoSalmon Canape

Milo and SteveTwo more housemates: Miles and Niamh (rhymes with Steve)

Charcuterie demoCharcuterie Demonstration

Dingle pennThe beautiful coastline of the Dingle Peninsula

So the last of this post, I am writing from Boston. Home safe and sound and so happy to be here and to see my family. Wishing that I had a little more time to spend with them, but starting a second internship tomorrow morning at America’s Test Kitchen in Brookline. More about that later, but for now, I am going to feed my sourdough starter and go to bed.

Bon Appetite,


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4 Responses to From Ireland to Boston

  1. Diane Kaneb says:

    Welcome home Robin! What an adventure!

  2. Sheila says:

    So great! Can’t wait to see you and catch up when I’m back too!

  3. Judi Shipman says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures! I am living them vicariously!

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