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