Here’s how it all turned out…

So with my customary lateness, I can announce that the Christmas market stall is over, and I sold 40 out of 45 portions of Guinness Lamb.  And here’s what I learnt:

7 Shoulders of lamb will give you 50 portions of lamb at a push, not 70 portions

A student Xmas market is not the place to sell gourmet food – you know when the chorizo sausage in a bun is outselling you 3 to 1- you got your audience wrong

The potato layer cake is the way to go, the sourdough trencher (while delicious if someone had actually tried to order it), is not the way to go.

The mulled gingerbeer is a keeper, it hardly sold at all at lunchtime but after lunch, it was all anyone wanted. If I hadn’t drunk such copious quantities of it during lunch I could have probably sold all 50 portions of it.

The food was good, I liked it, customers liked it, and some even came back for seconds. I just need to find the right market for it. Maltby St? Whitecross St? Leather Lane maybe?

I need a stronger glue to stick the “COOKSMITH” letters onto my sign. “O” was the first letter to fall. But it wasn’t the last… Yes, I know what it spells – I had it pointed out several times – its not that funny actually.


Also, the week after I did my own personal test of bbqing a brined lamb shoulder and an unbrined lamb shoulder. I was hoping to discover that there wasn’t a difference (as brining is a bit of a faff) but unfortunately, the brined meat  is noticeably more moist, and seasoned throughout. So looks like I’ll stick to brining.

That’s all folks. That’s what I learnt. That -and the art of brevity.



Anyway I’m in Paris at the moment, holidaying and staging at a few restaurants. But I’m keen to get going again once I get back to London. Happy belated New Year everyone!


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And so it finishes

Six weeks ago, if I was apologising for being a few days late with my posts, then I should be grovelling about being three weeks late with this post. But what can I say. The cookery school must have changed me fundamentally because I remain unrepentant. The assessments came and went, goodbyes happened, but no tears, no tantrums. It’s been busy since with two weeks of work experience in professional kitchens and being in a constant zombie-like state of exhaustion. And the supperclub straight after that.

Anyway I want to update the blog with the latest supperclub news so being the stickler for chronology that I’ve already confessed to be, I’m adding this cursory post as my last goodbye to the Ashburton Cookery School. So long and thanks for the memories :-)

Group photo Ashburton

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Day 1 of the Assessment

Oh. Oooh. How do you write out that wailing noise you make which accompanies the wringing of your hands and the twisting of your foot on the floor on the verge of a stamp?

I had my first day of my cooking assessment today and how did it all go so badly? Let me list the ways that today went wrong. Perversely it will make me feel better.

The Vichysoisse was too thick, I knew this but 2.5 hours in without me having served my first plate of food, panic set it. I told myself not to waste time trying to make something perfect when I might end up not serving anything at all. With these stern words of sheer overreaction, a puree of potato, leek and onion was served to the table. In my defence, I personally like my soups thick with vegetables. A poor defence I admit. Not even particularly relevant as a defence….

And then I spent ages trying not to curdle my lemon cake batter (including delaying the making of the cake by an hour because the eggs provided were so ridiculously cold), only to curdle it because whadya know, lemon drizzle cake contains lemon juice which is always going to curdle the mix. Urgh! What was I thinking! Anyway, the cake turned out fine (until I carelessly fragmented the edges and the top turning it out of the tin) but it was quite demoralising standing over a cake mix that I had painstakingly added eggs to drop by drop only to have the whole thing curdle at the end.

Then I made my pastry dough which will be baked tomorrow. I already know that its a ridiculously “short” dough, which means it will crack at the merest threat of a rolling pin. Looks like I’ve set myself up for a fun day tomorrow.

For the grilled chicken main, the chicken skin wasn’t crispy and I overly browned my fricassee. No, that isn’t a euphemism for burnt, I actually thought the fricasse ended up pretty damn tasty but it dawned on me at some point in the cooking process, that this was a dish where the vegetables weren’t supposed to colour. Oh well. In my defence, I quite like a bit of colour on my vegetables.

Finally for the fresh fruit with sabayon, I didn’t cook the sabayon for long enough. It was with some bewilderment that I realised, while whisking the eggs for the sabayon, that I couldn’t remember what sabayon actually looked like. Should it be thin like custard, or have a barely dropping consistency like crème pat? The fact that I had only 10 minutes left to go made me decision for me, although now I wish I hadn’t panicked. I still can’t picture what a sabayon should look like but I’ve been reliably informed that our group generally didn’t manage to cook the sabayon out enough. At least in this error, I wasn’t alone.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a complete disaster (although reading this back, I have made it sound like one), but I’m still really cross with myself. Before today, anything was possible and now… well now the next three days of assessment will be spent  clambering out of the hole I’ve dug myself into. Really the issue was timing. I need to get faster, or at least not panic so much if I’m not faster. But actually no, I also definitely need to get faster as well because having only 10 minutes spare when I’m serving up dessert is just too close for comfort.

I don’t think I was taking this assessment seriously enough, but its only after today that I realise that I don’t really want another day like today again. So although for today’s assessment I only scribbled together a prep list this morning, the first thing I did this evening when I got back home was type out a prep list for tomorrow’s assessment which will consist of plaice gougons, roast veg tart and profiteroles.

Actually, I thought people might be interested to see what a prep list actually looks like, so I’ve pasted it below. Be warned that its a Work in Progress, and its not actually that interesting. Except to me – I am fascinated by my prep list…. which is why I secretly can’t help but believe that everyone else will find it fascinating too:



Heat the oven to 200C, turn the deep fryer onto 190C

Butter a 2nd tart tin and refrigerate. Check you have an egg for the wash. (11 in total including one for the wash and one for the gougons).

Fillet the flat fish and remove skin and refrigerate

1.15pm Roll out the pastry with plenty of plain flour to the thickness of the £1 coin and set in the 2 tins and refrigerate. Save the rest of the pastry for later.


Choose a circular plate and a ramekin and a jar, a glass plate and a square dessert bowl. Put the circular plate and jar and the glass plate in plate warmer. Put the dessert plate in the 2nd drawer.

Measure out the quiche filling ingredients

1 egg

1 egg yolk

30ml milk

50ml cream

100g goats cheese, add black pepper

Measure out the mayonnaise ingredients:

2 egg yolks

2T of white vinegar

150ml corn oil

½ t English mustard

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Measure out the profiterole ingredients:

150g water

65 plain flour

50g butter

2 eggs

Salt and sugar

A green icing bag

Measure out the crème patisserie ingredients

250ml milk

1 vanilla pod

3 egg yolks

50g caster sugar

30g corn flour

20g butter

1.50pm Make the creme patisserie and chill.

Bake the tart tins at 200C for 20 minutes (remove the cartouche after 15 minutes).

Make the profiterole pastry and cool in tray

Prepare a piping bag over a jug

Fix cracks and egg wash the tarts

2.15pm Peel the butternut squash. Chop the vegetables and roast at 200 for 15 minutes. Medium chop so that vegetable show through.

2.30pm Halve the capers for the Tartare sauce. Chop the gherkins, parsley and the red onion finely.

2.45pm Make the mayonnaise and refrigerate

Take the roast veg and cool


Finish the choux pastry put in piping bag and pipe 9 balls and bake at 200C for 20 minutes

3.10pm Fill a box with seasoned egg, seasoned flour and seasoned breadcrumbs. Place in a 4th box, do all of them.

3.18 Make the hole in the profiterole and put back in for a few minutes, then cool

3.20pm Make the tart filling

3.25pm Bake the tarts with the goats cheese and roast veg for 20 minutes

3.25pm Make the gougons and place in tissue paper to drain

3.30pm Serve the gougons with tartare and a wedge of lemon

3.40pm Make the dressing and pick the nicest salad leaves.

3.45pm Serve the tart

Clean up

3.50pm Melt chocolate and cream and salt on induction

3.55pm Whisk up the crème pat in a metal bowl and put into the icing bag

4pm Pipe the crème patisserie into the profiteroles

4.05pm Dip the profiteroles into the chocolate sauce and set

4.10pm Serve profiteroles with chocolate shavings…

4.15pm Clean up




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End of Teaching

I’ve just eaten the rest of my croissant dough as part of a makeshift pear tart tatin at 9pm on a Sunday evening so as much as the last teaching week calls for an outpouring of emotion and philosophical summation of the oh so crazy days. But I’m really too full and only able to recall the last teaching week in a vague haze – except for the sharp memory of my croissant making activities on Friday. I am very fond of croissants. Even now, with the doughy equivalent of 8 croissants in my belly.

This last teaching week has felt very much like a last week if that makes sense. Although this week has concentrated on game produce like venison and pigeon, our tutors have not assessed our plates as much and critiqued the results. That’s partly because this week hasn’t really included any dishes that we will be assessed on in week 6 and so although this week has been quite technical (lots of meat to be cooked medium rare, soufflés to be heated to a “barely cooked” consistency and making of our own croissant and brioche dough), the tutors have been fairly easy going in terms of presentation. I overcooked my venison and burnt my Danish pastries which provoked only a gentle rebuke from the tutor which I put down to the universally understood convention of last [insert given period] niceness.

All the things I was looking forward to learning were packed into this last teaching week and learning to cook game was really interesting. We got told about natural accompaniments for game – cabbage being one of them and its funny but now everywhere I look I see cabbage being paired up with game (I should clarify that where I’m “looking” is restaurant cookbooks and menus – yes I really do do that in my spare time). This week has also renewed my interest in beef wellingtons. We made a very tasty venison wellington but the pastry around the meat was wet and I really want to know how to prevent that. The tutor we had that day told us that he used to wrap the meat around some egg white pancakes, which were barely discernible. I’ve read that Michel Roux Jnr wraps his beef wellington with herb pancakes that form an identifiable part of the dish. Apparently spinach can be used. Although I don’t see how that would work?

We butchered pigeon also and then pan fried the breasts and had that for lunch. We has some lovely caramelised walnuts and apple with that although I wouldn’t have minded an extra accompaniment. Bit of cabbage maybe?


This week was also soufflé week and we made praline soufflé which has got me thinking about maybe doing a soufflé for a supperclub given that there not necessarily that difficult (except when you have 12 to prepare all at once so maybe I won’t…). I was planning to serve cinnamon rice pudding mousse for my September Mexican supperclub and I’m having trouble thinking of a good non-gelatine based setting agent but The Square cookbook has a recipe for rice pudding soufflé which might work as an alternative?


But Friday was the best day ever, the true grand finale. On Thursday we made our Danish pastry dough and the on Friday we got round to shaping our dough into every conceivable breakfast pastry.

Puff Layers Pain au choc Croissant shape Baked croissants Baked croissants 2 Making escargots

Undeterred by the impending hardening of our arteries we soldiered on and made a steak pudding with a suet crust for lunch.  The presentation was maybe a tad too fancy which just didn’t sit right with the presence of a traditional meat pudding on the plate but this was probably the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in the past 5 weeks and given that I’ve had so many tasty things here, it would be  contender for one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had -ever- except my memory is too poor to confirm.

Steak Pudding Eaten steak pudding

To finish us off entirely then, we made a raspberry millefeuille. Well it obviously didn’t finish me off entirely. I had to wait until Sunday for that.

Millefeuille 2 Millefeuille

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Vegetarian Cooking

So I’m making an effort to catch up. Once I’ve posted this (provided I post this today, on Monday) then I will be back up-to-date and I can have a few blissful days of uninterrupted digestion without having to hunch over a broken laptop to update the blog.

Blissful uninterrupted digestion, here I come…

Monday, Monday Monday. What to say. Well today we concentrated on vegetarian style fare with a more rustic note. I don’t know if the two go hand to hand but either way I took fewer photos today as I wasn’t really stunned into flashbulb submission on account of either the stuffed aubergine or the goats cheese tart that we made. They both tasted good though but I kinda expect that now.

We made vegetarian samosas today also so I guess today was also about a foray into cuisines beyond the European flavours and techniques that we’ve mainly focused on. If I were to be honest though – I like learning new techniques and it seems like a lot of the technically challenging techniques are French, sometime Italian in origin so when we did out various recipes today, I felt like it was something I could simply follow in a recipe book at home. Except i’m probably being a bit unfair… we made a gluten free shortcrust pastry today, and given that I’m approximately 9999 attempts away from being able to make a decent shortcrust, I should be grateful for the opportunity to practice. Also the actual shaping of the samosa isn’t intuitive so actually I have learnt a new technique – not based on French cooking. I do wonder sometimes if I’m falling into that trap of underestimating things that I don’t know a lot about – like non-European cooking… It annoys me when people suggest that Indian/Sri-Lankan cooking can’t be “posh” just because its not something that they themselves have experienced with Indian food in their limited contact of such food. But I seem to spend a lot of time myself thinking about sage and lemon and not enough thinking about tamarind and lemongrass. Actually that’s partly the reason that I’ve themed the September supperclub around Mexico – plenty of new flavours to explore I should think…

Does this count as an update on Monday then? To round the day off, we did get assessed on our stuffed aubergine and goat’s cheese tart.  I made an effort to get them looking fancy although I don’t think they look a patch on some of the “restaurant” style dishes we’ve made over the past few weeks.

Goat's cheese and squash tart Stuffed Aubergine Dish

Although I clearly have plenty to learn about vegetarian cooking (and tarts generally) as my tutor’s comments show… Well there’s always tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be better.

Comments Goat's cheese and squash tartComments Stuffed Aubergine Dish


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All About Seafood (and dessert)

I’m feeling short of breath, panicked almost – only two weeks left but what have I learnt?

Can you tell me what I’ve learnt? What have I said that’s been remotely useful? I feel like I’ve spent too much time taking pictures and not enough time making notes. A friend of mine told me a few weeks back that she liked reading the “cooking tips” I’d learnt but I don’t think I’ve put any up since then… So here is my summary of The Things I’ve Learnt:

1) Root vegetables should be boiled from cold water (except Jersey Royals). 2) “Above ground” vegetables should be cooked in boiling water. 3) If you are “sweating” vegetables, add salt 4) If you want to caramelise vegetables (i.e. brown them), don’t add salt 5) Stocks should be made by adding the ingredients, bones etc into the cold water, then heating. 6) Fried eggs don’t need to be cooked over high heat, in fact low heat frying ensures a more even, consistent result 7) Presentation matters, it makes the food more exciting. Exciting equals tastier. (This is a personal opinion admittedly) 8) Escabeche is delicious. (This is a fact) 9) Don’t boil potatoes in salty water – it hardens the skin

That doesn’t seem like very much does it… Well there’s a ton of stuff I can do now. And the doing really matters to me because I feel like spend a lot of my time reading information but only reading. I love cookery books as much as – well -everyone. And I have my copy of McGree and Larousse. Accessing and applying information is my day job and while I can talk till I’m blue in the face about the different kinds of meringues, their properties and things to watch out for, I still can’t stop unsightly beads forming on the base of the meringues. And I’ve read this has something to do with overmixing and/or undermixing and/or not mixing the sugar in thoroughly enough – but no matter what I do, the beads are still there. So I guess there lies the space between theory and practice (although meringues remain an unresolved trauma of mine which I’ll have to get to grips with after the course is over).

Anyway, enough of the scattered thought-wandering, back to business. End of week 4:

Thursday was a seafood extravaganza, not that things are ever done my halves. When we do pork, we do pork for a week with two pork dishes a day, same with pastry, ice-creams, lamb everything. So no surprise that when we concentrate on seafood on Thursday, we prepare and fry squid scallop, cook our crab and stuff salmon, eat two our dishes for lunch and take the rest home for dinner along with the chocolate chip cookies.

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On Friday we carried on the theme of “extravaganza” and made two more desserts: carrot cake and lemon tart as well as two more seafood dishes, fried sardines with a Spanish stew and pork belly and lemon sole with brown shrimp.

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We ate both seafood dishes for lunch and took the desserts home (which I promptly polished off for dinner). Two lunches a day and always a rich dinner. I’m exhausted every evening and I’m beginning to think its my digestive system that’s struggling to cope.


Weekend will involves lots of cycling and a good chunk of the remaining carrot cake loaf.


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The Live Crab and the Fat Pig

This week is nice. Finally now that I’ve gotten my first supperclub out of the way I can get back to enjoying classes at the cookery school. No more sneaking off for an hour to buy orange tomatoes, in theory this week is something I can relax into…

Except that on Monday I killed my first creature… Well no, once again a slightly misleading statement… I’ve stepped on insects (unknowingly), dumped a bowl of prawns into boiling water, fished mackerel but this was the first time I took a knife and plunged it into the central nervous system of a creature that just moments before was blinking at me. Because crabs blink. And that was the most unnerving thing about the whole thing. That, and the fact it struggled so hard when I tried to hold it down… Not that I’ll turn vegetarian because of it, quite the opposite in fact – I feel absolutely obliged to eat all of the crab dish that we make from it. None of my crab will be going into the bin (you’d be surprised- maybe horrified- at the amount of food we each end up taking home and, quite frankly, chucking out).

Anyway, using quite a lot of force, I finally managed to plunge the oyster shuck knife into the part underneath the crab’s flap under which its central nervous system lies. An interesting thing about crabs is that you can’t boil them alive even if you wanted to because its natural defence mechanism is to shed its limbs and not killing the crab before boiling makes the meat tough.

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Crab cakes on Thursday will be made from the picked crab. I shall dutifully eat every last morsel. Not that that’s a tough ask you understand, its just that we usually make so much food, and much of it is  enough to feed four so there really aren’t enough days in the week to get though all the food that we make.

For example, this Tuesday we not only killed the crabs but we made yogurt pannacotta with poached figs and we cooked pork fillet en papilotte with celeriac dauphinoise and made cookie dough (a good portion of which was consumed by me before it even reached the fridge). We ate the pork and some tiramisu (that out tutor had demonstrated the making of) for lunch and later the pannacotta as a… post dessert-dessert…

After picking our crab (which involves merrily pulling out the crab fresh from the cavities and legs of the crab and then spending the same amount of time again, searching for any shell that has fallen into the bits of meat) we were free to make our lunch. Starting with pork en papilotte.

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On Wednesday we had a wonderful pork Holstein with a runny duck egg and anchovies. Apparently the anchovies are traditionally added at the end although, never having heard of this dish, its not a garnish I’m fastidiously attached to.

Although actually the anchovies did add a moorish salty note to a lovely dish. It was a very filling main (I haven’t shown you the rest of the pork escalope that hid out of sight of the photo but then jumped onto the plate soon and then was gobbled up by me. Passion fruit and mango eton mess after this.

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You should have seen the roast pork bell with roast veg and cauliflower cheese that we made. Oh wait.. Let me upload the picture.

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We took home with us that day and I made that my dinner.

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I don’t know how I’ll be able to go back to a sandwich lunch once this course is over…



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Week 3: Lamb, profiterols and tarte tatin

A weekend can change a lot. I’ve just had my supperclub and although my fingers are itching to post about that and how it went, I am resolutely sticking to chronology (my recent out- of-synch post on week 2 aside). End of the week at Ashburton has been an odd one for me. Honestly, I’d been distracted by all the eventualities and possibilities of the supperclub. I was scribbling lists, typing lists, emailing lists and thinking new ones up in my head all the time. A problem it seemed could be solved by a list and so while chocolate fondants were being baked in the oven on Friday afternoon I was on my bike in Ashburton town centre looking for the perfect green and orange tomatoes. A key bullet point in at least 4 of my 8 lists. I had a list of all the things to take with me from Ashburton to London, a list of all things I needed to do in London once I arrived on Friday evening, a similar list for Saturday and Sunday. I had a list of components for each dish and a list of non food items to take to Ed’s flat (the venue for the supperclub) and a list of food items to take to Ed’s. But why am I writing about this? This is a post about end of week three – anyway you can see how distracting thinking about lists really is!

We made some fantastic lamb cutlets from a rack of lamb. We French trimmed the lamb ourselves with the joyful accompanying sound of bone against the metal knife and the group on my bench did such fine French trimming that it spurred me vigorously into action with plenty of frenetic bone scrapping on my part so that I was rewarded with four milky white bones skeletally protruding from the flesh. Yum

With the lamb we were to serve a tian of Mediterranean vegetables. Now I have seen tian of vegetables in recipe books the world over and I am thus happy to report that vegetable tians are not difficult. And they look so pretty. Firmly (but neatly), poke your chargrilled vegetables into the mould in layers and bake.

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On baking the vegetables should shrink so its fairly simply to remove the mould. And that’s that.

Along with out super simple tian was the super difficult lamb, the French trimmed rack itself was one of the most expensive cuts of lamb and we were ordered to serve it pink which is fine with me – although after 8 minutes of cooking, I would say that in my case pink would be a polite euphemism for raw. Although I polished the whole thing off at lunch, so maybe I’ll look into starting a trend for rare lamb? Or just cook it a few minutes longer. Either is good with me, although to be fair by lunchtime I’m staving.

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Actually the afternoon was a nice afternoon for me. We also made tarte tatin which is another thing I like to make at home. The precipice off which my tart always falls is always the pastry but on Thursday we were given a slab of readymade puff so it was a home straight really. If only the morning had been so easy…

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Still I’ve learnt to cook my lamb for a few minutes longer than 8 minutes (depending on size and feel – yes I know – but that will take more time to work out). I’ve learnt that adding brandy to your caramel (or variations thereof) makes for the most supremely delicious caramel that even on typing this post I am salivating.

And then it was home to eat choux buns. And to check my lists…

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End of week 2 (Published a little late)

I’m thinking that I should get more imaginative about my post headings. “Week 1″, “Week 2″… I might as well head each post with the day’s date. But then, don’t newspapers employ special people to think up good headlines – no not the journalists – other people, headline specialists. You can see why I might legitimately find it tough then… Today was about filleting Plaice and making goujons. Well that’s what mattered to me today. We also made treacle tart, spelt bread and sweetcorn a la Francaise (which, given the other main ingredient was chorizo, seems to be labouring under a misapprehension of being French) and we finished off the caramelised onion soup (both with respect to the cooking and the eating of it). But today, I was pretty damn proud of my filleting fish.


Let’s be clear, I’m not saying it was pretty, but it wasn’t ugly either and it is a skill and I now have it. Or at least a basic form of it which will improve with practice (actually given that I’m posting this 10 days late, I’ve filleted three further fish since then but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). And the other thing I really liked was that today focused a lot about the presentation of food. I love that. Afterall, in terms of taste, I like to think that nothing would leave my kitchen unless I thought it tasted great, but dining out is often about more than that. It should about celebrating the occasion, and the theatre of presenting food is part of what elevates food from something delicious to something special. Maybe that’s going too far, in fact I have plenty of friends who would think what I’ve just said is silly but at the very least its a chance for chefs/cooks to be creative which suits me fine. With the gougons, we presented them in a kind of preserve jar, and the tatare sauce was placed in another (preserve?) jar.


I really liked the look of it (including the way that our tutor cut his lemon for his example dish) but if I were being picky, I don’t think the props suited the dish. I mean, what have preserve jars got to do with fish? But it did get me thinking about presentation generally. Could you present the goujons in newspaper, or a little fried potato net, or am I being too fussy and fish in jam jars would generally raise no eyebrows? Actually I’ve also seen fishcakes served in a fancy conical bowl with a mound of piped bright green parsley mayonnaise which looked tempting and could work with gougons?

Another cute thing we did today was make spelt bread, both, in the traditional loaf style but we also baked some of the dough in small flowerpots.


It’s such adorable thing, I’d be so excited to receive bread like that (I was quite happy making bread like that too). Of course, in keeping with my fastidiousness on the use of “relevant” props, I decorated the top of the flowerpot spelt with sunflower seeds only and not the other sesame seeds on offer, because what have sesame seeds got to do with plant pots? Although having said that, my coursemates who did use a mix of seeds ended up with prettier bread than me… what to do?

Anyway, I was thinking about doing little flowerpot bread for the July supperclub. Just need to find some flowerpots…

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Week 3: Lamb, peas and Pansies

I actually wasn’t looking forward to Monday. I’d come back 11pm the Sunday night from London, preparing for my supperclub and looking though the list of things we were making I wasn’t too excited. “Trim lamb” “Pea and Ham Soup” “Fruit Salad”. “Trimming lamb” sounds like you’re just going to square the sides of a chunk of meat and soups and fruit salads scream diet food to me (unfairly because the amount of cream and butter we’ve stuck into our soups over the past few weeks should totally explode the myth).

Anyway actually, it was a good day. Trimming lamb means skinning the belly of the lamb, trimming it off any excess fat and taking the meat off the rib bones. Then we stuffed it and tied it. So its not about squaring the sides of the meat at all. Well, I guess it is a little bit.

Pea and Ham soup was actually really interesting because the recipe involved making a pea soup and serving it with an island of ham in the middle. One of my intermediary courses for the July supperclub is a pea soup so I was avidly engaged throughout. Apologies to my coursemates who had to endure 10 minutes off me quizzing our tutors about the best way to keep the pea green colour. Soup was lovely though and tastier the next day also. We made a roux for the pea soup which admittedly I’d never thought off? Call me new fashioned but I prefer the consistency of my soup to come from the texture of the vegetables rather than the thickening of the flour globules. Although having said that, it was a useful technique to learn and actually the end product was good so I might experiment with it in the future.

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The fruit salad and the accompanying sabayon was a chance to work on presentation skills. Doing the presentation work is the point at which I feel most cheffy and it was good to be able to make such a simple dish look like  dish that you would serve at a high end restaurant.  Its a bit like magic really. :-)

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