Monday, April 2, 2007


Slainte! “Cheers” in Irish! Twelve weeks of hard work; cooking, cleaning, studying, learning, soaking it all up. Along the way I asked each of my teachers a question. I asked this particular question because with the mountains of notes and recipes I’d collected, I felt a personal touch from each of them would have more meaning. “What is the one thing you want me to take away from this course?” This is what each of them said:
Emma: Me
Pip: How to fillet a fish and be sure to have a pint at the Mutton Lane Pub in Cork
Rosie: Practice….and bake your own bread
Pam: Organization is key
Sue: Have fun with cooking
Marina: Find the joy in baking and if you keep your work area tidy you will be the most popular person in any kitchen
Gail: The importance of cooking with the best ingredients
Florrie: Time management
Emer: Use good ingredients and be efficient
When I took the photo of this board so many weeks ago I decided to wait to post it. Not that I thought I wouldn’t have a happy time learning to cook, but because I knew I would. And I knew I wanted this to be my last photo. I am blessed by God to have had this experience. I have the utmost respect for Darina Allen and the Ballymaole Cookery School she founded. I am thankful to all my teachers, fellow chefs, cottage mates and all the folks I met along the way. I am appreciative to Heather and Quincy and all my family and friends for their prayers and support. Finally, I am grateful to Doug for introducing me to Ballymaloe five years ago and for the digital camera for Christmas 2005. And Karen isn't in Cork anymore! I am in Edinburgh with my aunt and uncle. I will be heading back to the States before Easter. Then it is on to fulfilling the purpose....
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28

A Lesson in Strength

Sometimes we can learn things in unlikely places or from unsuspecting people. Such is the case with my cottage mate Mary. Without even trying she has given me a lesson in strength. What makes this so interesting is that she is the most gentle person you would ever meet...but don't mess with her! I witnessed on several occasions her fortress boundaries and I just stood in awe. The great thing is that once the battle was over, it appeared as if there wasn't ever a storm. Not a single leaf was shaken from the great oak. And all the while her sweetness remained in tact.

A Taste of Honey

Ireland is known for many things: Great writers, green grassy hills, rainbows, red hair, leprechauns, Irish Spring soap, U2, Guinness (in Dublin) and Murphy's (in Cork), Lucky Charms cereal, the Book of Kells.....the list goes on....but did you know that Ireland has some of the best tasting honey in the world?

A Lesson in Goodness

My cottage mate Clodagh is about as good as they come. She really cares and will go out of her way for anyone and everyone. She is a friend and peacemaker. She continually looks at every situation from each side, finding the good in all. I've realized after 12 weeks that there is more than recipes to be learned here. We have all learned from eachother... and from Clodagh I have gotten a lesson in goodness.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

With the Woman Who Started it All

At the Farewell Dinner with Darina Allen

Ballymaloe Cookery School Chefs

Lughan, Patrick, Sophie and Gillian studying hard for the exams
Teacher Florrie and fellow student Damien
Getting ready to sit for our written exams

Monday, March 26, 2007