Bobbing to Cork

A visit to Ballymaloe Cookery School in the spring couldn’t have been a more wonderful thing. A 100 acre organic farm and cookery school by the sea in East Cork.  If you want to immerse yourself in a world of sustainable, organic eating and cooking within the most beautiful surroundings, then this is a very special place to visit. 

It’s not cheap. But it’s not just the cookery classes, foraging walks and composting lessons; It’s the other people that you meet, and all the people involved in the school and gardens that have a wealth of knowledge that they share so generously. 

There is a care and love for the ingredients that you immediately take on yourself, having seen the effort that is put into growing them. Suddenly you feel privileged to be handling such precious ingredients and begin to treat them with the respect they deserve. Waste goes to the chickens and the chicken bins in the kitchen are regularly inspected by Darina to make sure that nothing fit for human consumption is haphazardly thrown away.

The glasshouse (which covers an entire acre and is filled with a variety of delights) was a thing of beauty - as was everything else that was growing in and around the grounds. It's strange that it should feel like such a luxury to be able to go and pick your own food and then take it straight to the kitchen to prepare. There is so much to learn when it comes to sustainability, organic and honest food, but coming here made me really consider why we need to get back to basics and how important it actually is.

Lines & lines of leaves in the greenhouse

Lines & lines of leaves in the greenhouse

We covered so many different things in such a short space of time and although a great deal of basics were covered there were so many interesting little tips to be picked up along the way. Here are just a few of the yummy things we made...

Devilled eggs with salmon scattered with wild garlic flowers

Devilled eggs with salmon scattered with wild garlic flowers

Home smoked fish for lunch

Home smoked fish for lunch

The meat that we ate was all organic

The most insane chicken liver pate - ever. Butter heaven.

The most insane chicken liver pate - ever. Butter heaven.

Meeting other people and sharing their food experiences was the most rewarding part for me. Cooking a mega Lebanese style feast for our housemates was a definite highlight. Surrounded by people who love food and being able to prepare dinner for an appreciative audience never fails to make me happy. 

The Lebanese style feast we rustled up using lots of veggies and herbs from the Ballymaloe garden.

The Lebanese style feast we rustled up using lots of veggies and herbs from the Ballymaloe garden.

And last but by no means least, I made the most amazing new friend from Belgium. If you're in Brussels and want some good food @chez.mama is the one to hit up!

The loveliest new friend Julie aka @chez.mama 

The loveliest new friend Julie aka @chez.mama 

Millie Diamond