Sunday, 13 October 2013

Leiths: Week 2!

I promise more normal baking posts will be coming this week – I have been busy in the kitchen this rainy weekend! In the meantime, here’s everything that happened in week 2 at cookery school…
· This week I think the pace stepped up slightly, from chopping and dips last week to two or three dishes each session this week. It’s hard to get used to the teachers silently watching you from a short distance, Masterchef-style – I seem to immediately lose my kneading rhythm or forget what I was doing. Each week means a new kitchen and new table (we work in tables of 4) and my group this week really enjoyed working together. We made a solid team and managed to finish first on 4/5 days – definitely got to try and keep my pace up next week!
IMG-20131009-01038                                             Leek, Bacon and Parmesan Quiche
· Our focus at the beginning of this week was pastry. I’ve made pastry before but, to be honest, never really considered the best techniques or processes to ensure the best results. How things have changed! One step that initially threw me was the moment you add the liquid to the mixture – we have to shake and spin the bowl with one hand whilst simultaneously cutting in the liquid with a knife in the other hand. Phew. It's like patting your head and rubbing your stomach: not something I was ever good at. However, the thing I struggled with most was only being allowed to roll the pastry in one direction, to prevent overworking and stretching. I literally had to stand there reciting One Direction songs in my head whilst rolling my treacle tart and quiche pastries to stop me from just merrily going back and forth!
DSC_0077                                                        Caesar Salad
· This week I was cooking in the afternoon, which meant lots of freshly baked goods warm out the oven coming home with me. Rosemary focaccia and leek and bacon quiche are both rather hard scents to disguise on the bus, and definitely get you a few looks. Same with the box of very fudgy chocolate brownies on the Friday rush hour tube. Also, note to self: it's really rather difficult to get a treacle tart home unscathed after 2 buses and a 20 minute walk when it's just wrapped in clingfilm. Always remember Tupperware.
DSC_0105· Cooking in the afternoon obviously meant demonstrations in the morning. This was sometimes quite bizarre. We had a demo on roasting in which our teacher incredibly managed to make 3 full, different roasts with 3 different versions of all the trimmings in just 3 hours. Beef, chicken, pork, boiled and roast veg, potatoes, 2 sauces, 3 gravies, Yorkshires and more. Sampling mini versions of each roast dinner not that long after eating breakfast was quite a strange (but extremely delicious) experience! At the other end of the spectrum, sampling several different meringue dishes one morning left us all on quite a sugar high for the rest of the day. Bring on week 3!DSC_0110

7 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Everything looks scrumptious. I particularly like that quiche.

cheers,

Rosa

Kezia said...

I recently did a 10 week cookery course at Westminster Kingsway College on Saturdays - bringing home food on the bus (especially fish dishes!) was always a bit embarrassing! Everything you made looks absolutely delicious and very professional!

The Caked Crusader said...

That quiche looks awesome - very clean, professional finish too.

La Table De Nana said...

I envy you:)
Soinds so much fun.. and what a learning experience! The Quiche and Focaccia..yes please:)

margaret21 said...

Hmm. I didn't know that about rolling pastry only one way. I shall have to see what I can do to prevent myself having a long thin strip, a bit like a child's first attempt at knitting a scarf....

Jo said...

I just want to dive into that quiche, it looks crisp and perfect! Never knew about those pastry making techniques either.

Although not quite the same, when I was doing art at uni I used to hate when the painting tutors hovered over us in class. I suddenly lost all ability to draw knowing somebody was watching me!

Maggie said...

The quiche looks wonderful. The pastry technique sounds quite daunting.....