Saturday, 30 November 2013

Leiths: Week 9

Week 9 and also the last week of the term! I cannot believe that the Foundation term is already over, especially as this means that I’m a third of the way through my course. As much as I did enjoy secondary school, this is definitely the first time that I’ve been truly sad at the end of a term and our class was all saying we would happily do another week or two! My next Leiths post won’t be until mid-January when the Intermediate term starts (scary thought!) so normal baking blogging can be properly resumed in the meantime. Until then though, here’s everything that happened in my last week of term…
· We started the week by plucking and drawing (as in, gutting) a whole pheasant. As you do. This was definitely the most intense meat experience of the term and pushed the slightly more squeamish members of our class (me included) to our limits. Whilst it was a bit graphic and ‘pungent’ at times, it was also satisfying to understand more how meat gets from the field to the table which is an important lesson as a meateater. However, I do have to admit that after seeing the transformation our pheasant had gone through I couldn’t quite bring myself to tuck in and was more interested in our game chips accompaniment!
IMG-20131126-01087· This week we also cooked a proper Indian feast in our groups of four and what made it extra special was actually getting to sit and eat it together in the kitchen, just like when we made brunch. The fried breads you see on the left of the picture above are called methi poori – discs of dough that puffed up when deep fried – and were dangerously addictive! I’m normally a bit of a spice wimp (a korma kind of girl) but I loved the super spicy lamb rogan josh. The date chutney was really unusual and one of those things I just couldn’t decide whether I hated or really liked – it tasted to me a bit like a spiced sticky toffee pudding. Is that a bad thing? I still can’t decide!IMG-20131128-01092· With the Christmas party season rapidly approaching, our final demonstration being on canapes seemed very appropriate. Our teacher admitted that no matter how many complicated, unusual or innovative canapes you create, sausages always remain the most popular canape that disappear instantly – a fact that was proved at the canape party held for our year at the end of the day. I think my favourites were the little spinach and feta filo pastries and also the mini pavlova which won for just sheer adorable factor. It was the smallest thing I’d ever seen! IMG-20131129-01105· We ended the week by decorating our Christmas cakes. We have been working on these for the last few weeks now – baking, feeding, marzipaning and icing several times so we’re all quite protective over them! To put it plainly, my sister is the one with artistic skills in my family so I knew it would be best if I kept my cake design rather simple. I saw this tree made of stars design here on The Pink Whisk and adapted it slightly for my own cake – adding more stars and spraying them with edible gold spray for a bit of Christmas glitz and sparkle! It was a bit fiddly for someone occasionally lacking a bit of finesse but I was really happy with the way it turned out in the end. If you search Leiths School of Food and Wine on Facebook they have photos of lots of the finished cakes – designs ranged from Banksy drawings to ice skating penguins to the London skyline to gingerbread houses and many more. The next day we had our theory exam, charity lunch & raffle and that was it! Just my practical exam to go (eek). I’ve loved the Foundation term and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it so bring on the Intermediate term in 2014!IMG-20131129-01106


Katharine said...

Well done, Lucy. You have worked so hard this term and produced some delicious food. Looking forward to that cake at Christmas time.
Mum xx

Kezia said...

Your christmas cake is so pretty! Those canapés look delicious too. I really enjoy reading your updates on cookery school, it sounds fascinating!