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Ali & Jase’s Travel Diary

Friday, 13 Sep 2019

Location: France

MapFriday 13th, and the last day of cookery at the cooking school.

We started the day by de-bearding mussels (rejecting any that wouldn't shut), then they went into the pot. After cooking we rejected any that wouldn't open.

We also put together a salad with the leftover chicken breast. We did a big salad with mushrooms, and (knowing I dislike mushrooms) another smaller version with asparagus.

In preparation for later we also prepared a ratatouille (lots of chopping for everyone), deboned a rack of lamb, and stuffed it then rolled it for roasting. Finally we prepared the layers for the almond, liquorice and white chocolate cake. We should have a nice simple evening.

Before eating, we trooped outside to the courtyard and practiced tossing like a chef, with salt in a frying pan.
Harder than it looks! Then we did some group photos.

Lunch was:
- mussels soup with saffron
- chicken salad with mushrooms/asparagus and pancetta

Several people went for a walk to the nearest village after lunch, but I missed their departure because there is a competition to guess how much butter we have used during the week, so I was doing a calculation. I made it 2.3kg but I think I will round it up a bit because there had certainly been some extra used for frying and the sauces, beyond what is in the recipes.

I then went back to my gite and read until it was time for the evening meal class. Back to the school and everyone had dressed up a bit. Most preparation was already done, for our evening meal of:
- foie gras with a pear salad
- stuffed rack of lamb with ratatouille and tarragon sauce
- almond, liquorice and white chocolate cake

It was a jolly evening of preparation, with the aperitifs starting early. There was a quiz by Niall, one question each. Mine was 'what is the Breton way of saying "cheers"?' It's something like ya-mad.

At the evening meal we had our butter use competition. Everyone else was guessing far too high, 4.5kg upwards, so I felt safe in guessing 3kg. I was spot on, apparently, and was rewarded with a bottle of French mead. Then we did a graduation ceremony, with certificates, hand shaking, and trying on Paul's cuisine medals.

Lots of hugs goodbye, and I hung around for a drink outside with the die-hards, before heading home to bed.