Another couple weeks under my belt (literally) at Tante Marie Culinary Academy. I am learning so many new cooking skills I didn’t even know I needed. I’m pretty sure I will not need to French trim lamb chops (which takes about 30 minutes for just a few chops) but just like in school, I am learning to do things I don’t have a foreseeable use for. Memorizing Btutus’ speech in high school comes to mind….”I come to bury Caesar, not praise him”……It is possible I will spend a serious amount of time (when you are my age 30 minutes out of the day is serious) scraping lamb bones so they look perfect and can be picked up daintily, but it is highly doubtful. Doing it without cutting your finger off however, is a useful skill. It’s a good thing the week started out with a full three day wine course. I think drinking Port for breakfast could be a new trend. It was a little difficult to take the final exam on the last day after Champagne and Sherry tasting. All those wine names kept blurring together on the exam. Luckily it was multiple choice and a few maps in big print and I think having a looooong, intimate history with wine helped pull me through. Lots of cooking followed with the usual onslaught of dessert skills. Choux pastry, sponge cake, ice cream, caramel flan….it is all a sugar coma blur but lots of fun to see the end results. Shucking fresh scallops, trussing ducks and shaping filo pastry made for a full week. Even though this is a Cordon Bleu Cooking Course, we are in Britain and no self respecting school here can let you get out without knowing how to make Coronation Chicken. I think this is the exact same recipe they served during the crowning of the Queen 60 some years ago. Viva la France….and God Save the Queen (and her chicken).