May 26 2011

Life changing it was – Part 2

Posted by     16 Comments    Posted under: Reviews

So yeah, where were we?

Oh yeah, head buried in the sand and slogging away at the Plate2Page workshop last weekend in Weimar, Germany.

I already gave a shout out to the first half of the group (on the last post) so now I will continue on with the list of the remaining fabulous food bloggers.

All the way from Brasil but making her home in Zug, Switzerland the lovely and talented

Deborah Duarte 

Deborah drive the lengthy drive from Zug to Weimar and then generously toted a lot of us around Weimar whenever we needed to step out for supper. Deb writes her blog in her mother tongue (portuguese) and although I will admit that I do not understand a word, I can read recipes and think that all her desserts look too good to pass up!

Have a peek for yourself!

Astrid Rauscher (Vienna, Austria)

I sat beside Astrid in class all three days and although she is one of the more reserved classmates, she is not to shy behind the lens and is a flyer on Twitter and other social networking platforms.

She has a couple of blogs that she writes. One of them being a food blog and the other one all about her cats!

You can find her here:

Arthi Iyer (Manchester, UK)

My roommate for the weekend! What fun we had too. Thankfully, neither of us were snorers, but shared common ground in the fact that both our husbands are!

Arthi, who is originally from India is a workhorse! She bakes sweets and desserts and breads all day long to sell to local cafés and then also has a booth to sell her wares on weekends. I can see her owning bakery someday, and cannot wait to hear all about it!

Arthi joined the workshop with the hopes of improving her skills in both her photo taking skills and her writing, but she is a natural when it comes to food styling and taking shots. I can’t wait to see more of her work!

Here is a link to her blog

David Kiernan (Dublin, Ireland)

David was the other half of the winning team from Ireland. He has a killer blog over at

and arrived on the hotel doorstep toting his first ‘grown up’ camera. He has already got the photography hurdle crossed and is now settling in to just fine tuning his skill. Lucky bugger.

Before I go on to round this out are you paying attention to where all my new friends live. Seriously.

Weekend travel around Europe will be a blast!

Jasmine Guetta (Milan, Italy)

Ah, the lovely, quiet and funny Jasmine. A girl who has been taking shots with her nice big camera for well over a year now and seems like the only thing she is struggling with is the fact that she takes too many photos. I cannot see why this is a problem because all her photos are great!

Her blog is all in Italian and not unlike Deb’s above, laden down with lots of delicious desserts and vegetarian appetizers and main courses. Dive right in. Delish!

(Google just translated her blog and it means ‘Love in the Kitchen’. Oh, too cute!)

The last participant to mention is Mitch.

Mitch, partner of Ken (hungryrabbitnyc) came along to support his other half. FOr the life of me, I can only imagine what the conversation went like in their room after the lights went down. Mitch was thrown into a sea of frenzied foodbloggers for the weekend and to be fair, he fit right in. We are all waiting patiently for him to start his own blog!

Ok, now back to the business of learning and workshopping.

How to look at your blog differently.

Treat it like it is your home and always have it ready for guests to pop in for a visit.

Create ambiance with the words you use in your blog post.

Find your voice.


I do not think that anyone there actually knew that my home is just not that organised or tidy. That there are twenty plus feathered friends flocking to my back door every times it opens like a scene from the movie ‘Birds’ ….

I tried not to panic………and this is where the ‘write-on-the-spot’ part kicked in. On a post-it-pink piece of paper we had to pick a topic to write about, trying to stick to the guidelines we had just been given.

My topic, wait for it, was to write about making an omlette. Ah, hello. I married a Chef, so he could do all that.

How can I write about making an omlette when I can’t actually make one? AND, I do not write FICTION so do not tell me to make it up!

I made it up………on the fly.

Making an Omelette

Liberate the eggs into a glass bowl and admire the yellow yolks as they cling to the edge of the glass. Add black pepper and grind enough till it looks like a man with a moustache looking back up at you.

The cooking of the omelette is the hardest because in a split second the whole thing might burn to the core. Here at Chez Wise burnt eggs end up in the bin. Pour the yellow yolks into a bath of butter on the pan. Add Kalamata olives and a few bite sized hunks of creamy goats feta cheese that will linger for a lifetime on your lips.

Wait. Shake. Wonder. Flip.

Lick your fingers as the omelette slides from pan to plate and search for your fork because you will be eating this immediately.

The End

………….. eh, it was ok. If I would have had a bit more time I would have cleaned it up and worked on the ‘finish’. But 6 minutes is just not enough for a pink-post-it-piece. So that was not so bad. I can fake it. Right? Yeah, sure. Until the next exercise. Write the same exercise except this time you had to write it in a different tone.

Like ah……Fantasy Omelette Making. WTF??

I realise that by sharing the next excerpt with you I might run the risk of loosing every one of my readers, myself included.

This, is certainly the worst attempt I have ever made at writing anything ever….

Fantasy Omelette Making

What is this omelette that they talk of? This strange and gooey yellow mess on a plate that comes from round orbs called ʻeggsʼ that come from feathered birds? I have never heard of such a thing. Feathers on a bird?

Birds donʼt have feathers, they have scales and there is no need for us to draw attention to how this thing called an egg gets released from inside the feathered bird….Then goats are supplied to make this meal complete. Well, excretion from the goats that is. Warm, white, creamy stuff. They call this cheese.

You know, cheese – the white fluff that falls from the skies when the temperature finally rises. Yes, imagine eating it? So orbs called eggs and lumpy liquid called cheese floating on a heated stone until it resembles something you could lay your head on a bed time. A hard square rock.

The End

Clearly the talent lies in the truth for this chick. I just cannot make shit up.

I write what is real. What I can feel, touch, see, smell and hear.

Which brings me on to the next exercise. Tapping in to writing a piece using all the senses. Sounds doable I’d say? Topic this time around, baking bread. Ah hello? See above where I mentioned having married a Chef so I would not have to cook or bake? How can I write about it if I cannot cook it? Jeeze.

Faker-Baker. (You can totally tell too that I am not a baker because I added an egg to the dough/bread – ha ha ha)

— Touch — Taste — Sight — Smell — Sound —

 (you should read this in my voice – slightly drunk, I think?)

Baking Bread

Satin flour finds its way through my fingertips falling onto the smoothly sanded wooden surface. Willing spoonfuls open a well, and as I encourage a large yellow egg to fuse with flour I am mesmerized by clash of colors.

Cold water droplets fall on the doughy mixture like ice on fire. Knead gently and allow the dough to inhale and grow.

The glow of the oven invites the butter laden bread pan now filled with billowing dough into its lair.

We wait and watch.

Like sunrise bringing heat over distant horizons a darkening of colour warms the loaf exterior. Imagining the wafting scents of early morning Paris is not needed as the aroma swirls from floor to ceiling enveloping the senses and teasing the palate.

The loaf comes pert and perfect crown from its heated home and begs for time to rest but cold and firm kerryGOLD butter slides from your knife and slinks into torn nooks and crannies.

The brain has already told the mouth that this will be the umami moment you have been waiting for, so much so that the first bite — no slice — will slip so fast past hungry lips to growling tummy,

you will only recall that it tastes like………….more.

The End

Ok, enough for this evening. The Chef is waiting for his cuppa tea and the dog is itching to get out for a stroll.

Only one more piece to ramble on about and that will be this weekend sometime. All about the instructors. I decided to save the best for last and hope you will pop back in for a visit to read the rest of my thoughts on the Plate2Page workshop in Weimar. I am sure you can tell that I do not get out much and the whole social aspect of being at this workshop has elevated me to a whole new level of crazy….

Those are all the WiseWords I have for tonight.


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16 Comments + Add Comment

  • Amazing Mona! You really have a talent to play with words, seriously!
    Oh and about the bread: you simply made brioche and that needs eggs (lots of them actually – ask Jamie *g*)

    loved your take on the exercises!

    • Thanks Astrid… The exercises were a constant reminder of the WORK part of the worksop…
      Thank goodness we had some time to play afterwards ;0)
      Thanks for the comment and RT.

  • Ah Mona I love how you play with words..and I absolutely love yr writing….its perfect…WIll surely make a trip to Ireland to meetU & yr lovely family that I have heard so much about…hugsxx

    • Thanks Arthi.
      It is only a puddle jump!
      Móna xx

  • Móna you crack me up – ha I felt exactly the same way when I first heard the assignments!!! But I love all of yours, especially your fantasy omelette! I have a feeling I’ll be reading your writing for a long time 🙂

    • Jenn – I think the pink post-it-notes were a shock to
      The system getting us warmed up for real work!
      Glad you got a giggle out of it…now where’s my coffee?
      Móna xxx

  • […] From Plate to Page Meeta – We Met in Weimar Móna – Life Changing, It Was Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 2 Simone – Plate to Page – Experience of a Lifetime Simone – Metaphors, Similes, […]

  • How did I miss that your husband is a chef?? Nice… Although I would have to say that you’re treatment of that wonderful Irish beef would lead me to believe there is a chef lurking inside you too. Love all your write ups Mona and looking forward to the next one!

    • Ha ha ha
      Now he will think I did not talk about him all weekend and might not have missed him at all!
      I can cook. Quite well too Simone, but because he is better at it than I, I let him do it all
      And I am happy to be his chop-chop girl and dish bitch…. 17 years now….it’s working well for us!
      Thank you for reading… The big finale might kill me but should be funny if nothing else ;0)
      Móna xxx

  • wow . fantasy omelette was the best.

    • Glad you liked it Catherine ;0) I do not think it would taste so great though.

  • How nice to encounter a fellow Galwaywoman who blogs. Creativity and food is a fine combination – lucky you to go to the workshop.

    • Thank you!
      I love your blog. Really. Trolling though all of them all morning.
      Should have been writing ;0) The workshop was something else.
      Can’t say enough good things about it.

  • […] in Weimar Meeta – Putting the WORK back into Workshop Móna – Life Changing, It Was Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 2 Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 3 Móna – All in a Days Work Simone – Plate to Page – […]

  • […] Plate to Page – Putting the Work back into Workshop Móna – Life Changing, It Was Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 2 Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 3 Móna – All in a Days Work Plate to Page – Weimar […]

  • […] Plate to Page – Putting the Work back into Workshop Móna – Life Changing, It Was Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 2 Móna – Life Changing it Was, Part 3 Móna – All in a Days Work Plate to Page – Weimar […]

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.

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