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Downton 6E5: Adjusting to Married Life with Bubble and Squeak


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Mr. Carson is a new husband training.

January has come and gone in a flash and now Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon. I am a lucky lady. Every day in our household is filled with love to the point that my girlfriends beg Lord D to give lessons to their husbands on how to give flowers for no reason. To pay it forward I have listed a few dishes below which will thrill your Downton fan.

Now that Charlie Carson wed Elise Hughes (S6E3), we are granted a view of how the new couple adjusts to married life. Mrs. Hughes ran the household not the kitchen, so how does a man with exacting standards adjust to a wife who does not cook? And how will Mrs. Hughes gently adjust his expectations? This will be fun to watch.

In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe mentioned on each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. As the newlyweds adjust to married life this week’s recipe is  Bubble and Squeak, an easy dish which any new cook can master, even if Mr. Carson finds it odd that Mrs. Hughes likes to pair it with lamb.

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Downton 6E4 Served at Luncheon with Chicken Liver Pâté


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S1 Maid Gwen returns upstairs as Mrs. Harding. (ITV)

Fellow Downton fans across America and Canada have now settled in nicely with Season 6 to keep them warm these cold winter Sunday nights. There are still 6 more episodes to go before the end of this glorious series, and I for one am savoring every last bite of this sumptuous feast.

A wee dram of scotch will help keep Scots warm round the world today as they pipe in the haggis to celebrate Robert Burns Day. A history and less intimidating food choices are listed below.

In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe mentioned on each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show.  This week we see Daisy taking out her frustrations out on the mashed potatoes, and pudding served as dessert, but it is the chicken liver pâté she was making for Gwen’s luncheon that we will be making today.

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Downton S6E3: It’s Wedding Bells for Carson, Hot Chocolate for the Dowager


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Charlie Carson and Elsie Hughes finally get married (ITV)

Another week of 2016 has slipped through our fingers so quickly that I won’t be disappointed to discover that winter will be over before I know know it, with just a hop and a skip until summer. Well, at least the days are starting to get noticeably longer.

Sadly, Downton didn’t do so well at the Golden Globes last Sunday; Joanne Froggat and Dame Maggie came up short, but Joanne did make the top ten best dressed list, and had some good press.

This was a wonderful week for Downton romantics, though. We haven’t been so thrilled over a downstairs wedding since John Bates married Anna. But will there be wedded bliss?

In keeping with tradition here, I will continue to share a recipe from each episode which gets on screen mention as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. There were a few dishes mentioned in tonight’s episode: dover sole, peaches over brandy, crown roast, but since it is winter I settled for simple comfort. Fit for the Dowager, today’s recipe is drinking or hot chocolate, so simple even Denker can make it.

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Things are Heating Up at Downton in S06E2, Perhaps it is the Horseradish


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The gloves and wigs are off over the hospital.

The holidays are over. In our home holiday decorations have been carefully packed away along with the old Downton calendar, replaced by Downton Abbey 2016 Wall Calendar waiting to be filled with important dates. I sometimes imagine that the holidays are like life at Downton; a packed social calendar without any work commitments.

It is also the beginning of awards season and we give our condolences to Joanne and Dame Maggie for their loss at the Golden Globes last night, but that show really is not “Downton – worthy” in any event.  But time to get on with it, embrace the new year with all that it brings, and enjoy the last season of Downton.

In keeping with tradition here, I will continue to share a recipe from each episode which gets on screen mention as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. Today’s recipe is homemade horseradish, which really is quite easy to make yourself. Continue reading »

Downton Abbey Season 6: The Season of Resolution


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A burning question for S06: Will Anna and Bates  ever find happiness?

Each new year promises a fresh start, and yet this year is bittersweet for Downton Abbey fans; this is the sixth and final season for our beloved show. We were all excited that Season 06E1 finally debuted on PBS last night, and yet we know that we only have eight more precious episodes to watch before we have to say goodbye to the Crawley family and their servants.

We must be resolved to gracefully let these beloved characters live out their lives without us watching. It is going to be tough, but the UK fans who have already seen the final episode seem to be holding up so far, but then again American audiences are far more passionate about Downton Abbey. Who knows if a movie will ever be made (their a rumours of discussions), but we shall be comforted that we can watch it all again from the beginning.  Just like our favorite meal, we can enjoy just much as the first time we experienced it.

In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe mentioned on camera from each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. Today’s recipe is Coconut Ice, an easy to make sweet which you can proudly serve at your next Afternoon Tea, or share with loved ones while watching Downton.

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From Jessica Fellowes to Afternoon Tea, Downton Abbey is All Around Us


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S6 Cast photo

The Official Season 6 Photo

By the time leaves begin to change, the lazy days of summer are long behind us. Schedules are packed with activities, and for Lord D and I, that has meant much Downton. To begin with Season 6 launched in the UK (I promise no spoilers).  Next, I gave a Downton Afternoon Tea talk recently(and have more planned). Also, my virtual friend Jessica Fellowes was in town. If you have a chance to see her speak, do not deny yourself the opportunity. Finally, now that Thanksgiving is upon us Christmas is not far away. Yes, it is busy times.

The English don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as one day, but while here we traditionally turkey, gravy, and pumpkin pie (follow the links for those recipes), I thought I would share Jamie Kennedy’s recipe for Roast and Confit of Duck, a wonderful dish Lord D and I enjoyed at What’s Cooking Bracebridge. It’s very Downton.

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Downton Downtime: Celebrating Garden Bounty and S6 Launch Date


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So many stories to wrap up in Season 6

Those who garden realize the rewards of their efforts when the harvest comes.  While grocers can now ship produce to us year-round, the best taste still comes from the local harvest. So like Mrs. Patmore smart cooks prepare what is in season for the best taste.

And speaking of our favorite cook, PBS announced the launch date of Season 6 of Downton Abbey, and yes, this will be the last season of this wonderful show. If you have not been following along, Julian Fellowes, who writes the show, has signed a deal to write an American version called The Gilded Age. Since he cannot write two shows at once, it was finally decided that this will be the final season of Downton.  We will have to say goodbye, and let our favorite characters live out the rest of their fictional lives off camera.

There are still many months before the launch (The UK will likely see a Sept. launch date), and we should not let the summer harvest pass us by. I visited our family estate (farm) in July and remembererd just how sweet peas are, so today we will be making a simple classic dish of Peas in Béchamel. It can be served upstairs as a side dish or downstairs as Creamed Peas on Toast. 

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Downton S5 Christmas Special: Nothing Heals Like a Restorative Broth


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Caroling by the Christmas tree (ITV)

What a marvelous end to Downton Season 5.  The Christmas Special was like a perfectly laid out buffet with something for everyone.  There were love stories, great injustice, selfless acts, grouse hunting, secret plots, reunions, touching farewells and Christmas carols.

It was a wonderful season, over for us in North America, but yet to be discovered in other parts of the world. Do come back and visit here from time to time as I continue to share the love of food from Downton era. Together we can get through Downton downtime together. I will be regularly sharing new recipes here, but you will find me more active on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

I was particularly delighted that one of the sub plot lines this episode featured “the challenge of the wooden spoon”. Dowager mentions the words of a previous maid ‘every good lady’s maid should know how to make a restorative broth.” When Miss Denker suggested that those days had not gone, Sprat pressed her to produce her own chicken broth. Seems fitting then that this week’s recipe is chicken broth.

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The Downton Abbey Wedding Curse


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Atticus & Rose marry

Atticus & Rose marry, but will it be happily ever after? (ITV)

It was a challenging two screen night again this week as Downton and The Academy Awards competed for our attention. No Downton cast members up for awards this week, but perhaps one day there will be a Downton movie of the like of Gosford Park. On a side note I was gratified that the only premier screening Lord D and I caught Toronto Film Festival this year was Still Alice. Julianne Moore was as striking as she was passionate about Alzheimer’s in her opening remarks at the Gala.

In this week’s episode the Crawleys spent most of their time in London. Not much “food name” dropping, although we do see Daisy finishing the wedding cake. A whirlwind of events (the parents of the Groom entertaining, how odd) during the week, Mrs. Patmore suggests she could whip up some soup for a buffet for guests staying at Downton House. So this week’s dish is Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil. A simple, yet elegant soup to serve to the most discerning guest on a moment’s notice.

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Things Heat up on Downton, Hot and Bubbly Like Croque Monsieur


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Young love is in the air at Downton.

Emotions were heating up the small screen on Downton Abbey this past week. Good thing because it is frigidly cold in many parts of the country, and a cuppa Downton is just what we need. Secrets are revealed, servants are at odds, suitors are spurned,  engagements delayed, and a young romance blooming against the odds. We all look forward to celebrating another Downton Wedding.

While there was much drama bubbling this episode, there was not much food of note seen on camera. We do see Mrs. Patmore and Daisy discuss the Labour Government as they prepare a plate of appetizers for a big dinner, so this week we will be making Croque Monsieur, a french comfort food. It is a perfect hot sandwich for lunch or brunch, but this week we will be preparing it as an appetizer fit for the Queen.

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