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The Hunting Season
We are deep into November. For most Americans, it means that plans for Thanksgiving are well under way.  And while many are strapping on their aprons to get a head start, others don camouflage gear to hunt turkey for the table.  It is hunting season after all.  Duck Dynasty may come to mind when you think about hunting, but Downton Abbey reminds us that British aristocracy took great pride in “sport”.  Jessica Fellowes goes into some detail in her new book [easyazon-link asin=”1250065380″ locale=”us”]A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes[/easyazon-link]. And yes, women like Lady Mary, also loved to hunt.

 A Year in the Life is sprinkled with delightful recipes and today we try her Eve’s Pudding, an apple cobbler to warm up with after a cold day outside.  It is an easy dessert to make to add to your Thanksgiving weekend menu.

Downton Dish

Downtonshirts UK fans have now finished Season 5 on ITV, anticipating the annual gathering family and friends to watch the Christmas Special on Christmas Day.  The countdown is starting now in America for the new release on PBS on January 4. 

Here are some holiday gifts to put on your list this year.

Abbey Cooks Entertain:  220 Recipes for $14.95

Another great gift for Downton fans who cheer Mrs. Patmore and Daisy.  Time to start planning your Downton Viewing and holiday parties.  With 220 traditional Downton era recipes with a modern twist, this is a great book to create some simple or complex dishes for your Mary or Anna.

This 432 page ebook sells for $14.95. Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to keep bringing you new dishes each week.

While the book is available on Amazon, you can only get a signed copy here on my site.

If you don’t have an eReader I would suggest the PDF version which allows you to print recipes as you go, if you wish. Buy one for yourself, gift to another.  All you have to do is email the download link to your loved ones.


3 lbs of recipes

UPDATE:  For those lamenting for a printed copy, it  should be available through Amazon’s print on demand in time for Christmas with the famous Downton recipes from Seasons 1-5.

UK Fans will be happy to note that the next version will have both imperial and metric conversions.

Stir-Up Sunday is Nov. 23rd

Plum puddingDAC Christmas is not far off, so time to get your holiday baking under way.  Your fruitcake and Christmas pudding benefit from aging.

This year Stir-up Sunday is November 23, a traditional day for families to take a turn at making a wish while stirring the Christmas Pudding.

Stir-up Sunday Traditions 

  • A Christmas pudding is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples.
  • A proper Christmas pudding is always stirred from East to West in honour of the three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus.
  • Every member of the family must give the pudding a stir and make a secret wish.
  • A coin was traditionally added to the ingredients and cooked in the pudding. It was supposedly to bring wealth to whoever found it on their plate on Christmas Day. The traditional coin was an old silver sixpence or threepenny bit.
  • Other traditional additions to the pudding included a ring, to foretell a marriage, and a thimble for a lucky life.

FruitcakeXmasRD Holiday Recipes for a Very Downton Christmas

New Book:  A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1250065380″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61tCGj-ua8L._SL160_.jpg” width=”124″] I have always enjoyed Jessica Fellowes take on presenting Downton in new ways.  She is particularly fortunate to have a back stage access since her uncle Julian Fellowes writes the show.

She organized her research for this book in a very clever way.  She follows the Crawley family as they travel through each month of a typical year. Our history lesson is tied to the time of year, and we are treated a spotlight on particular aspect of production.  Filled with beautiful pictures it provides glimpses into new characters in Season 5, but she keeps her promise to keep it spoiler free.

Of course, my favorite part of the book is recipes that she shares.  If you are looking for a cookbook, you will be much happier with my tome of 220 recipes, but there are some interesting recipes in this book to reflect seasonal dishes.

November, as I mentioned earlier, is the Sporting Season.  Here is a brief excerpt, shared on the Downton Tumbler site.  Her recipe for this month was for game birds, but I thought it might be easier to share her Eve’s Pudding recipe.

Eve’s Pudding

Eve's Pudding from [easyazon-link asin=”1250065380″ locale=”us”]A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes[/easyazon-link]

Eve’s pudding is a traditional British baked apple dessert.  Its  name refers to Eve from the Bible, the apples representing the Tree of Knowledge.

This pudding made its first appearance in The Cook and Housekeeper’s Dictionary, written by Mary Eaton in 1823. Originally, breadcrumb and egg sponge topped the pudding in days before baking powder was available.

It is very similar to what we know as cobbler, apples on the bottom with a spongy topping.   Bramleys are the British favorite cooking apple, known for its sour taste, but they are not readily available in North America. Granny Smith apples are a good substitute.

Serves 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds Bramleys (or other cooking apples)
  • 1 cup of blackberries (optional)
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • a large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • zest of one lemon
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/3 cup superfine* sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (1 cup unbleached white flour and 2 tsp. baking powder)
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a one quart ovenproof dish with butter.
  2. Peel and core the apples and slice thinly.  Place in the prepared dish and sprinkle the turbinado sugar, nutmeg, and lemon zest over them.  Add 1 tbsp. of water.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and superfine sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg gradually, beating well.  Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in the mixture.  Add a splash of milk – enough to give a dropping consistency. Spread this mixture over the apples. (Don’t worry if you aren’t able
  4. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the sponge mixture is golden and firm to the touch in the centre.  Spring with superfine sugar and serve with custard or cream. (I prefer non fat plain yoghurt to keep the fat count down.)

*you can make superfine sugar by giving table sugar a quick pulse or two in your food processor, and then measure for the recipe.

Downton Gift Giving

Marvelous additions to your Downton Collection. Two books and a new CD of Holiday music

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