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

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

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Harvest Time Pumpkin Spices Stimulate our Delicate Downton Senses

While our American neighbors  celebrated Columbus Day yesterday, Canadians were elbow deep in turkey and all the fixins. Nephew Lord C and his mom Lady J did not fail to disappoint at our family gathering this year with a 20 pound free range turkey and a whopping 8 sides.  With a tribute to the US, we did have a taste of lasagna as a starter. Food coma.

While US Thanksgiving is the jumping off point for the holiday season, our Canadian Thanksgiving triggers pumpkin season for me. Today’s treat is pumpkin bread, a low fat quick bread which fills your home with the smell of those lovely pumpkin spices.

Continue reading Harvest Time Pumpkin Spices Stimulate our Delicate Downton Senses

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Tea Tuesday: Under the Canapé

Today’s tea recipe is from the Four Seasons in Dublin

Welcome to Tea Tuesday. I trust that my American friends spent a restful and reflective Memorial Day weekend.

I host Tea Tuesday each week, a virtual tea party which was inspired by Christine, a follower who lives in France, who was curious about English tea traditions after watching a few episodes of Downton Abbey.  The British excel in the tea ritual. Join me every Tuesday as I dish on Downton Abbey, the Royal Family, UK tourism and other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat recipe with a history.

Continue reading Tea Tuesday: Under the Canapé

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Thanks for Tea Tuesdays, and more Apple Charlotte

Always Time for Tea, Biscuits and Giving Thanks

Always time for tea, biscuits and offering thanks, particularly to those who have had an influence on this blog, and to those who have taken the time to share a comment or their favorite time in history which Downton Abbey shares (1912-1920s).

Thank you for keeping me company as I blog my way through the food of Downton Abbey. I have been thrilled by the follows, subscriptions, comments, and tweets (@downtoncooks) from all over the world. I have just set up a Facebook page and Pinterest boards. I am enjoying the experience of keeping my social media skills sharp.

Continue reading Thanks for Tea Tuesdays, and more Apple Charlotte


Stuff Mrs. Patmore Says, Served with Unsweetened Applesauce

The strong women of Downton Abbey (ITV)

Downton Abbey fans are quick to rhyme off quips and put downs made by the Dowager Countess. The You Tube collection, Top 10 Maggie Moments has gone viral and you can now buy your own tastefully embroidered pillows with some of the best known one liners.

The wonderful Maggie Smith has been blessed with wonderful writing, and delivers her lines with razor sharp accuracy. The quick witted martriarch has helped gain a broader audience in the US, as I guess everyone loves a feisty granny. That’s all fine and good, but there are other strong willed women on the show.

Our Compliments to the Cook

Mrs. Patmore, not just the Gordon Ramsay of Downton (ITV)

Mrs. Patmore, head cook, can also hold her own in the battle of the wits. Not unlike other celebrity chefs known for their temper, she can strip the hide off a scullery maid with the best of them, and without the need to curse. The brilliant writing team has also taken the care to round out her character to reveal a kind hearted soul with a family, who was fiercely protective of William, because of her own loss in the War. She reminds me a great deal of my own grandmother who taught me how to cook. So this is tribute to Mrs. Patmore with some of my favorite quotes. Continue reading Stuff Mrs. Patmore Says, Served with Unsweetened Applesauce

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Lost & Found in Translation: International Cooking Conversion Tables

Cooks of the world unite!

Lady Sybil learns the basics of cooking 

Exploring dishes from other parts of the world can be an exciting adventure…until you start reading the recipe and have trouble understanding the measurements. Cookipedia to the rescue.  You will find this chart helpful in converting measurements from one part of the world to the other. 

If I neglect to list all conversions in the recipes, just come back to this post and you should be able to find the information you are looking for in your part of the world.  I will post another chart to help understand ingredients. Continue reading Lost & Found in Translation: International Cooking Conversion Tables


Branson vs. (Rabbie) Burns Broth

A special treat for the General
Branson prepares a special broth for a visiting General

It’s the season for soup in northern climes, so it is fitting that soup figures prominately in S2E3 (and 4) of Downton Abbey.

In Episode 3, the famous General Sir Herbert Strutt comes to inspect Downton Abbey, which has been newly transformed into a convalescent facility for military officers. Chaffeur Tom Branson, seizes the opportunity to make a political statement. In case you missed the recipe, it is really quite simple to prepare. Continue reading Branson vs. (Rabbie) Burns Broth

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Planning Your Titanic Tribute: 2nd Class Menu

Titanic is on the minds of many with the photos and videos circulating about the January 13th grounding of the “unsinkable” Costa Concordia. Ironically, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titantic is approaching on April 14, 2012. As a professional marketer who loves a great promotion, I will bet that this year will see a flurry of fabulous events hosted in cities around the world. As a foodie I see it as a way to gather friends and pay homage to lives lost in a tragic accident.

If you would like to host your own party, I hope to help by providing menus and recipes to help you feel like the Mistress of Downton Abbey. The show, as you my know, opens with news of the sinking of the ship which directly affects the Crawley family. As an aside, Julian Fellowes fans will be hungrily anticipating the release of the new ITV series Titanic 2012, which will start airing in this Spring.

Continue reading Planning Your Titanic Tribute: 2nd Class Menu

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Planning Your Titanic Tribute: Just Desserts

Shocking photos and videos circulating in mainstream and online media of the January 13th grounding of the “unsinkable” Costa Concordia. More than 4,000 people were on board when the ship hit rocks off the shores of the island of Giglio, Italy. Given the size of this passenger ship, we can’t help but think back to the sinking of the Titantic.

Cora reads about the sinking, as yet unaware that James and Patrick were on board (ITV).

Downton Abbey fans recall the series opening shot of the tapping telegraph which carried news of the Titantic which directly impacted the Crawley family. The unsinkable ship had sunk. As Lord Grantham observed: “Every mountain is unclimbable until someone climbs it, so the ship is unsinkable until it sinks.” It also would appear that every fortune is safe until it is not. Unbeknowst to the family, Robert’s cousin James Crawley and his son Patrick were passengers on that ship. The unthinkable happened: two heirs were lost at sea. That the news would be relayed to them so quickly (well as quickly as a telegrams and a bicycle) by the family solicitors would make my father (the lawyer) proud. Continue reading Planning Your Titanic Tribute: Just Desserts