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Summer is The Time for Fools, A Downton Favorite

HighSummer
Summer blooms at Highclere

It never ceases to amaze me how Spring weather transitions into Summer in a matter of days.  Even more sad though is how quickly time passes in Summer months.  Granted we are annually tortured for about of month of hot then cold weather in the Spring, making wardrobe decisions very challenging.  But then one day it arrives in your part of the world.  Sadly, this week my parents had snow in Calgary while we enjoyed 80+ heat, but their time will come soon. I hope so, the family fishing trip up to Alaska is coming up quick, followed by booth duty at the  Calgary Stampede’s Horse Haven.  Plus I am almost finished transitioning my wardrobe and focusing on my golf game.

When it’s hot outside the last thing we want to do is heat up our kitchens.  Time to simplify our cooking methods.  Desserts should be easy and refreshing and it is no wonder that we keep coming back to time honored traditions.  I have yet another rhubarb recipe to share this week, rhubarb fool, a traditional British favorite.

Enjoy your summer and I will pop in from time to time to update you with new recipes.  In the meantime, there are around 200 recipes in the Recipe Index to keep you company.

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Tea Tuesday: Sinfully Light Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt

Father's Day tea at the Cameron house?
Enjoy afternoon tea with your loved one at the Cameron House

Another Father’s Day has come and gone. Our son, Master James, dined with us as Lord D proudly prepared his famous grilled roast beast (steak) feast. Celebrated around the world, Father’s Day started at church, much like Mother’s Day did. Check out my quick history on Father’s Day. While it is now celebrated in the UK, Father’s Day did not take off in that region until the 1970′s so sadly Lord Grantham did not enjoy that “special day” of recognition for his fatherly duties.
Also this weekend, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her public “birthday”, although her official birthday is in April.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Refer to my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

This week’s treat is a sinfully light chocolate frozen yoghurt. Lord D loves his chocolate and this delicious frozen yoghurt allows him to has his cake and eat this too.

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Tea Tuesday: Lovely Light Lemon Loaf

Lowry in Manchester
Award Winning Tea at the fashionable Lowry in Manchester, Matthew and   Isobel’s hometown

It has been an eventful week for the Queen as she quietly celebrated her official reign of 60 years on the throne. And if you wondered about when to start planning your own Garden party, the Queen has already held her annual event.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Refer to my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

This week’s treat is a lovely light lemon loaf alternative to pound cake made with yoghurt.  It is Lord D’s current favorite and with Father’s Day and his birthday coming up, I aim to please.

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Kick off the Season with Rhubarb Puffs

harrods tea
Afternoon Tea at Harrods

Canadians celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday yesterday, one of our most loved long weekends.  May 24th marks Victoria’s official birthday, but the holiday falls on the last Monday before May 25. While still proud of our English heritage, this holiday takes on a special meaning marking the unofficial start to summer.

The fear of frost has passed in most parts of the country so many worked on their gardens, others fought horrific traffic to enjoy Canada’s beautiful lakes, mountains and forests. Also known as the May Two-Four referring to the Queen’s birthday and the Canadian slang for a case of twenty-four beers (a “two-four”), a drink popular with Cannucks during the long weekend.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Refer to my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

This week’s treat are rhubarb puffs, a great little bite which is the cross between a muffin and a biscuit. Great at tea, brunch or breakfast.

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Tea Tuesday: A Light and Healthy Vegetable Terrine for Mom

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The Cadogan in Knightsbridge has been serving Afternoon tea since 1887, famously visited by

Lord D and I are back from a wonderful visit to Bermuda.  Stay tuned for an accounting of our visit to this beautiful island and a delightful award winning afternoon tea at the Fairmont Princess Hotel in Hamilton.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday for North Americans. For my recap of the history and Mother’s Day traditions around the world, click here.  And if you have not found a unique gift  treat your mum, consider hosting a tea. Check out some of my Mother’s Day tea ideas. 

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Refer to my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends. I don’t always make a dish to have at tea, but it will always be a dish that could have been enjoyed in the Downton era.

This week we serve up a heart healthy vegetable terrine.  A great light dish to serve mom this weekend (outside, if the weather holds).

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Tea Tuesday: Getting Downton with Strawberry Ice, Ice, Baby

Tea at Kingsway
Lovely Afternoon Tea at Kingsway Hall Hotel near Covent Garden in London

It is Tuesday which means it is time for tea and Downton gossip.  The days are getting longer, and the warmer weather is slowly starting to make itself at home.  Encouraged,  Lord D. bought me a new pink bicycle which I will name Daisy, although she looks like a Penelope to me.

Sadly all is not right in the world. Last Monday I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer.  Yesterday the we are stunned by the senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon.  I always looked forward to race day, when I could put months of training to the test.  From joy of accomplishment to utter shock and disbelief in a blink of an eye. My prayers to all those affected, and a way forward so that we can live in a kinder gentler world.

But we must put on a happy face and move forward.  As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Check out my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

Last week we made DIY Jello, this week today’s dish is Strawberry Water Ice, one of many ices (aka frozen desserts) I fancied enough to put in my cookbook.
It will have to hold you for a few weeks as I will be offline planning and then taking a trip to Bermuda.  See you in May with new recipes.

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Tea Tuesday: At Downton There was Always Room for Jiggly Jelly

Tea under the cherry blossoms
Cherry Blossom tea tablescape  from Stone Gable

I am still patiently waiting for Spring to take a firm hold.  We did have a thunder storm last night, but apparently are expecting snow on the weekend. In some parts of the world it is the bloom of the cherry blossom which signals the arrival of Spring.  I have fond memories of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver, organized by Linda Poole, a dear friend of mine.  If you are blessed by cherry blossoms do take time to enjoy them; why not enjoy tea under a cherry tree, or set some blossoms on your table. Every moment is precious, particularly when you lose someone who has touched your life.  Our prayers are with April’s  family and close friends. She was feisty spirit who lost her fight with pancreatic cancer this past week.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Check out my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

As we look forward to warmer days today’s dish is Jiggly Strawberry Jelly, great for Garden Parties, also known as “tea outside.”

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Tea Tuesday: Dreams of Downton Garden Parties with Garden Cake

The Award Winning Royal Tea at the Intercontinental
The Award Winning Royal Tea at the Intercontinental London

Spring is here, the snow around us has melted, and you can see tulips breaking through the soil. Even the golfers have come out of hibernation on the golf course where we live. Of course we all anxious to shed our winter clothes, but not quite yet. Our patience will be rewarded in the coming weeks. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Check out my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

Today’s dish is Garden Cake, as we look forward to getting back into our yards, to grow, or just throw fabulous garden parties. Garden Parties, after all is just tea outside.

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Tea Tuesday/Downton Downtime Mashup with Glamorgan Sausages

Tea at the Kensington
Afternoon Tea at the newly renovated Kensington Hotel in London

This past Sunday, clocks “sprang” forward one hour around the world in observance of Daylight Savings Time (DST), first implemented by the Germans in 1916 during World War I as an energy saving measure. The idea caught on.  Currently 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time in at least in part of their country. Japan, India, and China are the only major industrialized countries that do not observe some form of daylight saving.

It will likely take a week or so to adjust to losing one hour of sleep.  That still does not explain how I managed to lock breakfast in our locking (self-cleaning) oven on Saturday morning.  I am sure Daisy never had this issue.  By the time I figured out how to reset the oven, our breakfast was now brunch.

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Tea Tuesday: Have Some Madeira (Cake), my Dear

Tea Guild winning Afternoon Tea at the Royal Horseguard in London.

Welcome Downton Abbey fans. We are all now in Downton Downtime.  UK fans just finished a lovely meal of Season 3, and now waiting for the dessert course:  the Christmas Special.  Meanwhile,  North Americans are still waiting to be seated for the Season 3 service.  Appetizers in the form of a special recap episode (Downton Abbey Revisited) will be offered on PBS on November 25th.

Each Tuesday I dish on Downton Abbey and other topical issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a recipe with history. You may find my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to serve at your own tea party. Today’s treat is Madeira Cake. 

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