Valentine’s Day Love at Downton Abbey is Served with Victoria Sandwich

RoseandAtticus
Downton’s latest couple: Rose and Atticus (ITV)

Love is in the air as we count down the days until Valentine’s Day. This season of Downton Abbey is certainly filled with love connections, some in the most unexpected places. While we see sparks fly between Rose and Atticus, it is lovely to see Isobel and Lord Merton find new love in their golden years.  And who knew that the prim and proper Violet had a secret past with a dashing Russian Prince?  While she might be tempted to run off with Prince Kuragin, she does make a good point that there is no one run from. Mabel Lane Fox is certainly trying to rekindle her love with Tony with Charles’ help. And Mary is just happy being Mary.

Sadly there is no dish which gets on-air mention in this week’s episode (unless you count ice cream, but it is not really the season for it), but we do see Daisy putting the finishing touches on a Victoria Sandwich.  If you notice this season (see below) it is the favorite tea cake of choice at Downton, a regular cast member often sitting demurely on camera. So for the love of a good cake…

Continue reading Valentine’s Day Love at Downton Abbey is Served with Victoria Sandwich

Share

Final Countdown to Hogmanay and Downton Season 4

Hogmanay
Count down to Hogmanay

North Americans revel in Christmas celebrations and for us New Years is more of an after thought, one last party before getting back to business.  In Scotland however, Christmas is a low key celebration with a build up to New Years, called Hogmanay, the biggest party of the year.  This year’s Edinburgh celebration will attract 1 billion viewers, just as many as Americans who will watch the ball drop in Times Square. Chalk one up for Cousin Shrimpie.

Our final dish of the year is Lovely Little Mince Pies, a traditional dish served at Hogmanay a recipe from my book, Abbey Cooks Entertain.  Next week we will be diving into S4E1 as we move from darkness into light with the Crawleys.

Continue reading Final Countdown to Hogmanay and Downton Season 4

Share

Tea Tuesday: Traditional Courting Cake

Its time for Wimbleton and themed teas
Its time for Wimbleton and themed afternoon tennis teas

I have been waiting for summer to arrive since last fall, and finally it is here.  This week I will be leaving for our annual family fishing trip to the West Coast which I have written about more than once.  I will be offline for a week or two. Sadly our travel plans through the Rockies might be changed with the flood damage to the Calgary area.  Equally disappointing will be  a smaller version of the world famous Calgary Stampede as flood waters have completed covered the grounds.  My mom thoroughly enjoys putting her horse on display in the horse barns every year.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose homes have been ravaged by nature.

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, Courting Cake, is inspired by our son Master Stephen and his girlfriend Lady Emma, who stopped by this weekend on their way to spend a year in Australia together.

Continue reading Tea Tuesday: Traditional Courting Cake

Share

Tea Tuesday: Manchester Pudding, A Tribute to Matthew

Tea at the award winning Intercontinental, London
Award Winning tea at the  InterContinental, London, Park Lane

Today is our first Tuesday of Downton Downtime 2013, at least for those who have watched all episodes up to Season 3.  For the rest of you who have just discovered Downton, enjoy the ride and watch out for spoilers.

Each Tuesday I dish on Downton Abbey and other topical issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a recipe with an interesting history.  You may find 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 treat is Manchester Pudding, perfect for paying homage to Matthew’s hometown.

Continue reading Tea Tuesday: Manchester Pudding, A Tribute to Matthew

Share

Raise an Oatcake for Robert Burns

Afternoon tea on the Loch
How do you fancy tea on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond at the Cameron House?

“Fàilte, Ceud mìle fàilte”, or in other words, “welcome” to Tea Tuesday, wee lads and lassies.

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 oatcakes in honor of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns.
Continue reading Raise an Oatcake for Robert Burns

Share

Tea Tuesday has Gone Bananas

mishmash of teacups

I love Tea Tuesdays. I thoroughly enjoy taking creative license on this day to mix and match topics which I have collected during the week, or which are simply on my mind. It is like serving tea on mismatched teacups to your guests along with a lovely stacked tea tray of wee sandwiches, sweets and savoury treats. No one seems to mind, and everyone comes away with something they enjoy.

Continue reading Tea Tuesday has Gone Bananas

Share

Welcome Fellow Canadians: You will Love Downton Abbey More than Scones

Welcome to Downton Abbey (photo ITV)

Welcome Canada, to the world of Downton Abbey. You may have heard about Downton, (not Downtown), the British produced period drama. Perhaps you have heard a bit about the story line, the quotes (“what is a weekend?”), the critical acclaim, as well as the awards it has won. You might have heard that PBS carried it on Masterpiece Theare–that sounds about right–and some fuss this past weekend with a grand finale: a Christmas episode…in February, that’s odd. If you are like me, you hate jumping into show mid stream–or worse–when it is all over. So you may have not been convinced that this was a show to invest your time on.

Well, Canada, its not too late for you to watch Downton the old fashioned way (on broadcast televison) because starting tonight, Vision TV is broacasting the show right from the beginning. It will be seen Wednesday nights from 9 pm EST, 7 pm MWT. We hibernate in Winter anyway, so enjoy your time inside and make friends on Twitter at #Downtoneh .

Continue reading Welcome Fellow Canadians: You will Love Downton Abbey More than Scones

Share

Happy Valentine’s Day featuring Mary, Matthew & a sparkly salted caramel truffle

The delicate dance between Mary and Matthew (ITV)

Happy Valentine’s Day whereever you live in the world, and belated greetings for those down-under who have already celebrated the day.  My Tuesday posts are typically dedicated to Afternoon Tea, but consider adding this recipe as a sweet treat to your tea tray.  I do offer a new recipe each week, so check out and bookmark Online Guide to Afternoon Tea to keep up to date.

While Valentine’s Day is celebrated in different ways around the world, most do involve a show of hearts, flowers and chocolate! My husband and I treat everyday as if it is Valentine’s Day so today is just another day in paradise.  Since I often treat my husband with mostly healthy treats (as he does for me), it has been fun preparing food pairings for our favorite Downton Abbey couples: lovely chocolate sweets to share with loved ones.  Continue reading Happy Valentine’s Day featuring Mary, Matthew & a sparkly salted caramel truffle

Share

Daisy & William: Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

William and Daisy (ITV)

It’s that time of year when we all see red: Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year formally set aside to celebrate love. I am finally one of the lucky ones, living with Lord D, my loving and devoted husband. Not to take our love for granted, we strive to make every day Valentine’s Day with kind, sweet guestures…often involving food!

It is no wonder that we are both drawn to the love stories in Downton Abbey. At Downton you will find all variations: love is lost, found, taken for granted, and unrequited. It is innocent, calculated, pre-destined, mislaid, loyal, unrepentant. You get your money’s worth on this show!

Continue reading Daisy & William: Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Share