Downton S6E8: Downton Abbey Has Gone Completely Bananas

Bananas was a great word to describe this episode: that Spratt!

Wow, there was quite a bit of drama to absorb this week on Downton; I am sorry to have to spoil the fun, but there is only one episode left of Downton Abbey. It is the traditional extended Christmas Special that we have come to love over the years, but this one will be bittersweet. Mark your calendars (or keep tabs on the countdown clock at right) and bring out the good silverware, the finale is March 6, 2016. It also happens to be a couple days after my birthday, so thanks PBS for making my year. Be sure use my handy index to help plan your own fabulous finale party.

In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe from each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. This week’s recipe is a mashup of two story lines. The Crawleys saved Mrs. Patmore’s Bed & Breakfast with Afternoon tea, so I knew we would be baking something for tea.  We already have a delicious scone recipe, so I thought traditional Cornish Banana Cake would be appropriate, considering “banana” was used as a code word at the magazine. If you are looking for a more health conscious banana recipe, there is always my fabulous banana breads.

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

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…

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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.

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Downton Abbey Fans Could Use the Comfort of a Good Rice Pudding

Tragedy strikes Downton (ITV)

It has been a hard day for me, the day after the PBS Masterpiece broadcast of S3E5 (or E4 if you go by PBS calculations: they showed ITV E1 & 2 together as one for the premier).  As millions of Americans watched this episode, there were gasps of disbelief as events unfolded. The amount of chaos and mayhem was far too much for one to bear and many fans are consoling each other today as they struggle to digest what had happened. I myself wanted to jump through my TV set to comfort  the characters.  But of course, this is just a TV drama and it was all make believe.

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