Downton Abbey Series Finale – And They Were All Happy Enough

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Our last look at Downton (ITV)

Well, the final episode aired last night and what a way to end the series. Yes, there are no more episodes of Downton Abbey. The Carnavrons have reclaimed Highclere Castle from film crews, and the production sets used for the downstairs scenes have been packed away. We must be resolved to gracefully let these beloved characters live out their lives without us watching.

This will be my final recipe to share as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. We first met the Crawley family over breakfast as they learn about the sinking of the Titanic; Mrs. Patmore’s dish that morning was kedgeree, so I thought it fitting to return to the beginning to feature another breakfast fish dish. The recipe is Omelette Arnold Bennett, invented at the famous Savoy which uses finnan haddie, smoked haddock. It is a fabulous morning after dish to soothe the broken heart of any Downton Abbey fan.

Don’t despair, I have share 100s of recipes so you can easily find them through the Recipe Index.  And I will still be active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Downton S6E8: Downton Abbey Has Gone Completely Bananas

S6BE8Bananas
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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Downton S6E7: Love is in the Air as is the Smell of Apple Crumble Baking

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…but do they live happily ever after?

Lord D and I spent a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day together, taking time for each other after a hectic week, and ignoring the frigid temperatures outside. He made his famous pork roast dinner (featured in Abbey Cooks Entertain), served with my homemade applesauce and horseradish. After tucking into comforting apple crumble, we  topped off the evening with the latest installment of Downton Abbey.

Brace yourselves, we only have 2 episodes left. Start polishing your silver for your finale party, the series finale will be broadcast on March 6th. I believe I am mentally prepared to say goodbye to Downton, hoping to look forward to The Gilded Age, Julian’s next project which will focus on the millionaire titans of New York.

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. Charlie Carson is tricked into cooking dinner for his wife so he would gain an appreciation for cookery. Today’s recipe is a scrumptious apple-cheddar crumble, a dish Mr. Carson barely stayed awake to enjoy.

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Downton S6E5: Adjusting to Married Life with Bubble and Squeak

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Mr. Carson is a new husband training.

January has come and gone in a flash and now Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon. I am a lucky lady. Every day in our household is filled with love to the point that my girlfriends beg Lord D to give lessons to their husbands on how to give flowers for no reason. To pay it forward I have listed a few dishes below which will thrill your Downton fan.

Now that Charlie Carson wed Elise Hughes (S6E3), we are granted a view of how the new couple adjusts to married life. Mrs. Hughes ran the household not the kitchen, so how does a man with exacting standards adjust to a wife who does not cook? And how will Mrs. Hughes gently adjust his expectations? This will be fun to watch.

In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe mentioned on each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. As the newlyweds adjust to married life this week’s recipe is  Bubble and Squeak, an easy dish which any new cook can master, even if Mr. Carson finds it odd that Mrs. Hughes likes to pair it with lamb.

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Downton S6E3: It’s Wedding Bells for Carson, Hot Chocolate for the Dowager

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Charlie Carson and Elsie Hughes finally get married (ITV)

Another week of 2016 has slipped through our fingers so quickly that I won’t be disappointed to discover that winter will be over before I know know it, with just a hop and a skip until summer. Well, at least the days are starting to get noticeably longer.

Sadly, Downton didn’t do so well at the Golden Globes last Sunday; Joanne Froggat and Dame Maggie came up short, but Joanne did make the top ten best dressed list, and had some good press.

This was a wonderful week for Downton romantics, though. We haven’t been so thrilled over a downstairs wedding since John Bates married Anna. But will there be wedded bliss?

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. There were a few dishes mentioned in tonight’s episode: dover sole, peaches over brandy, crown roast, but since it is winter I settled for simple comfort. Fit for the Dowager, today’s recipe is drinking or hot chocolate, so simple even Denker can make it.

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

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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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From Jessica Fellowes to Afternoon Tea, Downton Abbey is All Around Us

S6 Cast photo
The Official Season 6 Photo

By the time leaves begin to change, the lazy days of summer are long behind us. Schedules are packed with activities, and for Lord D and I, that has meant much Downton. To begin with Season 6 launched in the UK (I promise no spoilers).  Next, I gave a Downton Afternoon Tea talk recently(and have more planned). Also, my virtual friend Jessica Fellowes was in town. If you have a chance to see her speak, do not deny yourself the opportunity. Finally, now that Thanksgiving is upon us Christmas is not far away. Yes, it is busy times.

The English don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as one day, but while here we traditionally turkey, gravy, and pumpkin pie (follow the links for those recipes), I thought I would share Jamie Kennedy’s recipe for Roast and Confit of Duck, a wonderful dish Lord D and I enjoyed at What’s Cooking Bracebridge. It’s very Downton.

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Downton S5 Christmas Special: Nothing Heals Like a Restorative Broth

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Caroling by the Christmas tree (ITV)

What a marvelous end to Downton Season 5.  The Christmas Special was like a perfectly laid out buffet with something for everyone. There were love stories, great injustice, selfless acts, grouse hunting, secret plots, reunions, touching farewells and Christmas carols.

It was a wonderful season, over for us in North America, but yet to be discovered in other parts of the world. Do come back and visit here from time to time as I continue to share the love of food from Downton era. Together we can get through Downton downtime together. I will be regularly sharing new recipes here, but you will find me more active on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

I was particularly delighted that one of the sub plot lines this episode featured “the challenge of the wooden spoon”. Dowager mentions the words of a previous maid ‘every good lady’s maid should know how to make a restorative broth.” When Miss Denker suggested that those days had not gone, Sprat pressed her to produce her own chicken broth. Seems fitting then that this week’s recipe is chicken broth.

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Downton Soup Kitchens Serve Borscht to Russian Refugees

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Downton wins NTA and SAG awards this week.

January is almost behind us but we have had plenty of distractions to keep our mind off the short days and long winter nights.  Not only did Downton Abbey won Best Drama at Britain’s National Television Awards last week, they picked up the Drama Ensemble Award at last night’s SAG awards.  Joanne Froggatt was so kind to specifically thank us viewers for our support.  You can view the “ensemble” acceptance speech below in the Downton Dish section.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Scots around the world celebrated poet Rabbie Burns this weekend (more below).

In tribute to the Russian refugees who Rose adopted and whom Violet has a connection with, this week’s dish is Beef Beet Borscht, a traditional Russian dish.  It is hearty healthy and inexpensive soup, perfect to feed your own army during the cold winter months.

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Spotted Dick Served With Your Downton Abbey

Spotted Dick
For the uninitiated, Spotted Dick is a lovely steamed English pudding.

It’s Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year.  It is a British thing.  While Americans celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King on the third Monday of January, a 2005 promotional campaign for Sky Travel decided we needed to be reminded just how long and bleak winter can feel after the holidays are over, the credit card bills have come in and Spring is far off. It has been scientifically disproven as nonsense, but still lingers.  When I lived in Atlanta I was at ground zero for Martin Luther Day, but I should think we should all spend our time today focussing on how we can influence positive outcomes that Dr. King was so passionate about.

And to add more levity to your day, I suppose Julian Fellowes couldn’t hold out any longer. It was finally time to bring out the spotted dick, a classic English pudding served this week on S5E3.  Mrs. Patmore delivered the line so quickly there wasn’t much time for snickering.  Considering how this episode opens (with Mary in bed with Tony) a little sexual innuendo is not out of place.

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