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

S6OppositesAttract
…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 S6E4 Served at Luncheon with Chicken Liver Pâté

6E4Gwen
S1 Maid Gwen returns upstairs as Mrs. Harding. (ITV)

Fellow Downton fans across America and Canada have now settled in nicely with Season 6 to keep them warm these cold winter Sunday nights. There are still 6 more episodes to go before the end of this glorious series, and I for one am savoring every last bite of this sumptuous feast.

A wee dram of scotch will help keep Scots warm round the world today as they pipe in the haggis to celebrate Robert Burns Day. A history and less intimidating food choices are listed below.

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.  This week we see Daisy taking out her frustrations out on the mashed potatoes, and pudding served as dessert, but it is the chicken liver pâté she was making for Gwen’s luncheon that we will be making today.

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Final Days until Historic Vote & Downton S5 in the UK

ScottishEnglish It is a historic week in the UK. While American Downton Abbey fans might be envious about the launch of Season 5 on ITV this Sunday, it is the Scottish Referendum which has the captured the world’s attention.  This Thursday, September 18th, Scots will vote on a simple question “Should Scotland  be an independent country?  To keep up to date, follow BBC coverage at Scotland Decides.

In this last week of Downton Downtime in the UK, today’s dish is Made Over Pork Stew. I prefer to use the term “made over” over “left over” when creating a downstairs dish from the remainders of an upstairs meal.

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Celebrate Labour Day with Peach and Blueberry Galette

CookingupSeason5
Downton script meeting, pre water bottle gate*

The end of August marks the unofficial end of Summer, and the last long weekend before school and work brings up back inside. Sadly, this year served up more cool and rainy days than many would have preferred for our summer.  The UK experienced the chilliest August bank holiday on record this week, and fingers are crossed in North America for one last burst of sunshine as we celebrate Labour Day.

This year’s harsh winter delayed the start of the growing season, but our local markets are overflowing with wonderful fresh produce.  My own little garden flourished once it got going, but it is the fruit I really look forward to this time of year.  All those lovely tree fruits for wonderful summer desserts.

This week’s dish is peach and blueberry galette.  No need for pie plates or tart forms. This is a simple recipe with a no fuss crust, and easy to find fillings, to finish your off your Labour Day meal.

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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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Downton’s Drop Scones are Simply Delicious “Pocket” Pancakes

Be safe out there this Black Friday
Be safe out there this Black Friday

The US will soon will be alive with the sights and smells of Thanksgiving cooking.  No time to dwell on Downton Abbey this week as shopping lists are being prepared from time honored recipes passed down from mother to daughter.  If you think cooking for your extended family a few times a year is tough, imagine Mrs. Patmore, Daisy, Ivy and the kitchen staff preparing  multi course meals every night. I really don’t know how they did it.

The Dowager should have every reason to ask “What is Black Friday?” since this is an American invention dating back to the 19th century.  Perhaps we can bridge the cultural gap with the introduction of today’s Downton dish: Drop Scones.  They are not like American drop biscuits, but rather delicious mini (pocket) pancakes.  Imagine tucking a few of them into your pockets as a snack during your Black Friday shopping marathon.

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Tea Tuesday: Downton Downtime Downstairs Dining and Fundraising

Afternoon tea in Calgary
Afternoon tea at any Fairmont hotel is delightful, including the Palliser Hotel in Calgary.

I am jetting back today from my “surf and turf” holiday with my family out in Calgary, Alberta.  I spent week one salmon fishing with Dad and my brothers on the west coast, and week two on the family estate (farm), complete with horses and hay, dogs and other working animals.  In our travels we did see the devastation the floods did to the Calgary area, but with help of volunteers come “hell or high water” the Calgary Stampede went ahead, attracting over one million visitors this year.

Going home certainly reminds you of what made you the person today.  Growing up I often found myself in the kitchen preparing family meals, freeing up mom and the others to tend to outside chores.  The result was an early love of cooking. This week was no different, and I reveled in cooking again in my original test kitchen for the family that I love dearly.  Yup, I baked up a couple of pies before heading out into the fields to help bring in the hay.

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. During Downton Downtime I only post once a week so not all the dishes here will be served at tea, but we can still put the kettle on and share Downton gossip over a nice cup of tea.

Today’s savoury dish is beef rolls.  A great dish made from your Sunday night beef dinner leftovers.

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Downton Abbey: It’s Easier to fix a Broken Hollandaise Than a Broken Heart

It is not long America. Season 3 of Downton Abbey will be on PBS Sunday starting January 6. It is time to start getting into the ritual of saving your Sunday nights to watch a Downton episode on DVD, with wine/chocolates, or a cuppa with biscuits or tea treats. Amazon actually has a streaming service so you can download the episodes and watch instantly which is great if you don’t have iTunes. Check out the links below.

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Tea Tuesday: Fall Signals the Arrival of Downton Abbey and Pumpkin Season

Cosy up for Award Winning Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Rose Lounge in London.

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. “A Proper Tea is Much Nicer than a Nearly Nice Tea“- A.A. Milne.  Life is grand in the UK now that Season 3 is well under way, sad in the US as PBS won’t be broadcasting the new season until January.  Devoted foodie Downton fans will be looking forward to carefully planning S3 launch parties (check out my link to upstairs/downstairs theme ideas) or perhaps booking tickets to the S3 Culinary Launch Weekend at the Essex Resort in Vermont (see details below).

The British may have historically failed in other culinary areas*, but excel in the tea ritual.  Each Tuesday 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 history. Today’s treat is Guilt-Free Pumpkin Tartlets to celebrate the arrival of Fall.

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Tea Tuesday: Witty Downton Retorts Served with Custard Tarts

Award winning afternoon tea at the Palm Court in Langham Hotel in London.

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, my weekly tribute to the art of having tea. As Henry James once said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

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 may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they 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.

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