The US and Canada celebrated Labour Day yesterday. The long weekend marks the unofficial end of Summer and the last day of freedom for many children who are back to school today. Labour Day dates back to 1882 and I like to believe the story that it was inspired by Toronto’s Labour Festival.
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. Today’s treat is Angel Food cake, begging the question, can I still serve this low fat treat after Labour Day?
My Online Guide to the Tea Ritual
Taking a traditional “afternoon tea” is definitely a bucket list experience. To do it properly, I have created a handy guide to help you enjoy the experience: Downton Abbey Cooks Online Guide to Afternoon Tea.
Dishing Downton: Spoiler Alerts
I am reminded by that when I asked Hugh Bonneville (@hughbon) about the smelly lobster on set, he tweeted back saying we shouldn’t believe everything we hear or see, so take some of these reports with a grain of salt.
WARNING: if you wish to remain in ignorant bliss about that is going to happen in Season 3, I would suggest you scroll right down to our recipe of the day. After a flurry of activity last week, it has been relatively quiet leading up to the holiday.
- Downton Season 3 Launch: The biggest news this week is the reveal of the date when Downton Abbey will premier on STV and ITV: September 16th.
- Pictures from Season 3, E1: Huffington Post UK posted pictures of all our favorite characters from the first episode.
- Introducing Alfred: William has passed, Thomas has been promoted, leaving an opening for O’Brien to slip in her nephew as new footman. Julian Fellowes talks about the new character played by the talented Matt Milne (from War Horse).
- The Irish Situation: Also from Julian Fellowes, foreshadows of Season 3 plot lines involving Ireland in the early 1920s.
Never Fail Angel Food Cake
In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white. I wonder if that also applies to white summer foods like Angel Food Cake? Just to be sure I made one last cake this weekend. It is a great low fat dessert on its own but also very versatile. It is a tried and true heart healthy dessert. You would think that since it is a base ingredient for English trifle (try my low fat version), it originated in the UK. Actually Angel Food cake is from America. So, unlike the sparks flying between Downton matriarchs Violet and Martha, the trifle represents a harmony of the two cultures. Perhaps Lord Grantham will sit them both down to share a portion.