There is always time for tea and Downton gossip. The days are getting longer, and the warmer weather is slowly starting to make itself at home. Encouraged, Lord D. bought me a new pink bicycle which I will name Daisy, although she looks like a Penelope to me.
Sadly all is not right in the world. Last Monday I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer. Yesterday the we are stunned by the senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon. I always looked forward to race day, when I could put months of training to the test. From joy of accomplishment to utter shock and disbelief in a blink of an eye. My prayers to all those affected, and a way forward so that we can live in a kinder gentler world.
But we must put on a happy face and move forward. As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Check out my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.
Last week we made DIY Jello, this week today’s dish is Victorian Strawberry Water Ice, one of many ices (aka frozen desserts) I fancied enough to put in my cookbook.
It will have to hold you for a few weeks as I will be offline planning and then taking a trip to Bermuda. See you in May with new recipes.
Some Downton news to help carry you through Downton Downtime until we meet again for Season 4:
- Season 4 Casting News: if you can’t resist peaking…
- Joan Collins the latest to dream of Downton role
- Downton BAFTA nom this year limited to Craft Award for Donal Woods
- My Weekly Downton Recap from S3 for Vision TV in Canada: S3E1, a long and winding road
Abbey Cooks Entertain: Downton Garden Party Planning
With 220 Downton era recipes, you will want to get this book for recipes for the famous Downton dishes from Season 1-5. I also presented a whole chapter on Garden Parties. Experimenting with ices (ice creams and frozen yoghurts) was my favorite part.
Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to keep bringing you new dishes each week. You can only get a signed copy here on my site. If you don’ have an eReader I would suggest the PDF version which can be printed, if you like. Click here to shop.
All About Ices
If you remember way back to the Garden Party episode before the war, Daisy was charged with ensuring that the ices didn’t melt. Ices (frozen desserts) were a staple at garden parties. Simple ices made of summer fruits were fancied by Edwardians, often frozen into elaborate metal moulds representing the shape of the fruits themselves. I find it an amazing feat since they did not have the convenience of our conventional freezers.
The estate dairy provided plenty of whole milk and cream so that the country house cook could also create a variety of rich ice creams to offer guests. You can recreate the same effect of moulded ices using simple silicon moulds in interesting shapes. Freezing your mixture into popsicles also counts, but feel free to simply serve your ices in small dessert bowls.
You can make ices without an ice cream maker by simply placing your mixture into the freezer to let set, and mixing it every hour or so, but it is time consuming and the consistency just isn’t the same. Ice cream makers aerate the mixture to give it a full rich taste, and do the work in as little as 20 minutes. Modern electric ice cream makers are compact and take all the time and labour out of the old hand cranked versions.