It is October. Some of the trees in our neighbourhood have already given in to the inevitable and shed their leaves in one fell swoop, while others are beginning to change from green to red and gold. While I grumble about winter, I do enjoy the glorious display of trees in technicolour splendour. As a cook, I also love the transition from light supper meals to the heartier dishes when root vegetables are in their glory.
A few weeks ago, I helped answer the question of what to do when your Lord brings home a bushel of tomatoes. This week’s challenge is what to do with the 20 pounds of carrots that begged him to bring home. Lord D makes a mean pork roast, so some of the carrots were roasted. Others were made into my favourite healthy carrot cake, topped with carrot curls. But when you have a large number of carrots, nothing does the trick like today’s dish, carrot ginger soup. Just like watching Downton Abbey, it is a satisfying mix of upstairs and down.
UK fans are settling into Season 4 and see that life really does carry on at Downton without Matthew. We will also soon find out through our PBS affiliate, but not until January (see the countdown clock above). If you live outside the UK you can still get reacquainted with past episodes. If you haven’t seen all seasons (1-4) beware of spoilers below.
- Not a warm welcome: Lady Rose not initially a hit with fans
- Mr. Carson hints at Happy Ending: will he and Mrs. Hughes ever get together?
- All’s Quiet on the US Front. Are Americans finished with Downton?
- Jazz in Britain in the 20s: Edwardian Promenade blog provides a primer
- Be a Lady: Michelle Dockery on the importance of grace
- S4E2 Spoiler: Anna helps a former servant
What I will Say about Season 4
Since Downton fans span the globe I will be watching along with the UK fans, but promise not to divulge major spoilers before January. I did keep quiet last year (although it was really hard) so I think I can be trusted.
There are a few things I will say about Season 4E2:
- Downton Abbey returns its focus on how to save the beloved country home.
- Lady Mary realizes life goes on and she is given a new purpose in life.
- Rose is as impulsive as in Season 3.
- Mrs. Patmore had a great pearl of wisdom: “nothing is so easily changed as a young man’s heart.”
Abbey Cooks Entertain: Cause Season 4 is (Almost) Here
With 220 traditional Downton era recipes with a modern twist, this is a great book to have on hand when planning a Downton cocktail party with fellow fans. 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.
Tools you Can Use
Cooks, like other professionals, have their tools and as Mrs. Patmore says “it is a poor workman who blames his tools”. You can make do with the basics, but as you gain confidence and love for cooking, you should start to recognize items to help you cook. Mrs. Patmore didn’t have electronic gadgets to cook with so be assured you can make do without the expensive gizmos. This section helps you identify some equipment that I use. If you wish you can order directly from Cooking.com or Amazon.com, both reputable stores I have used in the past.
Immersion Blenders: Forget the new mixer, Daisy would have gone bonkers for the immersion blender which makes it easy to puree soups.