Welcome Back To “Downton Abbey”!
This is Highclere Castle, the “real” home of Downton Abbey!
This is the castle where “Downton Abbey” is filmed, and guess what? So much of the TV show is based on real events!
First, here is a series of teaser trailers for season 6 of “Downton Abbey”, which premieres in England soon!
Let’s begin with the latest trailer:
And if you need to see ALL of the new season’s promos, here they are all compiled in one fun “Downton Abbey” string!
I love this show – the rich characters, historical perspective, and of course, the drama! So where did Creator Julian Fellowes come up with this stuff?
How about – FROM THE SOURCE!
Lady Almina The The Real Downton Abbey – Welcome To Highclere Castle!
Yes, there is an incredible true life story as recounted in the book “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey”!
It tells the extraordinary story of life before, during and after the First World War – all through the eyes of Lady Almina from Highclere Castle.
Alina married the 5th Earl when she was 19, and the book shares fascinating stories on life, both upstairs and downstairs, at the Castle during Edwardian times – a “real life” Downton Abbey!
Alina lives the life of a Countess, in a household just like what you see on “Downton Abbey” – full of pomp, circumstance and tragedy as well. She attended the funeral of Queen Victoria, the coronation of Edward VII and all the other grand and royal events.
Alina’s life is captured well in the show, as her life changed in August 1914 when the First World War broke out. Almina rolled up her sleeves, turned Highclere Castle into a hospital and began to admit patients coming back from the trenches.
This real-life tale was captured well in “Abbey” as well…this is a great book for fans of that era in history…
All this great history makes me hungry! And guess what? There’s a “Downton Abbey” Cookbook!
I love this book, full of great recipes inspired by the show…including one of England’s all-time best names for a dessert:
The most famous recipe from “Downton Abbey” Season 5 is Spotted Dick, which is a classic english custard dessert. “Spotted” refers to the currants or raisins in the pudding. “Dick” refers to pudding, or a reference to the German word dick, meaning thick or viscous.
Thanks to Chef Naresh Vyas for this recipe!
Serves 6 – 8
2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
4 tsp. (20 ml) baking powder
¼ tsp. (1 ml) each clove powder, allspice and mace powder
4½ oz. (125g) shredded suet* (make sure it is cold)
1½ cups (180 g currants) (include a little chopped candied orange or lemon peel if you prefer)
1⁄3 cup (80 g) caster sugar
Fine zest of 1 lemon
Fine zest of 1 small orange
2 ⁄3 cup (150 ml) whole milk, plus 2–3 tbsp. (30–45 ml)
Custard or non fat greek yoghurt to serve
Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the suet, currants, sugar, lemon and orange zest and spices. Mix well.
Add the milk (except the 2–3 tbsp.) and mix to a firm but moist dough, adding the extra milk if necessary.
Shape into a fat roll about 8 inches (20 cm) long. Place on a large rectangle of baking parchment. Wrap loosely to allow for the pudding to rise and tie the ends with string like a Christmas cracker. Alternatively, you can wrap the log in muslin as it will let in the steam. Tie it loosely so it can expand as it cooks.
Stove method: Place a steamer over a large pan of boiling water, add the pudding to the steamer, cover and steam for 1½ hours. Top up the pan with water from time to time.
Oven method: Use a large fish poacher or similar large pan with a lid, placing the pudding on a rack in the pan with enough space for water underneath. Pour in boiling water just short of the rack, cover with the lid and put in oven for about 1 hour. Check until pudding is done, making sure the pan is never dry.
Remove from the steamer and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping and slicing.
Serve with Light Custard Sauce, Sweet Sauce or non fat greek yoghurt.
You can also flambé the pudding with brandy like you would with a plum pudding.
And if you are too lazy to bake it, just buy it out of a can like I do!
See more terrific “Downton” recipes by clicking here:
Now, if you love “Downton Abbey”, then you will also love the movie that is in some ways a prequel:
“Gosford Park” was directed by Robert Altman, and was written by “Downton Abbey” Creator Julian Fellowes, who also wrote another great novel about British society, “Snobs” as well.
Read the entire story about “Gosford Park” AND “Snobs” here!
And let me know what you think about “Downton Abbey”!
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