Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Inside the Downton Abbey Kitchen
LUCY BURDETTE: I am soooo excited to introduce you to Pamela Foster, a chef and historian who has a fabulous blog called Downton Abbey Cooks. Yes, that's right it's all about the food and etiquette in Downton Abbey! (And for those of you who believe Twitter is a waste of time, I "met" Pamela after I'd tweeted one of our more irreverent blogs about an episode of Downton...she thought we looked like a fun bunch!)Pamela, we are such huge fans of Downton Abbey, we are absolutely thrilled to have you visiting. (Maybe this will help fill the void while we wait for the third season...)
Let's begin with tea. What are the top three or four things we should not do in order to avoid embarrassment during tea?
1. Pace yourself. Avoid the temptation to scarf down the whole tea tray in under five minutes.
2. Never covet another person’s scones. There should be enough for you all to share, but if not, that is what the waiter is for. And it is pronounced scon as in con.
3. Dress appropriately. I still bear the scars of being politely escorted from the Ritz in London for wearing footwear which was too casual for tea time.
4. There is a difference between Afternoon and High Tea. Afternoon tea is for girls, High Tea for boys is one way to remember the difference. Afternoon tea has scones, cakes, sandwiches and tea and held in the late afternoon tea, while High tea is held closer to 6:00 as is more of a supper with meat dishes and with luck a beer or two.
(If you would like a more serious guide to etiquette and tea, Pamela has one on her website. )
LUCY: What was your favorite "tea" episode in the series so far?
PAMELA: The Dowager is at the center of most tea time conspiracies. My favorite has to be at the end of Season 2 when Violet and Cora plot to lure Isobel towards another worthy cause, and away from Downton, so that they would be free to reclaim their home again.
LUCY: I LOVED that episode too! Could you spare a recipe, maybe for must-have scones?
PAMELA: This scone recipe will change your life. Not too much fat, not a lot of fuss and number of variations for sweet and savoury. Quicker and cheaper than a drive to your favorite coffee shop.
LUCY: A life-changing scone recipe--I love it! And you are publishing an e-cookbook? When's it coming and what will be in it and how can we get our hands on it?
PAMELA: Sharing the history and food of Downton Abbey is a personal passion of mine to provide inspiration for people to reconnect with food and try to cook a dish or two on their own. Much like my CD collection, I went to great lengths to cull my cookbook collection and am a big fan of digital versions. This allows me to take my cooking inspirations with me wherever I go. My own cookbook would help me finally dispense with the huge binders of recipes I have carried around for years.Entertaining in the Edwardian era was key to the lifestyle of the Crawleys and other aristocracy. My book, Downton Abbey Cooks Entertain, will provide recipes for a number of occasions, suiting the era as much as today. Hosting your own Downton Abbey viewing party is just as important Downton themed Christmas or garden party. I believe that anyone can be a Downton Abbey Cook. The variety of recipes will have something for the skill levels of a Mrs. Patmore, a Daisy or even a Sybil.
I was approached by Penguin USA and a California publisher to write for them, but in the end am taking the self-publishing publishing path. As a professional marketing and Social Technology Consultant, I think I should be able to swing a December release on Amazon. I am working with organizers to help Vermont Public Television host a great Season 3 culinary launch weekend at the famous Essex Resort and hope to be able to provide some of my recipes in a takeaway for that audience so I am motivated to march on to completion. Stay tuned.
LUCY: Thanks so much for visiting today! Readers, she'll be stopping in later to answer your questions!