19th century, afternoon adventure, dining at downton, history lesson, vacation, victorians

Afternoon Adventure: Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park

About a month ago I met up with my parents in Hyde Park, New York, for a weekend of sight-seeing and poking around historic places (this is the order of the day with my family). After touring two painters' homes on the first day, we headed to the Vanderbilt Mansion bright and early on Saturday.… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park

activities, adventure, afternoon adventure, honesty, newport, rhode island, spring, victorians

Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

I want to say something meaningful about all this horrifying news coming out of Boston, but I can't find the words. There's only so much sadness I can take in at a time, especially when it's on such a vast scale as the Marathon and a citywide manhunt. At some point I just need to… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

britain, dining at downton, edwardians, fish, grains, india, mrs beeton's book of household management, victorians

Dining at Downton: Kedgeree

Kedgeree is the very first dish served on Downton Abbey. Mrs. Patmore sends a steaming bowl up for breakfast, and with that we're immersed in the sumptuous world of Edwardian cuisine. Brits still eat kedgeree today, and it's one of those dishes that carries a few hundred years of British history along with it. Plus,… Continue reading Dining at Downton: Kedgeree

britain, dining at downton, edwardians, fish, lessons learned, mrs beeton's book of household management, victorians

Dining at Downton: Fried oysters

How many of you watched the Season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey last night? We did, after some technical difficulties, and it was every bit as lavish and funny and swoony as we'd hoped. While a certain someone (cough Josh cough) kept inserting comments about one character's rumored departure from the show, I was on tenterhooks… Continue reading Dining at Downton: Fried oysters

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, disaster, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to serve plum pudding

We had a relatively quiet Christmas here in Ohio, seeing family and telling funny stories and going for long, snowy walks and eating good food. As per tradition, we served plum pudding for dessert on Christmas night, along with a lot of other treats (frosted cookies, red velvet cake, petit fours...). We don't mess around… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to serve plum pudding

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to steam plum pudding

On Saturday we talked about how to make your own plum pudding, the most classic of British holiday desserts. (Yes, I am still wondering where the plums are in the recipe.) Today we'll discuss the cooking process, which is a rather elaborate steaming method. It requires parchment paper, cooking twine, a water bath, and lots… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to steam plum pudding

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to make plum pudding

This time of year, my family is all about tradition. Previously I wrote about the Brunswick stew we've kept from my mom's side of the family, though I tested out a Williamsburg variation of the recipe. That's still on the menu this year. My sister and I maintain important traditions like decorating the tree while… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to make plum pudding

beverages, britain, dining at downton, mrs beeton's book of household management, victorians

Dining at Downton: The perfect cup of tea

You know you're in a committed relationship when you start buying the foods your significant other likes. When Josh and I started dating, we quickly discovered that while we both enjoy tea, there are a few major differences in our habits:Josh loves green teaI prefer black tea, but usually I'd rather drink coffeeJosh hates coffeeThey pose… Continue reading Dining at Downton: The perfect cup of tea

britain, dining at downton, edwardians, victorians

A very British announcement!

It's no secret that I'm a bit of an Anglophile. This, combined with my love of history, made me fall utterly and irrevocably in love with Downton Abbey.For those of you not in the know, Downton Abbey is a PBS historical drama (ITV in the UK) chronicling the secrets, romances, and tragedies of the aristocratic… Continue reading A very British announcement!