I received a Downton Abbey Cookbook and a Cocktail Book for Christmas. So I have been exploring these recipes recently. So this represents the last 10 days of this journey.
I started this segment with on January 18 with a Baltimore Eggnog. It has one egg, brandy, port and milk with grated nutmeg on top. It is, of course, not as good as my grandfather’s egg nogs but still very drinkable.
On January 20 I made Sardine Salad. It has endive and watercress (both challenging to find locally) with parsley, capers, sardines, hard boiled egg yolk, Dijon, cayenne, olive oil and lemon juice. It was very elegant to eat.
Also on January 20 was the London Cocktail. This was simply orange bitters, gin and absinthe. The picture in the book showed it as a cloudy white drink so not sure where I went wrong, but it was tasty. I do love absinthe.
On January 21 I was planning on making Ham with Red Wine and Almonds. But the recipe called for almond macaroons. I could not find them in the grocery store so quickly googled a recipe which was from Martha Stewart and bought ingredients for them. Unfortunately these macaroons were chewy and not crisp.
The recipe calls for you to mix the wine and orange juice and then add some cookie that you have pounded into a powder. These cookies did not pound into a powder so we ended up with chunks. You basically simmer thick slices of cooked ham in this mixture and add orange zest at the end.
I had a Sherry Flip while I was making this. It is basically sherry and an egg shaken together in ice and then nutmeg on top. It was actually tastier than it sounds but again looked nothing like the photo of a pink relatively clear drink.
And here is the dinner. The chunks of macaroons were a little odd, but the ham tasted OK. Not sure I will make it again though. But I did later find a recipe for almond macaroons in the cookbook so I might try those as these macaroons went to the chickens.
Last Wednesday I made a Tuxedo Cocktail No. 2. This is gin, vermouth, Luxardo, absinthe and orange bitters with a cherry and lemon twist. This drink was elegant looking and my favorite so far.
I sipped on this while I made Cornish Pasties. The dough had suet in it so that was interesting for me. The filling is apples, pork shoulder, bacon, Worcestershire sauce and fresh sage (most of which came from our farm as well as the suet). Here they are all cooked up minus the two we ate. They were good and felt very British.
On Saturday I made myself a Coffee Cocktail. This may seem surprising, but I do not have an espresso machine so used (gasp!) instant espresso. This was mixed with brandy and cream. It was tasty.
I sipped on this while I made Pork Chops with Sauce Robert. The first step in this is to make the Sauce Espagnole. This involved simmering butter fried shallot, turnip, carrot, bacon, beef stock, canned tomatoes, wine, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, cloves and a bay leaf together for one hour and then straining it. Here is that sauce prepared.
Then you mix a cup of this sauce with more butter fried shallot, white wine and mustard and simmer it to make the Sauce Robert.
Then you fry salted pork chops in oil until they are done and remove them. You then fry chopped parsley in the same pan (something I have never done before). You sprinkle the fried parsley on the pork chops.
You then serve them with the sauce. I must say that this sauce is one of the best things I have ever tasted and totally worth the effort. I put it on my mashed potatoes and peas too!
On Sunday I made a Sidecar. It is brandy, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice in a sugar rimmed glass. Very elegant and tasty.
For dinner I made myself Eggs A La St. James. Tom would have nothing to do with this. I placed parsley and smoked paprika in the bottoms of butter muffin cups. The anchovies were curled on the bottom with some cream and then an egg on top. The muffin tin was then set in another pan with boiling water and cooked at 325 degrees. The recipe says 10-12 minutes but it took 18 before I felt the whites were set. In the meantime you whip more cream with cayenne pepper. You then cut a whole in a slice of bread and toast it. Finally you assemble it all with the egg in the hole and the whipped cream on top which immediately starts to melt.
This was an interesting meal but quite fishy with the anchovies. Not sure I will make this again.
So I explored the Swedish foods and drinks before last summer’s trip to Sweden. Now I guess I am exploring my British side. My ancestors there were somewhat well-off as I understand it, but I don’t think they were at the level of the Granthams. So not sure if they ate these types of foods and drank these cocktails or not, but it is fun to think that they might have. Of course, a lot of these recipes are from the early 1900s when my direct ancestors had already left. So probably not.
By the way, the first part of the cookbook has the recipes for the upstairs and the latter part has the downstairs. I just started at the front with recipes that interested me and that we had ingredients for. The downstairs will come later. Many of the cocktails I do not have the ingredients for. But Tom is going to the liquor store in Bellingham as we speak to pick up some more ingredients so I can try some more of the recipes. Some of these ingredients I have never heard of before, much less tried so this will be an adventure. There are 6 ingredients that I cannot find locally so this may require a trip south at some point.