Catching Downton Fever

It’s 111 days until the premiere of Downton Abbey’s third season–not that anyone’s counting!–and cookbook publishers are doing their best to milk the nostalgic, Downton-deprived masses.

Adams Media, which brought us the Unofficial Hunger Games and Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbooks, has come through again. The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook has the usual blend of just plausible and just silly (Mrs. Padmore’s Dropped Roast Chicken–a nod to the episode where the bird took a posthumous flight, and Mrs. P invoked the 5-second rule).

There’s the forthrightly titled Edwardian Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals.  And there’s The Grantham Cookbook, which promises to “teach readers the fascinating etiquette that goes into serving an Edwardian meal–from properly setting the places for a formal dinner to preparing a breakfast tray to dine in-room.”

I haven’t seen either of those last two, but I’ve got the Unofficial DAC. Last night, we made the “Unsinkable Cream of Barley Soup” (supposedly served on the Titanic, whose sinking provided the narrative impulse for the first season). Although it was made in haste, served with a shocking lack of etiquette, and consumed indecorously, not a drop remained.

I can’t honestly say I aspire to eat like an Edwardian aristocrat.  I can barely keep myself to the recommended 1700 or so daily calories for a person of my size and age as it is.  But I sure wouldn’t mind having Daisy around to help with the washing-up.

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