Of course we must also mention Pamela Foster’s wonderful website and blog, Downton Abbey Cooks — a fabulous archive of period recipes, musings, and food history that sustained us through all six seasons of the PBS TV series. Pamela’s eBooks are still available for download: there are two editions of Abbey Cooks Entertain, as well as a Relaxing Over Afternoon Teacookbook.
So, if you want to sip, eat, nibble, feast, dine, indulge, or entertain Downton style, there are many resources available to help you get your Crawley on.
That said, it’s still nice to have an “official” Downton Abbey cookbook to drool over, now that the movie is finally out. When it comes to dining like the Crawleys, and learning more about the dishes Mrs Patmore and Daisy are busy cooking downstairs, we can never have enough. It’s by far the most delicious way to wholly emerge ourselves in that once-upon-a-romantic-time-gone-by upstairs/downstairs world.
“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” ~ Claude Monet
Today, a mini feast celebrating Claude Monet. There are very few of us who are not enamored with Impressionist art, and as writers, artists, and poets, we know only too well the great joy and frustration that can define the creative process.
You probably know that Monet developed cataracts late in life that severely impaired his acute perception of colors and light, the very hallmarks of his work. His world took on a yellowish tinge, and his paintings gradually became more reddish and muddied, the familiar scenes he so luminously depicted before appearing almost unrecognizable.
In a letter to a friend he said, ” . . . my poor eyesight makes me see everything in a complete fog. It’s all very beautiful just the same and it’s this which I’d loved to have been able to convey.” When he could no longer trust his eyes, he carefully read the labels on paint tubes, kept a regular order of colors on his palette, and painted from memory.
Lisel Mueller’s poignant “Monet Refuses the Operation” is a beautiful testament to the mind’s eye, an inspiring philosophy, an artist’s credo, a passionate affirmation for all creatives: there’s more than one way of seeing.
If, like me, you’re a Downton Abbey fan still reeling from the tragic events of this past Sunday’s Episode 4 and are in dire need of comfort, you’ve come to the right place.
There now, have a nice cup of tea and we’ll talk.
HOW COULD THEY??!!
Lady Sybil was my favorite Crawley sister, and as Mrs. Hughes said, “The sweetest spirit under this roof is gone.” I’ll certainly miss her progressive thinking, optimism and open-hearted goodness. The episode was a painful reminder of how powerless even upper class women were when it came to critical medical decisions. Who knows a patient better than her lifelong physician? Who knows a child better than her own mother? And what about a husband’s right to decide what happens to his wife?