Brief Downton Eating

As I mentioned, I had started to feel better.  So on Sunday I started some Downton cooking again.  I made a cocktail to go with the cooking.  This one was the Downton Heir, in honor of Matthew becoming the heir after the prior heir had died on the Titanic.  It is gin, Cocchi Americano and dry vermouth.  For me it was not that exciting.  But I was excited to be cooking again so sipping on a cocktail while doing this was great.

I decided to make Toad-In-The-Hole.  This is a downstairs dish that I have wanted to make.  Tom said I made it before but I do not remember this,  It must not have been too exciting.  Anyway it is sausage baked for 10 minutes on the bottom of a pie pan and then a eggy batter placed on top and baked again for 45 minutes.  When it came out of the oven it was fairly puffed up.

But then it collapsed and you could see the sausagey holes.

I thought this was really great.  So great I kept getting up during commercial breaks in the Washington miniseries to get more bites from the kitchen.

On Monday I was completely free from any intestinal symptoms so thought I was out of the woods, so to speak.  I make a Summer Cup cocktail in the evening to go with a cooking marathon.  This is basically a Pimm’s cup and my first taste of Pimm’s No. 1.  It is mixed with ginger ale and garnished with cucumber.

This was OK, again nothing amazing but fun to have a unique cocktail to sip while cooking,  I started with Poached Gammon with Parsley Sauce.  This is an upstairs recipe.  I boiled a 4# ham for 2.5 hours.

Toward the end of the cooking I made a béchamel sauce.  The ham after boiling was covered in bread crumbs and then baked for 15 minutes.  Chopped fresh parsley added to the sauce and it is served.

This ham was truly amazing.  It was tender and the flavor was milder than usual.  Because of this, the sauce paired incredibly well with it.  I would have never thought about boiling ham, but this was really delicious.

While the ham was cooking I also made a Potted Cheese.  This is pureed Cheshire or equivalent cheese with butter, mace, pepper and wine.  It is supposed to be packed into a small crock.  I do not have one of these so used a small canning jar.  It is then topped with clarified butter.  I placed it in the fridge to chill and had it the next day with Mary’s crackers.

The cheese spread was unusual, I think due to the mace and the wine.  It is tasty but not amazing.  A nice snack though.

Also while the ham was boiling I made a Champagne Jelly, definitely an upstairs dish.  For this you mix gelatin with champagne and add some fruit to the middle when half of it is partly set.  I used my pudding mold for this.  Here it is just adding the strawberries.  This needed to set for at least 8 hours so became dessert on Tuesday.

Here it is all done.  The back collapsed probably because I over warmed the mold to get it out.  I liked the taste of it.  It is fun having a champagne jello as a dessert.

Unfortunately my symptoms came back with a vengeance very early Tuesday morning.  I am not sure why but it may be that I overdid it when I thought I was OK.  We did the usual animal chores but also trimmed the donkeys hooves and then I attacked the blackberry vines in the yard.  I did go to the doctor yesterday, and he basically agreed with everything I was doing except advised I take it easier and not work.  He also suggested Imodium to help me sleep at night.

So Tuesday I was worried I might still be contagious so did not want to cook for Tom.  But I did make Cauliflower Cheese for me since I knew that Tom would not want any.  This is a downstairs dish.  This is basically a chopped head of cauliflower which is briefly browned with some butter and flour, then lightly steamed for 5 minutes.  I made another béchamel sauce but this time I melted some sharp cheddar in it.  These are mixed in a baking dish and then some more grated cheese is placed on top.  It cooks for 10 minutes until the top is browned.  I am not a huge fan of cauliflower, but this was quite good.  Plus it paired well with the leftover ham.

This evening I made myself a Sub-Rosa Summer.  It is basically a Summer Cup made with ginger beer instead of ale.  Plus it has some Peychaud’s bitters and a slice of orange.  I like this one better as there is more flavor with the ginger beer and the bitters.  Plus ginger is good for your stomach, right?

So now Tom is back to doing all the chores and cooking again.  I spent the day downloading CDs onto my computer to go on my iPod.  Pretty boring.  I am sick of being sick.  Plus the weather has been nice, and I cannot enjoy it except through the window.  This is getting old.

Posted in Historic recipes, Recipes- farm | 4 Comments

Downton Cocktails during Illness

I was not supposed to do food preparation during my illness, but nobody said I couldn’t make cocktails for myself. So I continued my Downton Abbey Cocktail Book odyssey.

The first cocktail was the Improved Brandy Cocktail on Sunday evening. This one has Cognac with hints of Angostura bitters, maraschino liqueur, gum syrup and absinthe with a lemon twist. This is my first experience with gum syrup. It is supposed to give a velvety richness, but I couldn’t appreciate it. But it was a perfectly good cocktail.

Then Monday I moved on to the Refreshing Drinks chapter of the book (from the Stirred and After-Dinner Drinks one). The first one was The Suffragette.  This one is in honor of Lady Sybil.  It is a variation of a Sidecar with brandy, creme de cacao and fresh lemon juice.  I usually do not like chocolate and fruit together, but I actually liked the flavor.  But then the acidity got to my stomach, and I no longer liked it.  This may be due to my illness however so I should probably try this one again.

Tuesday evening was the Raspberry Gin Fizz.  This one has gin, fresh lime juice, raspberry syrup and club soda.  You are supposed to have raspberries as a garnish, but I managed not to freeze any of our raspberries this last year so I used one of our frozen strawberries instead.  This one was good and refreshing and did not taste like cough syrup.  

Wednesday was the Ramos Gin Fizz.  I am pretty sure I have made this before.  It is gin, fresh lime and lemon juices, orange flower water, 1 egg white, an ounce of cream and club soda.  I had to shake this hard with ice for 3 minutes but it came out quite nice.  A yummy cocktail.

On Friday I made The Abbey.  This is gin, Cocchi Americano and fresh orange juice.  This was tasty.  


So those were my illness cocktails.  Hopefully they aided in my recovery.  They at least made my week a little more interesting.  Today is the first day I am symptom-free except maybe a little tired.  And now I can start cooking again too!

Posted in Historic recipes | 4 Comments

Selling Llama Packs

We are selling our pack gear.  We no longer have llamas or pack goats so it is time to find new homes for these packs.  It is sad though because this mean I will not be back packing any more.

I have a used light blue llama pack system for sale. It includes two panniers, an integrated saddle/pad system, and two duffle bags. I am unsure of the manufacturer of this pack. The panniers are quite large as you can see from some of the photos. We used it for packing with llamas and goats, and it worked well.  I will include a rain cover, 2 cinches, a breast strap and a britching strap. This is all available for $200.

Below is a Mountain Trails training pack that can be used for llamas or goats. It is a little dirty but I will wipe it off. It is otherwise in really good condition.  $50

I am selling our blue panniers with nylon pad and metal saddle. I am not sure of the manufacture but the panniers are quite large. We used it for packing with llamas, and it worked well.$150

I have 3 sets of green Columbia Crest panniers for sale. It includes three pads and 2 metal saddles (one of which needs some repairs). I will include 3 rain covers, cinches, breast straps and britching straps. The panniers are decent sized as you can see from some of the photos. $300

Let me know if you have questions or are interested.

Posted in Farm | 2 Comments