‘Downton Abbey’ fan creates show-inspired cookbook

Updated 03 February 2013
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‘Downton Abbey’ fan creates show-inspired cookbook

Sizzling British hit “Downton Abbey” has stolen the hearts of its legions of avid fans, but one viewer hopes the television show will steal its way to their stomachs as well.
Canadian culinary historian Pamela Foster has crafted a cookbook based on the early 20th century British cuisine featured in the show — though she’s given it a modern, and more healthful twist.
So don’t expect to find a recipe for kidney souffle in Foster’s book, no matter how much Downton’s lords and ladies — and their maids and footmen — may have enjoyed it.
“Some of the food, people nowadays just wouldn’t like it,” she said of the dishes that use “parts of animals that most people aren’t used to eating anymore.”
Foster also reduced the fat content and amended the cooking methods so the recipes could more easily be replicated by today’s cooks. And she took out some of the butter to lighten up the rich pastries served with tea “to make them healthier.”
“There are some recipes (Scotch eggs or fritters) I wouldn’t touch because they’re fried,” Foster said in a telephone interview from her Toronto-area home.
Foster, whose blog DowntonAbbeyCooks.com chronicles her thoughts on the show with recipes to fit the mood, started the project last year after a marathon viewing of the first season.
“Each episode, I paid close attention to what was being served. Some was just mentioned, and some you saw on camera,” Foster said.
The author told AFP she had long been interested in the cuisine of Britain’s noble elite, because her husband traces his roots to a family like Downton’s Crawleys. Foster’s blog turned into an e-cookbook “Abbey Cooks Entertain” and now, due to its huge popularity, a print version is being considered.
She explained that the cuisine of the Edwardian period was influenced by both French and Indian foods.
“Edward VII loved food, sauces and curries in particular, and people did then as (royal watchers) do now: They did what the king did and his food passions spread,” Foster explained.
Many of the recipes are easy even without kitchen staff, she said, because French chef Auguste Escoffier simplified them at the end of the 19th century.
However, she cautioned that Downton’s fans probably won’t want to eat exactly like the aristocracy did back then.
The English aristocracy, wary of fresh vegetables they believed caused scurvy, ate a lot of meat and fish bathed in French sauces in the upstairs dining rooms, while servants ate mostly vegetables downstairs.
Moreover, “if you were the king, you ate five or six times a day, multiple courses... and then had a midnight snack. To eat like they did, you’d spend all day eating,” she said.



Her cookbook includes 220 recipes, including the roast chicken Mrs.Patmore dropped on the floor in the first season of the show and the apple charlotte that she refused to make.
“I tried to give a flavor of the cuisine,” Foster said. “It’s nice to give British cuisine a boost in popularity and respect. They were known as the worst cooks in the world, except for the Scots and their broth.”


WWE’s Roman Reigns hails ‘unbelievable’ Saudi Arabia

Updated 57 min 33 sec ago
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WWE’s Roman Reigns hails ‘unbelievable’ Saudi Arabia

  • Greatest Royal Rumble event takes place in Jeddah on Friday
  • The event marks the start of a 10-year partnership between WWE and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: If you believe the hype, including his own, WWE’s Roman Reigns has come to Saudi Arabia to win at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
But ask him about outside of the ring, and his visit to the Kingdom, the athlete says that everyone is winning, from WWE, to its athletes and the new fans they have met here.
“It’s the best feeling to be here in Saudi Arabia. Whenever you go to a new country for the first time and they see you for the first time, it really escalates that excitement, it makes it so special.
“It’s unbelievable coming to Saudi Arabia. We are always trying to break new ground, to move forward, break new ground, we are always trying to do better. I think this is a great example.”
The Greatest Royal Rumble marks the start of a 10-year partnership between WWE and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. Samoa Joe will compete in an Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match against Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor and The Miz in one of an incredible seven Championship matches at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
WWE fans will also see John Cena vs Triple H, The Undertaker take on Rusev and Brock Lesnar compete against Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage Universal Championship match.
“We are trying to show Saudi Arabia to the world, that’s a big thing. We trying to be there for progress, to get better as human beings, to promote equality. Anything you can do on that level, it’s greater than you can do in the ring,” said Roman, at a press conference in Jeddah.
“It’s the best feeling to be here in Saudi Arabia. Whenever you go to a new country for the first time and they see you for the first time, it really escalates that excitement, it makes it so special.
“It’s so gratifying. There’s no real way to describe it, each time I get thrown down, any time I’m in pain, and I get that special energy and emotion back from the ground it makes it so worth it.
“I can’t wait to get to the stadium. When that curtain goes back and you see thousands of fans, when you hear that reaction, that emotion, that’s when you feel like superman.”
The event, which is now sold out, will air live in the Middle East on MBC Action, KSA Sports 1, Abu Dhabi Sports 1 and Abu Dhabi Sports 6, as well as stream live on Dawri Plus.
For WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil his goal is very clear, he’s here to entertain and spread a message that no matter where you are in the world, there are common things that unite us all.
“Our job is to put smiles on people’s faces and those faces are all colors, all religions, all backgrounds. We are entertainers and I feel our company, WWE, does the best job of breaking barriers and going into different situations and making the absolute best from it.
“That absolute best is making sure that every single person that comes to one of our events has a life-changing experience in Saudi Arabia and in Jeddah. This is the first time we are here, it’s the first time a Royal Rumble has had 50 men in the ring, and the first time that every single match is a championship match.
“Where-ever we are in the world we don’t separate by color or creed, we just want to entertain the masses. At the end of the day we all rooted in love and I embrace that, regardless of who you are, what religion you are we are all the same.
“Sports definitely unifies people and WWE have been doing it for years, bringing people from all different backgrounds into arenas and in front of televisions at home.
“The fact this show sold out in a very short space of time goes to show the fanbase is as strong here as it is anywhere else in the world.”