Dr Lepesant Lessay Abbey

Charlie Carson and Elsie Hughes finally get married (ITV)

Another week of 2016 has slipped through our fingers so quickly that I won’t be disappointed to discover that winter will be over before I know know it, with just a hop and a skip until summer. Well, at least the days are starting to get noticeably longer.

Sadly, Downton didn’t do so well at the Golden Globes last Sunday; Joanne Froggat and Dame Maggie came up short, but Joanne did make the top ten best dressed list, and had some good press.

This was a wonderful week for Downton romantics, though. We haven’t been so thrilled over a downstairs wedding since John Bates married Anna. But will there be wedded bliss?

In keeping with tradition here, I will continue to share a recipe from each episode which gets on screen mention as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. There were a few dishes mentioned in tonight’s episode: dover sole, peaches over brandy, crown roast, but since it is winter I settled for simple comfort. Fit for the Dowager, today’s recipe is drinking or hot chocolate, so simple even Denker can make it.

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gourds and candles make a lovely Thanksgiving table photo: Hudson Grows

Across America, experienced cooks are finalizing their Thanksgiving dinner menus, and double checking their order for fresh turkey.  Less experienced cooks are summoning up the courage to take on their first big meal, excited about starting new family traditions of their own, but nervous about how it will all come together. The rest are finalizing their travel plans or still scrambling to find a spot at a dinner table somewhere.

Thanksgiving is a North American holiday so the Dowager may well ask “What is a Thanksgiving Dinner?” The British don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the same way.  Instead, harvest festivals are held across the UK during the month of October, but there is no big holiday meal.  In Canada our Thanksgiving holiday is held the second Monday in October, presumably since our growing season is shorter.  It has nothing on American Thanksgiving as I learned from living in the US.  As an outsider, it occurs to me that it has greater significance as a time to gather family and friends than Christmas.  For that, America, do give thanks this holiday weekend.

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