Downton Abbey’s episode 4 (airing January 26, 2014) kept the plot moving along and although I can’t say I thought it was a strong episode, it had its moments.
For one, is Bates a sociopath? Anna and Mrs. Hughes are convinced he will go out and murder someone (again!). If he would so easily do that, WHY are you married to him?
He menaces sweet Mrs. Hughes to get her to swear on her dear mother’s grave and tell the secret that she promised Anna she’d keep. Bates, get a a grip on yourself!
The Alfred “I dream a dream of being top chef” plot line continues and he travels to the Ritz Hotel London to test for a position in the hotel kitchen.
The culinary test sequence was short but we know they were to make 4 dishes, one of them vichyssoise (cold potato and leek soup.) In a subsequent scene, we see the French chef tasting what looks to be a poached pear with chocolate sauce and two other preparations smothered in white sauce (one which looks like a chicken leg quarter and one which looks like a hamburger patty, blech!)
We may never know what he was tested on because Alfred placed #5 and there are only 4 positions to be filled.
Mr. Carson said it best when he said: “To fail at the first attempt does not mean you won’t succeed later.”
Did you know that Julia Child failed her first try at the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris? (She was set up by the wicked school administrator who didn’t like her very much, or Americans for that matter.) For more on that story, read this New York Times article by Julia and her nephew, Alex Prud’homme “Eat, Memory: Sacré Cordon Bleu!”
So try, try, try again!
If you think you can’t make a soufflé, try this one from Food & Wine called “Fallen Cheese Souffle.” See, even if you fail, it’s supposed to be that way! And it’s delicious.
And everyone should have a favorite homemade vinaigrette in their repertoire. Here’s mine:
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Squeeze of 1/4 quarter fresh lemon
- Optional: fresh herbs, chopped shallots, salt and pepper to taste
In a small, shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, optional salt and pepper with a small whisk or fork until the mixture is emulsified. Add the olive oil and canola oil in slow stream and whisk again until emulsified. (NOTE: I like to turn the bowl with my fingers (1/4 turns) while whisking with the other hand.)
Tune in to your local PBS station on February 2, 2014, 9 pm ET for more Downton Abbey.
Lord Grantham is going to have a surprise birthday party. I wonder what his favorite food is? (I’m guessing leg of lamb!)
Man you have put into words what I’ve been struggling with on that Bates thing. Yeah Why ARE YOU MARRIED TO HIM???? That all deserved a bigger BLECH than the meat patty.
But back to food. So hoping Alfred does succeed and we see more scenes of anachronistic gastronomisms. What, spell check? That is not a word. Well it is now in this post anyway.
I know! Bates is a psycho! Gastronomisms could be a word–or the name of a blog!
I could look at the cooking school photos forever, love the French vintage kitchen. So textural, so neutral, so fun to work in!
Souffle looks delicious. I am going to make. But don’t know that I have the right vessel….
What kind of cheese do you use?
I used a grated blend of 5 Italian cheeses (parmesan, romano, asiago, provolone, mozzarella) because that’s what I had on hand. Cheddar, gruyere, swiss would all work well. If you do try the recipe, test the center for doneness–I cooked mine about 8 minutes longer than directed because I used a deep-ish souffle dish. A small ceramic or glass casserole dish would work if you have one of those.
Oh, about Bates. sigh. I did love how he comforted Anna. Will she heal? Or sinister plot, will she be with child?
I hope he creates a brilliant, conniving plot to “ruin” the rapist without killing him (set him up to get royally caught with his pants down so to speak), less the show turn
He did say “It’s not done with.” So I’m sure he’ll be plotting something. If someone were to tell Lord Gillingham I’m sure he’d fire the evil valet.