Boxing Day Feast, a la Downton Abbey. Smashing!


Glazing the Duck

I’m eternally stoked to be connected with a family that embraces the whimsical theme meal as much as I do. As much as I love Downton Abbey, it was actually NOT my idea to have a Boxing Day Feast in honor of the show’s third season, soon to begin airing stateside (and the spoiler-laden season 3 Christmas Special, for those who were caught up through creative means). This was the brainchild of my sisters Kate and Amy, also avid Downton watchers, food enthusiasts, and costume facilitators. I was merely happy to oblige with a menu:

Calvados-Glazed Roast Duck with Apple Sauce
Bubble & Squeak Patties (with Brussels sprouts)
Cornish Pasties with Butternut Squash, Pine Nuts & Sage
Mushy Peas
Sticky Toffee Ebelskiver Parfaits

Calvados (or Hard Cider) Glazed Roast Duck

Calvados (or Hard Cider) Glazed Roast Duck

    • Next up, a bubble & speak recipe. A little ironic given that bubble & squeak is more of a potato-based template for leftovers than it is a formal recipe in itself, but Serious Eats provided a great version in patty form. No leftovers required!

      Bubble & Squeak Patties

      Bubble & Squeak Patties, bubbling away

    • Cornish pasties seemed like an essential component, plus adding a vegetarian option for our veggie guests, and the butternut squash pasties from The Kitchn were a perfect solution. Luckily, there was enough filling leftover that I filled a few ramekins and baked it all by itself. Totally worth trying in both forms!
Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasties with Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nut filling

  • Mushy peas. Who better to turn to than Nigella for a British comfort food classic? Alas, my copy of How To Eat was not on hand, so we found a rendition courtesy of Indulge and Enjoy.
  • And for dessert, I envisioned sticky toffee pudding in parfait form – and as it happened, Donna and Jim gave all the siblings an ebelskiver pan with an accompanying book for Christmas. Said book featured a recipe for Sticky Toffee Ebelskivers, and the result was delish.


Dinner Table

The Dinner Table, complete

I can heartily recommend any of the above recipes – they all turned out superbly. From the lords and ladies of Kelly Manor to yours, we wish you Happy Viewing!



  1. says

    What a lovely meal and well appreciated. You are a wise Abbey Cook, you don’t need use Calvados when hard cider will do. Your duck turned out brilliantly.

    MY NEW DOWNTON COOKBOOK: If you want more entertaining ideas, you can download my ebook with 220 recipes to help you entertain at brunch, afternoon tea, dinner upstairs and down, garden parties and holiday celebrations. Hogmanay (Scottish New Years) is just around the corner. There are also plenty of basics to help stock your Abbey larder or pantry.


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