The Morning After: Downton Abbey Brunch

Setting the table in Downton Abbey style was lots of fun. Hearing from so many of you was wonderful. Having my husband shout at the television last night, saying, “They’re measuring the silverware just like you said!” was even more fun.

GotMyReservations Downton Abbey Tablescape Intro

And so was actually eating at the table.

I will admit that I took down the big candlelabra and replaced it with a five-candle silver candlelabra so that we could actually see each other. Unlike what happened in Downton Abbey last night — remember when they “turned the table”? — my guests were allowed to talk across the brunch table. It’s just not that big.

We removed all the dishes from the staged table in order to serve the brunch plated. Since there were only five of us, it was easy to plate at my kitchen island and serve directly to the table. My husband made a wonderful footman and we had a relaxed couple of hours. We even broke every Downton Abbey rule by keeping the kitchen television on (muted, of course), so Music Man could keep track of the football games.

We started with Ree Drummond’s Carrot-Thyme Soup with Cream. I had seen this recipe on her show recently and it looked perfect to start the meal off. Frankly, I think it was my favorite. The dollop of honey made everything come together in creamy goodness. I made it on Saturday, cooled it overnight in the fridge, and then just put it in the crockpot on Sunday morning. It was perfect when we got home from church.

Next up was a Sausage and Grits Quiche recently posted by Foodie In WV. I thought it needed a little touch of sweet to go with the savory flavors of the aged cheese, and passed maple syrup at the table. We felt that it set off the flavors very well. Best of all, this recipe is a gluten-free alternative to bread-based breakfast casseroles. (As always, be sure to check your ingredients carefully to be sure there are no hidden gluten-meanies in your dish.) I also made this in advance, as noted in the recipe, and cooked it Sunday morning before we left for church.

Next came the vegetable course; we served a veggie quiche with a small salad. I mixed up a couple of recipes, including Emeril’s basic Quiche Lorraine and Martha Stewart’s Broccoli Cheddar Quiche, and ended up with a mixed veggie quiche with a light Swiss cheese base. We served this course with a small salad made of baby greens, baby tomatoes, diced English cucumber, diced dried figs, and dressed it with Dove’s Chocolate Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

GotMyReservations Downton Abbey Brunch Veggie-Swiss Quiche 2After three small courses, it was time for a light dessert. You can never go wrong with luscious fruit and a chocolate chaser, can you?

GotMyReservations Downton Abbey Brunch Cookie Dessert

Here in the empty nest, we are always looking for ways to enjoy food and friends together in a way that fits into our lifestyle. While this table setting was not relaxed with all of the dishes and silverware, the party certainly was. As we cleared the courses, we stacked up each set of serving pieces so that they were somewhat neat on the counter and I corralled the used silverware in a mug. Because it wasn’t a very large group, it was pretty easy to accomplish and still enjoy the party.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put away some dishes. πŸ™‚

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10 thoughts on “The Morning After: Downton Abbey Brunch

  1. This makes my British heart sing and my Southern tummy growl for that grits quiche!!!!!!!!

    • I highly recommend the grits quiche — everything about it was good, even for the people who were wary of both sausage and grits. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth Jane!

  2. Thanks for the mention πŸ™‚ The quiche was popular in my house too, it was a great gluten free breakfast option that even my kids loved. We love grits in our house!

    • Ann, thanks for the recipe — it was fabulous and I knew it was going to be good before I even baked it.

  3. I am just heartbroken that I didn’t start watching “Downton Abbey” from the very start! It’s hard for me to jump in on a show once it’s already started. I’m weird like that. If a movie has already begun by the time I arrive, I won’t go. I have to see it from the very first frame to the last. Yes…I think I need a shrink in the worst kind of way! πŸ™‚

    Your table was gorgeous, and the food really interests me to the point that even though I just ate I want to have some!!!! The mixing of the 2 quiche recipes is pretty cool. Best of both worlds!

    I’m glad you guys got to enjoy eating like kings and queens and duchesses and whatever else! Don’t you wish we could eat that way EVERY day..without the clean-up afterwards, of course!

    • The hallmark of a good party in our house is what’s left over, be it food, dishes, or wine bottles, and I have a wonderful footman who helps with both the prep and the cleanup. This time, I created a menu with purposely small portions so that we didn’t go away from the table stuffed and feeling guilty. It actually worked, and that is one of the good things about plating the food before serving. Thanks for visiting, Alycia!

  4. Oh, Jennie!!! What a wonderful idea to have this meal with friends. I laughed and laughed at this post! Yes, the measuring that took place was amazing, and it didn’t slip by HH, either. (I wonder if he’d notice if I measured things here before a photo shoot. Wink,) Your menu looks delicious. I love everything that Pioneer Woman makes, so I’m sure the soup tasted divine. I laughed at your combo of Emeril’s and Martha’s quiche recipes. Wouldn’t she just have something snippy to say about that? “Who ARE these bloggers, making up these recipes without the support of test kitchens and hours and hours of research and, well…perfection in the Martha Stewart way,” she might retort. I think our own kitchens make fairly good test kitchens, and our family and guests are pretty good judges of what’s delicious! ( Don’t worry, though. I won’t tell her you mixed her recipe around a bit.) I love how you and your guests broke many rules. We are a relaxed culture these days, so we have to bend from “propriety”. I won’t ruin it for anyone here, but weren’t you shocked and hurt by the ending of the episode this week? I wanted to hog-tie that fellow and give him the beating he deserved! Woops – I’ll shut up now about that.

    A note to your readers who haven’t been watching Downton Abbey. HH and I only discovered it after the first two seasons were over. We bought the DVD set for my mom for her birthday. After she watched it, we borrowed it back from her. We had a Downton Abbey MARATHON weekend last winter, where we did nothing but eat and watch every episode of seasons one and two – just in time to continue into season three. I was shocked that HH was so into it, too! It was a fabulous weekend that we both enjoyed and still discuss. So, all that to say, it’s never too late. Rent or buy those DVDs and jump in there! You won’t regret it!

    • Kim, I do appreciate your comment and thoughts on Downton Abbey and on breaking its rules. I’ve watched it from the beginning, but I’ve actually been thinking about starting at the beginning again — I’ve got the DVD with the Highclere Castle extras on my wish list!

  5. Hi lovely lady.
    All your photos look yummy.
    Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new Tablescape. Hoping you have a wonderful week with your family.

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