It’s always surprising (and welcome) when culinary inspiration decides to strike. Recently, for example, I was watching Downton Abbey, and, as per usual, found myself transported back in time.

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I watched with fascination as the scenes in the kitchen unfolded, and multitudes of mouthwatering dishes were prepared with care by Mrs. Patmore, Daisy and Ivy. Meats and breads and pastries, each given careful presentation and thought before being brought upstairs for the Grantham/Crawleys to dine on.

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Although I know in real life I’d be off snarking with Thomas somewhere, I wanted to imagine I was one of the talented cooks in the kitchen.

Inspiration had me pause the episode right in the middle and taking a cue from the show, I made some Tea.

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Not English tea or anything, just some random hibiscus stuff I found in a lower shelf on the pantry.

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I was kind of frustrated that it took as long as it did (Lady Edith’s predicaments are waiting for no one this season), but it was worth it. Cheerio!


  • 1 tea bag (I don’t think tea expires – the tea bag I used in this recipe is most likely from 2008 or so, and I’m still feeling fine)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)

1) Find something you can boil water in

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2) Pour water in it

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3) Boil the water (or microwave it) – this takes a loooooong three minutes or so while you are wondering what the hell Mr. Bates and his cane are up to

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4) Put a tea bag in a cup (to save time, you can do this while the water is boiling, so you’re all prepared)

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5) Pour water over the tea bag

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Optional) Adding stuff (honey, sugar, milk) is fine, but don’t spend too much time fretting about it. It’s just tea. You probably have better stuff to do. Just let it cool a bit and enjoy.

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*This recipe is not too difficult to double, if you are indulging in some Downton with a friend. Simply add more water to the kettle or whatever. And probably grab another tea bag. And another cup. You can ask your friend to help out – they might get weird about it if they are an Earl, but tell them it’s a changing world.