Season Three of Downton Abbey (now with 100% more Shirley MacLaine!) won’t hit American shores until January of 2013, which is a very long time to wait. But for the fans who need to start planning their premiere night dinner parties immediately and want to channel their inner Mrs. Patmore in time, there’s the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook.
The work of Emily Ansara Baines, who also wrote an unofficial fan cookbook for The Hunger Games trilogy (featuring survival-focused dishes for tributes and the more lush fare of the Capitol), the Downton cookbook will be released September 18 and is divided into two upstairs-downstairs sections: “Dinner With the Crawleys” and “Sustenance for the Staff.” The Crawleys’ section sports the sort of elegant Edwardian dinner party fare you’d expect, from “Lady Mary’s Crab Cakes” to “The Earl of Grantham’s Green Turtle Soup” to Lobster Thermidor. “The “downstairs” section features a lot of hearty meals for hard-workin’ people and classic British pub fare, including the usual spreads of fish and chips and black pudding (the Guinness beef stew and Colcannon are both named for former Crawley family driver / radical / Mr. Lady Sybil Tom Branson).
Obviously, these dishes are best served with the most Downtonesque of accoutrements: deception, jealousy and awkward sexual tension with your third cousin once removed.