Film Released: 2002
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Crime
Directed by: Robert Altman
Cast/Actors: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren,
Kristin Scott Thomas, Kelly Macdonald, Alan Bates
Set in the 1930's the story takes
place in an English country house and focuses on the lives of
the entire household.
Upstairs the McCordle family indulge themselves with a very
comfortable lifestyle made up of shooting, dinners and parties
with their circle of friends and family, most of whom want
something from Sir William who has become benefactor to many
them. Sir William (played by Michael Gambon) is an older wealthy
but uncouth industrialist who is married to a much younger wife
Lady Sylvia (played by Kristin Scott Thomas).
Downstairs, the servants go about their work under the watchful
eye of the butler, Mr. Jennings (played by Alan Bates) and the
house keeper Mrs. Wilson (played by Helen Mirren).
In accordance with an orderly run home, everyone knows their
place, both upstairs and downstairs however when the family
holds a shooting party, the arrival of friends and family
together with their servants, the order is disrupted and as the
weekend goes on, a cauldron of secrets, deceit, lies, hatred and
revenge gradually boils over ending up in murder.
As with most upper class households of the times, food features
prominently in the everyday run of things and is featured
throughout the film from breakfasts to teas to dinners to al
fresco lunches. The recipe we’ve chosen was mentioned twice,
albeit in relation to the same meal.
Amongst the guests is Lady Trentham (played by Maggie Smith) who
has brought along her new maid Mary (played by Kelly Macdonald).
Soon after their arrival at the house Mrs Wilson asks Mary about
Lady Trentham’s breakfast for the next morning:
“Does she have to have marmalade? Only Dorothy made too little
of it last January and we've run out of the homemade. I don't
suppose she'd care for strawberry jam instead? No, I thought
Upon being served breakfast in her room the next morning, Lady
“Oh, dear. Bought marmalade. Dear me, I call that very feeble.
Well, I suppose one can't have everything."
As this marmalade was being served to a Lady, we’ve decided to
feature a rather special and unusual one which would have
utilised some lovely fresh fruit from the orchards and
conservatories on the Estate. Besides, you know how partial the
gentry are to speciality foods.
Marmalade Veg CD
Vegetarian Cold Accompaniment Jam Preserve Preserves
2.2kg/5lb Pears, cut into chunks
The Juice and thinly sliced rind of 3 Oranges
The Juice and thinly sliced rind of 2 Lemons
Chopped walnuts & Maraschino Cherries (Optional)
1. Place the pears and sugar in a large saucepan and mix
well. Leave to stand until some juice forms then over a
medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to
cook until is starts to thicken slightly.
2. Meanwhile, steam the orange and lemon peel until soft.