Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Second Breakfast, Followed by Elevenses: Inspiration for a Tolkien Feast That Even a Hobbit Would Love

Tolkien has been our family read-aloud for YEARS--since 2015,  at least! We got through tons of great books before we started down the path leading from his hobbit hole with Bilbo, but now that the kids are older we have more variety to our evening activities, and Matt reading aloud to us now may just happen once or twice a week. In busy seasons, we don't get to it at all.

And yet, Bilbo, and now Frodo and Samwise, continue to consent to travel with us, in spite of our sporadic attendance. We all understand that Sam, whose superpowers are both friendship and the act of hiking without complaint, is the real hero, and that Gandalf's majestic steed, Shadowfax, is actually a beautiful, fat unicorn with flowing rainbow mane--it gets a little crazy during late evening read-aloud time.

Our family copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is for sure looking the worse for wear--it's been a decade and a half since I blew through the entire trilogy during one looooong Christmas break working the front desk of the Lilly Library, and since then that book has gone with us on years of road trips and camping trips and evenings out by the fire:

This is a tangent, but if you buy a real Christmas tree every year, then I highly recommend burning it on the night before the first day of spring:

The kids like it quite a lot: 


Whenever we finish a book, we like to have a hobbit-style feast, then show the kids that book's movie version for the first time. We always try to make the foods that were referenced in the book that we just read, although we only recently finished The Two Towers, and it was too early in the year to get rabbit. Instead we had some nice fishes and some PO-TAY-TOES!!!

We listened to The Tolkien Ensemble while we cooked; Will made seed cake, and Sydney painted Krispy Kreme doughnuts with lustre dust dissolved in vodka:

We didn't have to worry about trying to decorate the inscription, because we didn't plan to thrown them into the fire.

We also had a Prancing Pony-style plate of cheese and cold cuts and fresh bread, with cider and mulled wine to drink. I'd intended to roast mushrooms, but we already had plenty of food, so I saved them for another meal.

Our hobbit tummies were nice and tight while we watched the movie!

Here are some other Tolkien recipe ideas that I have planned for our next feast, which will be after  we finish The Return of the King, and will therefore be an epic, weekend-long movie marathon!

  • During our last feast, we ate the Prancing Pony's cold meats, new loaves, butter, and ripe cheese, but we still need to make the blackberry tart!
  • If you REALLY want to be theme-driven, here's a list of all the food seen/mentioned in the Lord of the Rings movies, and the times that they appear!
  • The kids and I have made hardtack a few times during our history studies--cram is a Middle Earth version!
  • There are loads of recipes for lembas bread online, but none of them really match what's in my head. I mean, of course, since the lembas bread in my head is magical and made by elves...
  • This isn't the recipe for the seed cake that Will baked (hers was more like a lemon poppyseed cake), but this one looks more authentic.
  • We absolutely must have rabbit stew as our main course for our next feast, even if we have to buy one in season this year and then put it in the freezer.
  • If you're going to make blackberry tarts, you might as well make apple tart, as well, to be served with raspberry jam.
  • In case seed cake, blackberry tart, and apple tart isn't enough dessert for you (because you're a hobbit!), Beorn has also offered to share his honey cake.
  • We ate Sam's fish and chips (although we cheated and bought them frozen), for our Two Towers feast.

P.S. Here are some other ideas for enrichment activities that we've completed or have planned to go along with our reading of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

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