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Eat Like a Hobbit Day

January 4, 2011

I don’t need to take any “Which Tolkien race are you?” quizzes. I am a Hobbit (minus the hairy feet), and for one day, I resolved to eat like one. There will be no cram or lembas here, no “eat a cracker and walk all day” nonsense. I wanted seven tasty meals in one day.

Since yesterday, January 3rd, was J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, this past Sunday seemed like an ideal time. It was also a nice way to extend the holiday season just a bit, one more day of feasting and fun before going back to real life.

The basic rules: I (with my stalwart husband) would eat seven meals over the course of the day. Granted, since Hobbits need to be fit enough to run a farm and occasionally go on epic quests, these meals had to be a fairly small. Each meal was to be inspired either directly by the Tolkien books or the foods of rural Victorian England, which Tolkien cited as inspiration for Shire culture.

One disclaimer for the purists: I’m no Tolkien scholar. I do, however, feel your pain when it comes to nerd-rage. You can be sure that if I do a Star Trek themed meal everything will be strictly according to canon. However, my goal with Hobbit Day was to capture some of the spirit of Shire life, and eat tasty things in the process, so please forgive my inaccuracies.

We also watched all three of the Peter Jackson movies, or rather listened to them, since any time we weren’t eating, we were cooking and doing dishes. Still, it’s always fun to throw yourself headlong into something for a day, especially if it’s a rich world like Tolkien’s. I’d love to make this an annual tradition and get more people involved!

7:30am 8:30am – Breakfast: Porridge with Apples, Raisins and Toasted Almonds
Admittedly, sleeping in made us late for this meal, and all that followed. Luckily, it was simple, delicious, and gave me plenty of energy to make Second Breakfast.

9am 9:45am – Second Breakfast: Toad in the Hole with a Red Onion Gravy
This is near the top of the list when you look for examples of British cuisine, and as odd as it looks, this was completely delicious.

11am 11:15am – Elevenses: Seed Cake
Poor Bilbo has all of his seed cakes eaten up by Dwarves, but I actually got to eat mine, drizzled with a bit of honey. More on these in last Thursday’s post.

1 pm 1:30pm – Luncheon: Split Pea Soup with Bacon
Mrs. Beeton’s, the Victorian cooking bible, has three versions of pea soup, and she throws split peas in a bunch of other soups as well. I ended up using my own everyday recipe, which is my ideal comfort food: hearty but not too heavy.

4pm 4:15pm – Afternoon Tea: Blueberry Tarts with Buttered Scones
You can’t have tea without scones, in this case with chopped raisins. This isn’t nearly as elaborate as Bilbo’s tea, but a bit of sweetness really hits the spot on a chilly afternoon.

6pm 7:15pm – Dinner: Cottage Pie with Mushrooms
Cottage Pie is Shepherd’s Pie with beef instead of lamb. I added brown mushrooms, inspired by the prized fungi of Farmer Maggot, and the result was a deliciously earthy stew with a crispy potato topping. Washed down with ale, of course.

9pm 10:15pm – Supper: Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwiches with Red Onions and Mustard
This is arguably the least “authentic” thing we ate. The more Victorian thing would be cold roast chicken sandwiches, but I had already had more meat in a day than I usually eat in a week. Besides, Hobbits had bread, cheese, apples and onions – why not put them together?

It wasn’t as hard as you might think eating all of that food. Most of us eat more than three meals a day – we just don’t count the cookies a co-worker brought in or the snack we pulled out of the fridge before cooking dinner. With the Hobbit schedule, you know how soon the next meal is coming, so you never eat enough to get really full.

On the other hand, you never have time to get hungry, and that diminishes the enjoyment a bit. Maybe the lesson is that being away from the things you love, whether that means a dangerous quest or just having to wait a little longer for a meal, makes you appreciate those things all the more. In any case, I am still enjoying the leftovers.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 11:22 pm

    Love this! And you’re right–we probably eat about 7 meals’ worth of food every day anyway. šŸ˜‰

  2. February 9, 2012 3:42 am

    This is so aosewme! What a great way for fellow fans to follow the production. I can’t wait to read more reports!


  1. Toad in the Hole with Red Onion Gravy « Little Red Kettle
  2. Hobbit Day 2012 « Little Red Kettle

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