Hobbit Day 2012
After last year’s “Eat Like a Hobbit Day,” I wanted to make it an annual tradition. This year’s circumstances were a bit different. With work and other commitments, we missed Tolkien’s birthday by a long shot. A lot of the inspiration comes from British country food, and we can’t get certain ingredients, like Cumberland sausages or ground almonds. However, this Hobbit Day benefited from happening 3 blocks from one of the best produce markets in the world, and more importantly, having a community of people to share the day with.
Like last year, we watched Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. We opted for the non-extended versions, much to the chagrin of some of purist friends, which meant only a little over 9 hours of movie-watching.
The debate is ongoing about how to integrate the new Hobbit films along with extended versions into this annual tradition, just to give you an idea of the level of nerd-discussion that goes on in my house.
For me, it’s much more about the food anyway, which I now present. I had a few repeats from last year, as well as a chance to try some brand-new recipes. I included links to some of those recipes below.
Photo by Kat Wepler
Breakfast: Lavender Lemon Muffins with Sliced Strawberries
I was a little worried these muffins would taste like potpourri, but the lavender flavor subtly complimented the lemon. They were deliciously light.
Second Breakfast: Toad in the Hole with Red Onion Gravy, Grilled Mushrooms and Tomatoes
A repeat of last year, though I made a single-serving version in muffin-tins. This is total comfort food, especially good with a little coarse-grain mustard.
Elevenses: Seed Cake with Honey and Blue Cheese Shortbread
I made the shortcake with Gorgonzola and it turned out a bit like an upscale cheez-it. I’ll hopefully post this recipe later on, as it was one of the most requested recipes of the day. Gorgonzola and minces pecans make a great combo, but it could work with other cheeses as well.
Thanks to the leftovers, I had this for lunch all week. Simple and satisfying.
Tea: Berries and Cream, Brownies
Ok, so the “slutty brownies” lovingly made by a friend are found no-where in the Tolkien canon. This, however, is the beauty of Hobbit Day. All you need to justify a delicious morsel is to say “Hobbits would have liked this.” I’m not sure about the exact recipe, but it looks a lot like this with the addition of caramel sauce.
Dinner: Coney Stew and Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Many thanks to the friend who made what I call “Gardener’s Pie,” so I could focus on the coneys.
This was my first time cooking rabbit, and I went with a riff on Rabbit Etouffee. With the combination of tomatoes and red wine, it tasted a lot like my family’s chicken cacciatore, not nearly as strange as you might think eating bunny could be. Now that I have my toes in the water, I want to try a preparation that lets the rabbit flavor dominate more. Still, this was a great introduction.
Supper: Apple Tart and Mixed Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette
We needed something a little sweet and not too heavy to finish off the evening. I threw this tart together with a mixed butter/shortening crust, sliced pink lady apples and a glaze of apricot preserves.