January special dinner: A long-expected party

We are continuing our special monthly dinner project this year. For this year I have adopted a new theme: food from The Lord of the Rings. Some of you may recall my dabbling in Middle-Earth cookery a while back. I have brought those researches out again and this year’s cycle of dinners will take us through the novel.

January’s dinner came and went amidst the bustle of getting back from Finland and starting classes, so I never wrote it up properly. And so, here it is.

“When every guest had been welcomed and was finally inside the gate, there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink. There were three official meals: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper). But lunch and tea were marked chiefly by the fact that at those times all the guests were sitting down and eating together. At other times there were merely lots of people eating and drinking – continuously from elevenses until six-thirty, when the fireworks started.”

Our first dinner is perhaps the most famousest of LotR meals (not counting, I guess, Samwise Gamgee’s rabbit stew, to which we will return later in the year): Bilbo Baggins’s 111th birthday party.

When I went back to the book to look for inspiration, I was surprised to discover that for all that we hear about the excitement of the occasion for the folk of the Shire, Tolkien tells us nothing at all about what they ate. Thus I have had to use my imagination and the other (admittedly copious) information the novel supplies about hobbitish food to make a dinner that is grand enough for a party of special magnificence, but homely enough to delight a hobbit. Here is the result: potato and cream soup for an appetizer, followed by roast pork with ginger gravy and roasted vegetables, with homemade strawberry ice cream for dessert. We opened a bottle of wine to drink– not quite Old Winyards, but very pleasant all the same.

Potato cream soup

Roast pork and roasted vegetables

Strawberry ice cream


2 Responses to “January special dinner: A long-expected party”

  1. Miti Says:


    So, my adviser and a colleague of mine have written an article about food in Lord of the Rings (forthcoming)! And they have noted the same absence of details…

  2. KHJ Says:

    Sounds delicious.

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