A Hobbiton homecoming

“Altogether 1420 in the Shire was a marvellous year…. In the Southfarthing the vines were laden, and the yield of ‘leaf’ was astonishing; and everywhere there was so much corn that at Harvest every barn was stuffed. The Northfarthing barley was so fine that the beer of 1420 malt was long remembered and became a byword. Indeed a generation later one might hear an old gaffer at an inn, after a good pint of well-earned ale, put down his mug with a sigh: ‘Ah! That was a proper fourteen-twenty, that was!’”

Here we are in December with the last of our Lord of the Rings dinners. This month I tried to imagine Frodo and Sam safe at home back in Hobbiton after their adventures and the kind of homely hobbitish dinner they might have enjoyed once all the bother was over. There is no particular meal described in the text for me to copy this time, but plenty of information to go about what hobbits enjoy when dining comfortably at home.

A cozy hobbit dinner

A cozy hobbit dinner

For dinner I cooked a whole chicken and a mix of carrots, potatoes, onions, and cabbage all boiled together in one pot with bay leaves, sage, thyme, and rosemary. It’s much like a traditional New England boiled dinner, but with chicken instead of the usual ham or corned beef. The chicken came out juicy and tender and suffused with the flavors of the herbs and vegetables. I’ve never been a great fan of chicken, but seeing that it can come out so well when cooked so simply is changing my mind.

Boiled chicken and vegetables

Boiled chicken and vegetables

We served up the chicken and vegetables all in a bowl together with some of the good broth from cooking. It was warm and delicious on a chilly December night. We drank cider to wash it down with.

For dessert I made an apple tart. It is quite simple, I just rolled out the crust, laid the sliced apple on it and sprinkled it with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, then baked it until the crust was golden brown.

Apple tart

Apple tart

I have had such fun this year doing LotR dinners. I haven’t decided yet what next year’s theme will be. E. has suggested that maybe in a few years we can reprise the LotR dinners when she has more time to plan the table settings and I can make some adjustments to a few of the recipes from experience. If we do, I’m sure it will be just as much fun.

Previous Lord of the Rings dinners:

January: A long-expected party

February: Farewell to Hobbiton / March: Supper at the Prancing Pony

April: A rangers’ dinner in the wild

May: At Elrond’s table

June: A Dwarven dinner

July: Of Herbs and Stewed Chicken

August: Dinner in Ithilien

September: A feast in the golden hall

October: In the ruins of Isengard

November: The return of the King

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