Weighted down by rain-drenched clothes and the realization that this adventure had taken a most dangerous turn indeed, they hoped for respite and a warm meal in the company of the Wizard. But the Wizard was late. Instead, they found themselves sharing a room with a mysterious Ranger from the North. Ordering off the room service menu they enjoyed steaming bowls of Cheddar Soup which came highly recommended by the Ranger who was a frequent guest at the Inn. The kind but forgetful Innkeeper who delivered the meal kept winking at Mr. Frodo and calling him by the wrong name! This made Pippin giggle and then Merry snorted and even Frodo in his great fatigue found himself laughing hysterically! The Ranger chastised them to take their situation more seriously and warned that danger still lurked. Sleep came swiftly but was soon disturbed by the shrieks of the Nazgul from whose deathly blades (thanks to the actions of the clever and handsome Ranger!) they had narrowly escaped.
With no time to lose, and no promise of a meal so fine as last night’s in the foreseeable future, the group agreed that the Cheddar Soup was the best they had eaten and wished they did not have to make haste. Sam asked for the recipe and tucked it into his vest pocket, certain that in a few days he would be home to cook up a pot. He would leave out the carrots because he prefers them uncooked and fresh from the field. He might substitute shallots for the leeks. And he thought the soup would be grand with a roasted Coney and crusty brown bread. This would surely be the dinner to win the heart of his beloved Rosie — if he could only muster the courage to invite her!