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Have you wrung all the fun you can out of your marathon viewings of Lord of the Rings Trilogy?  The Middle-earth Foodie is here to tell you that you have definitely NOT — not yet!   So prepare your guest list and fire up the stove for a “Gorge of the Rings” party — a marathon viewing in which you immerse yourself in the story by EATING ALONG with the movie!  

We have been given an unexpected gift:  A list of the foods shown in the movies and the timing of their arrival on the DVDs.   

This list was submitted to The Middle-earth Foodie (to keep it safe, but not secret!) by Linda Holman of San Francisco. Linda created a buffet of foods shown in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, for a fellowship of twelve at a private home theater viewing.   After searching the interwebs in vain for a list, she watched the entire Trilogy – extended editions –  and recorded the foods depicted and the timing of their arrival in the films! 

Her friends were so impressed that they encouraged Linda to post the list somewhere on the w-w-w.   Which is how she found this blog.  Linda concedes she may have missed something, and that she left out some things on purpose — like the raw fish that Gollum eats in Two Towers (so juicy SWEET!) or the earthworm from the opening minutes of Return of the King.  She found them just “too yucky.”  May I suggest we substitute Sushi and gummy worms?  While Sushi is raw it is not wiggling — which is a GOOD thing, in my estimation.  I have added a few links to Middle-earth Recipes that are not necessarily posted yet on Middle-earth Foodie.  There are many fine possibilities there.

I recommend you add a SLEEP ALONG, and then an EPIC RUN ALONG to your Trilogy party.  You must not be caught off guard by the cunning White Wizard or a band of Warg-riding Orcs because you are sleep deprived or too full to move!

All of you purists and nit-pickers are welcome to watch the movies again to find more examples to add to this list.  Please do post them if you find them!  Linda looked all over the Googlesphere and could not find exactly what she had in mind, so if you DO find a published list, please send us the links.

Who is up for creating the grocery list when “An Unexpected Journey” comes out on DVD?

List of which foods appear in the Lord of the Rings extended edition movies, with timing data:
Fellowship of the Ring (disc 1)
time:  scene:  foods:
0:10  Hobbit intro:  yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting
0:15  Gandalf at Bilbo’s:  tea, cold chicken, cheeses, jam, eggs, bread, muffins  Bag End Apple Bread
0:20  Party:   Bilbo’s birthday cake  Doc’s Carrot Cake Recipe or  Dwarven Women’s Pumpkin Cake
0:37  Hiking in the wild: apples
1:11  Weathertop:  tomatoes, sausages, bacon
1:45  (end of disc 1)
Fellowship of the Ring (disc 2)
0:05  Gap of Rohan:  sausages, bread  Rosie’s Bread
1:02  leaving Lothlorien:  lembas bread introduced  Elven Lembas Bread
1:35  (end of movie, credits roll for 10 more minutes)
Two Towers (disc 1)
1:41  in Mordor  rabbits, stew, (also mentioned- potatoes, fish)
1:45  (end of disc 1)
Two Towers (disc 2)
0:01  road to Helms Deep yucky, fatty soup (fish soup)
0:15  in Helms Deep (provisions for later- potatoes, garlic)
1:39  Isengard store room apples, turkeys, smoked meats, ham, carrots, squash, greens, cauliflower, cabbage, many pickled & preserved foods
1:48  (end of movie, credits roll for 10 more minutes)
Return of the King (disc 1)
0:10  Isengard  Store Room: beer, bread, salted pork
0:19  Rohan:  celebration beer drinking contest, cheese, meats, bread  Merry’s Mulled Cider
1:31  Denethor’s Dinner: chicken, tomatoes, bread, wine (don’t eat during this scene unless your heart is made of stone)
2:05  (end of disc 1)
Return of the King (disc 2)
Aragorn’s Athelas Tea (could also be served after Frodo is stabbed at Weathertop)
1:32  (the many endings start here- great time for dessert)
1:41  Back at the Shire:  beer, pumpkin  Stuffed Pumpkin
1:54  (end of movie, credits roll for 10 more minutes)  Into the West Seashell Salad

Linda’s Notes:

This list is not perfect, I’ve almost certainly missed some things.

I only mention lembas the first time, although they eat it many times.

I also skipped Gollum eating raw fish of times. Yuk.

Here is Linda’s easy Buffet menu, with timing:
 
I’m not a great cook (at least I’m sort of lazy), and I also wanted to watch a good amount of the movies, so here’s what I served:
I prepped a lot in advance or bought pre-made items from the store when possible. We tried to stick to this viewing schedule, with moderate success. Fellowship started promptly at 10 am, Two Towers at 2 pm, Return of the King at 6 pm.
9:30    Breakfast:  Tea, rustic breads, muffins, jams, butter, bacon, various cheeses, fig & nut preserves
10:37  2nd Breakfast:  Apples (passed around in theater room as Strider tosses them to the Hobbits)
1:00    Lembas: Shortbread cookies (passed around in theater when lembas is introduced)
1:30    Lunch: Beer, root beer, bratwurst & bockwurst sausages, mustard, mashed potatoes, broiled tomatoes, carrots, pickles, barley vegetable soup
5:30    Dinner:  Beer, wine, ham, chicken drumsticks (smoked turkey legs would also be great), roasted squash & cauliflower, wedge salad w/ apples & bleu cheese, date nut log, bread/rolls, cheeses
6:10    Drinking: Beer and more beer (passed around in theater)
9:35    Dessert: Pumpkin pie with whipped cream (passed around in theater  while endings go on and on)
 
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Merry's Mulled Cider and Chai Spiced Tea

Merry’s Mulled Cider and Chai Spiced Tea

“And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily, being fond of simple jests at all times, and of six meals a day (when they could get them).” — The Lord of the Rings, Prologue.

It’s the season for invitations to holiday parties, most of which you cannot decline lest you find yourself alone at home next year.   Some Hobbits enjoy staying at home with a pipe and a pint; but they would not wish to be rude.  Miss Dora Baggins’ Book of Manners was the definitive work on Hobbit meals and etiquette. It was followed exactly by all good Hobbit wives and husbands. So off they would go, from party to party to party, eating their way across the Shire from breakfast to second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

You wouldn’t hear the words “No, thanks, I’m dieting,” at one of these parties!   There would be huge glazed hams, sweet baby carrots, buttery potatoes, fried mushrooms, and mouth-watering breads.  For dessert there would be scones, cakes and tarts.  As for beverages, Hobbits are fond of good wine and ale, but they also enjoy a nice cup of tea or a mulled apple cider.

Estella and Merry Brandybuck usually had tea with Pippin and Diamond Took and their son Faramir.  Often they would invite Samwise and Rosie but only when school was in session.  Oh, they loved all 13 of the Gamgee children, but having so many little Hobbits around at tea time made the whole affair pointless.  There was simply too much noise and activity to relax and talk with old friends.

After Frodo left the Shire for the Gray Havens, the three didn’t speak as much about their journey when they were together.  But now and then, at tea time, the room would grow still, and everyone would lift their cups in silence to the memory of Frodo.  How thankful they were for their friendship, and the good things of the Shire — like a pint of mulled cider or a cup of spiced tea.  It was good to be home, feeling safe again, since King Aragorn re-gained the throne of Gondor and brought peace to all the residents of Middle-earth.


The women of Lake-town who survived the wrath of the dragon Smaug and saw his defeat at the hand of Bard the Bowman, set about making their new city a place to rival any other settlement of men in Middle-earth.  While the men were focused on construction, the women made sure they were well-fed.  Re-building an entire town would not be easy nor swift, but the NEW Lake-town, or Esgaroth, as it would be named, would be far less flamable!  This feature was perhaps a bit late in coming, since there was no more threat of immolation from gold-hoarding dragons.

Nonetheless, the residents wanted to attract new businesses, and, of course, tourism was bound to pick up once the bones of Smaug were recovered from the bottom of the lake and re-assembled for viewing.  A museum celebrating the heroism of Bard the Bowman would be built and the dragon’s bones placed on exhibit.   One could envision future festivals celebrating the great victory over Smaug with dragon kite flying contests, dragon boat rides, and flaming sword-swallowers on parade down the main street.  Perhaps the wizard Mithrandir would join them and offer up some of his famous fireworks!

Once the city was in good enough shape to promote itself as a destination — “Visit Esgaroth!  We’re no longer flammable!” — would be the focus for the marketing campaign — a farmers’ and artists’ market was established on the lake shore.   Many vendors offered dragon-themed wares, such as replicas of the arrow that slew Smaug, wall hangings featuring the dragon breathing fire over the city, and deep-fried “dragon on a stick.”

These novelties were a necessary part of the tourism industry, but they were not the reason for the market’s eventual fame.   The Esgaroth Public Market became known throughout the realms of Middle-earth for its regional cuisine!  The women had preserved some of the former town’s heritage by serving traditional foods that were handed down to them over generations of mothers of Lake-town.   Many recipes included varieties of fresh fish from the lake.  And in summer, the bounty of the gardens came to the Market in dishes featuring fresh tomatoes, peppers, spinach, onions, carrots, spices and herbs.

While recipes of this era have not survived, one can imagine such a dish as we will call Lake-town Market Salad.   Since it would have been poor stewardship to waste any of the harvest, one way to use up the odds and ends was to combine them with grains or noodles to create a one-dish meal.  Lake-town Market Salad was not as famous as other, more sophisticated, dishes, but it has a regional flare that reminds one of the rustic way of life back in the third age of men.

Lake-town Market Salad

2 cups cooked risotto
1 each small Yellow, Orange and Red Bell Peppers
2 Green Tomatoes
2 Ripe Tomatoes
1 small Shallot or Onion
Black olives (or green if you prefer)
1 can of black beans (or other variety or combination of beans)
Fresh basil, oregano, and parsley to taste
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbl Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper to taste
Cook risotto according to package directions, drain, and set aside to cool.
Dice the vegetables and add to the risotto with the herbs and spices.
Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Stir.  Place in refrigerator to cool one hour before serving.
A dollop of sour cream or ricotta cheese on top is a nice addition, or add cubed ham and shredded cheese for a anti-pasto.
 
This “salad” is also good served hot – after mixing (omit the olive oil and vinegar), heat it on the stove top or put it into the oven.  Grate cheese over it to get nice and melty.  You could also put this mixture into a nice broth — either chicken or beef — and make a soup or stew!  Add tobasco or red pepper flakes for those who like it with some kick!
 
*Disclaimer — this recipe is not on the Middle-earth Recipes site.  It is my own creation, in honor of Mr. Bilbo and Mr. Frodo’s birthdays today, September 22, 2012.

 

Apologies to Middle-earth Recipes, but this one is not posted on their site.  Its a little something I concocted that seemed to require a Middle-earth identity.

Smaug's Meaty Bits - Dragon Sized Appetizers

 

Easy as (meat) pie to make!  All you need is:

2 sheets of refrigerated puff pastry dough, thawed

1 pound of ground beef (chicken or turkey would work too)

1 cup Salsa

1- 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese or a Mexican Blend

1 cup Spicy Black Bean Dip (Trader Joe’s preferred)

1 pint Sour cream (for topping)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions as garnish

One regular size muffin tin for 12 muffins

Cooking spray

Roll out the puff pastry dough to about half of its “out of the box” thickness.  Cut six equal squares from each of the two sheets of dough.   They don’t need to be exact, but should be about 3 inches square in size so they drape over the outside rim of the muffin tins. 

Spray the tins with a light coat of cooking spray.  Place the dough squares into regular size muffin tins and without stretching too much gently shape the dough into the tin to form a well for the meat to fill.

Brown your ground meat and drain the grease from it.  (The best way to do this is to layer paper towels on a plate and spoon the meat onto the paper to soak up the excess oils.)

Mix the spicy bean dip into the meat to hold it together and to give it flavor.  If you want to add other seasonings, be my guest!

Fill each pastry-lined muffin tin with a couple of tablespoons of the meat/bean mixture.

Cover each one with one tablespoon of chunky salsa (if it is too liquid it will make the pastry mushy.)

Top with about 1/8 cup of grated cheese

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown

Cool just a bit, then add a dollop of sour cream and a few sprinkles of green onion

This should make 12, maybe a few more, depending on how well you are able to get the pastry dough to cooperate!

If you happen to own a tamed dragon, then you know how they can be very handy in the kitchen! 

  • They can re-light your pilot when the gas stove goes out. 
  • You don’t need a torch to create a lovely carmelized sugar on top of your Crème brûlée
  • Meringue toppings on your pies will have just the right touch of brown
  • They will roast the skins right off of those poblano peppers when making chiles rellenos
  • And it goes without saying they’re mighty handy around a campfire for making s’mores!

Hobbits will write poems about you when you serve this delicacy!

 

Rivendell Hall of Fire Black-Bottom Cheesecake Muffins

What would it be like to have 3,000 years ahead of you — what would you do with the time?
 
When they weren’t fighting off the armies of Sauron and saving men, hobbits and dwarves from orcs, the Elves used the time that they were given perfecting the art of forging the finest swords in all of Middle-earth, stitching intricately embroidered banners and tapestries, and relaxing together as a community with fine food and friends. 
 
When Bilbo first came to Rivendell he charmed the Elves with his extemporaneous poetry at their evening gathering at Elrond’s House, in the Hall of Fire.   (This was on Bilbo’s adventure with the Dwarves to recover their wealth from the dragon Smaug.)  Lucky for this Hobbit there were Elves who had perfected the art of cooking!  They provided the community with such tasty morsels as these Black-Bottom Cheesecake Muffins to cap off a night of “spoken word” performances.  And since Bilbo could go on and on into the night, obviously enjoying the spotlight and camaraderie, everyone must have gotten the munchies before he finally gave out and they could retire to their beds. 
 
Chocolate is a universally adored confection, and this recipe is easy to like.  While I believe I followed the directions correctly, I thought the cream cheese mixture was a little runny.  It didn’t sink into the chocolate batter base like I expected it would.  The  result was fine, but I was expecting a creamier cream cheese center.  I probably overfilled the muffin tins or perhaps my baking soda was a little close to its expiration date, but the muffins raised and then the tops went flat and crunchy. 
 
I planned to serve them for a birthday party at work, but they didn’t look as good as I wanted.  I had taken the suggestion in the recipe to double the ingredients for the chocolate base so  there was enough batter after 12 muffins to make a 9 inch square cake.  I spooned the cream cheese mixture into the cake same as directed for muffins, then swirled it around a bit for a marbled effect.  But I got worried that it would be  dry the next day, so I bought hot fudge sauce and, just before the party,  I warmed up the cake and poured the hot fudge on top, letting it drizzle down the sides.   We served it with triple vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries!
 
 

Doc's Carrot Cake

It is hard to imagine a carrot cake more delicious than this one!  Very moist — probably owing to the pudding mix in the recipe.  If I were on the catering staff in Minas Tirith I would have baked this for the wedding of King Elessar and Lady Arwen.   Or perhaps it was made in honor of Galadriel‘s birthday in Lothlorien because its color reminds one of her golden hair, so lovely that Gimli could think of nothing more to ask from her than a lock to keep as she sent each member of the Fellowship off with a blessing.

The only thing I added was the decoration — a “carrot” made from an orange gum drop and a sprig of parsley.   I used walnuts instead of pecans as that’s what I had on hand.  You will want the cake “quite cool” before you frost it, and pay attention to how much confectioners sugar you put in the frosting so it firms up well.  Still, I recommend you put the frosted cake in the fridge, especially on a warm day.

You must make all haste to summon the bakery staff to get this delicacy on your family table tonight!  Or at least on Super Bowl Sunday!


Second Breakfast is served!  

Follow the link to the recipe for Breakfast Scones for Mr. Frodo!  This recipe lends itself to any number of variations.  I used plain greek yogurt instead of strawberry but only had a 6 oz container, so I added home-made ricotta cheese to make up the other 2 ounces.   The triangle-shaped version uses dried figs, and the square has only fresh ground cardamom seeds.   After feasting on these for a day or so I encountered an orange scone at Panera Bread and decided to do a comparison test.  This recipe was equal to the bakery’s in flakiness and flavor!  (Note:  After trying this recipe several times I have found it to be a bit heavier product than most bakery scones.   You might try adding one egg, or switching from yogurt to 3/4 cup of cream to improve the flakiness.)

I presume that either Sam or Rosie prepared these for their dear friend and host Frodo, or perhaps they began to affectionately refer to their son, his namesake, as Mr. Frodo!  Either way, the sweet smell of these scones baking would be the best way to call the family to table for first or second breakfast!

This was my first time using cardamom.  Wow!  SO flavorful.  Definitely citrusy.  A bit tedious to remove tiny black seeds from the papery pod without leaving “chaff” behind, but the ground variety do not have nearly as much flavor.  This spice is expensive but a little goes a long way!  My secret? Penn Mac in Pittsburgh’s Strip District has 2 oz samplers for only 99 cents!

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