Catching Up On My Third Lord of the Rings Marathon

This winter, I’ve been trying to combat the winter blues by getting out of the house as much as possible. Bar trivia, a bowling league, weekly game night with friends, and a regular date night with Joe have kept me very busy. One thing that kept me home, however, was hosting my third all-day marathon of the Lord of the Rings extended edition films for my friends. The tradition started as an excuse for me to make and eat the food I dreamed of while watching the movies, and every year I do a little bit more than the year before. This year, I expanded the viewing so that I had the movie playing in two separate rooms of the house simultaneously and, in addition to the traditional six Hobbit meals, I decided to make a second entrée for dinner. I thought I must be a little crazy to attempt such a thing, but with so many people in the house the pot roast didn’t quite stretch far enough and besides, some people might want a vegetarian main.

“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).” – From Concerning Hobbits, The Lord of the Rings p11

When he was still a boy, Frodo earned a reputation with Farmer Maggot as a rascal and a mushroom-thief. In honor of his fondness for fungi, I decided to go with a wild mushroom shepherd’s pie that I adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perlman. I’ve never made a recipe by her that I didn’t like, but what really sold the recipe for me was that it included directions to make it ahead and reheat it – an absolute necessity when planning such a large event. It was delicious and reheated well as leftovers with a teensy bit of Aleppo pepper sprinkled on the top. I even had one person – an enthusiastic carnivore – tell me he liked it better than the pot roast!

Continue reading “Catching Up On My Third Lord of the Rings Marathon”

Lord of the Rings Marathon Part 2 – Potato Soup and Mushroom Pot Roast

After breakfast and elevensies, which were both sweet, it is time to turn to the savory for luncheon, afternoon tea, and dinner. Time management has never been my strong suit, but in order to make cooking 6 courses for 16 people work, it is absolutely key! So for lunch, I chose a soup I could start the night before and stick in the refrigerator, then heat up add the final touches in a short time in between The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. I thought of Sam making stewed rabbit in Ithilien when he wishes for po-tay-toes; “The Gaffer’s delight and rare good ballast for an empty belly,” as he educates Sméagol. Continue reading “Lord of the Rings Marathon Part 2 – Potato Soup and Mushroom Pot Roast”

Lord of the Rings Marathon Part 1 – Honey Cakes and Seed Cake

It is no secret to anyone who knows me even a little that I am a huge Tolkien fan. My love started with the animated Rankin-Bass Hobbit and Return of the King when I was very young and with my dad, sitting on the couch with my sister and me on either side as he read The Hobbit aloud to us. I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was 11 (which took me the better part of a year, at that time!) and The Silmarillion at 12 (I didn’t  understand it much then, but I have re-read it a handful of times since, and each time I love it more.)

I’m enough of a nerd (yes *that* kind) that if you get me started, I’ll tell you, in detail, all the things Peter Jackson’s movies did wrong and how he should have corrected them. However, I still enjoy the movies from time to time. Twice I have hosted a party for my friends to come and watch all three extended edition films and provided six Hobbit meals throughout the day. It is a lot of fun – even if it is a lot of work for me! Continue reading “Lord of the Rings Marathon Part 1 – Honey Cakes and Seed Cake”