Quarta, 23 Setembro 2015 22:51

Feast Week Day 3: The Feast of Gildor

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Welcome to day three of Feast Week[1], The Feast of Gildor!

Pippin afterwards recalled little of either food or drink, for his mind was filled with the light upon elf-faces, and the sound of voices so various and so beautiful that he felt in a waking dream. But he remembered that there was bread, surpassing the savour of a fine white loaf to one who is starving; and fruits sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruits of gardens; he drained a cup that was filled with a fragrant draught, cool as a clear fountain, golden as a summer afternoon.

Sam could never describe in words, nor picture clearly to himself, what he felt or thought that night, though it remained in his memory as one of the chief events of his life. The nearest he ever got was to say: “Well, sir, if I could grow apples like that, I would call myself a gardener. But it was the singing that went to my heart, if you know what I mean.”

The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3: Three is Company

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I chose to bake strawberry and cream bread with the recipe from Chris-Rachael Oseland’s cookbook, An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery[2]She is also our Feast Week Culinary Contest[3] sponsor, so make sure to enter! I am not an experienced baker at all, so this recipe was great for me with its simplicity. It turned out super yummy and I admit many slices are already gone… You can eat the bread with a little added butter, some cream or even more strawberries (or you can be like me and add a whole other layer of just fresh strawberries).

This moist, decadent spring bread embodies all the simple joys of the English countryside that were lost in the gritty industrialized cities. Rural children were often sent out to collect fresh strawberries, with the adults knowing full well that they’d come home with as many berries in their bellies as in their baskets. The fresh picked berries mixed with this morning’s cream and farmhouse butter would make a simple, economical treat beyond the imagination of the children’s city cousins. Tolkien spent part of his childhood in both worlds, and said his time in Industrial Era Birmingham left him with a keen appreciation of wholesome country food.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c / 200 g sugar
  • ½ c / 115 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c / 250 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ c / 110 g chopped strawberries
  • ½ c / 100 g chopped almonds
  • ½ c /130 ml heavy cream

Recipe

  • Preheat your oven to 350F / 180 C.
  • While the oven heats up, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Chop up a cup and a half of fresh berries collected around the Shire and add those to your sugar mix. While you’re at it, throw in half a cup of chopped almonds or your favorite nuts to give it a nice texture. Drown that decadence in a cup of heavy cream, because strawberries and cream are delicious together.
  • Once the fruit and nuts are well integrated, add your flour mix. Beat it until the lumps just barely disappear. You don’t want to overwork the dough or mangle the strawberries too badly.
  • Pour the batter into a heavily buttered loaf pan and bake at 350F / 180C for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • This is best served with even more fresh strawberries. Confidentially, if you’re feeling a bit anachronistic, it also pairs exceptionally well with either vanilla or strawberry ice cream. Just keep in mind that as a new world ingredient, vanilla (and chocolate!) would be completely unknown in the Shire. They might have seen ice cream, but that treat was only enjoyed by those wealthy enough to afford an ice house to chill it and household servants to make it.

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Buy Chris-Rachael’s cookbook for a lot more delicious hobbity recipes![4]

Other 2015 Feast Week meals:

Feast Week, Day 1: Bilbo and Frodo’s Birthday[5]

Feast Week, Day 2: Sleeping Outdoors[6]

Feast Week, Day 4: Farmer Maggot’s Feast[7]

Feast Week, Day 5: The Feast of Tom Bombadil[8]

Feast Week, Day 6: The Feast of Tom Bombadil, Day Two[9]

Feast Week, Day 7: Prisoners of a Barrow-wight[10]

Feast Week, Day 8: The Prancing Pony[11]

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image Author: Myla Malinalda[12] After being dragged to see The Fellowship of the Ring back in 2001 with her dad, Myla fell head-over-hobbit-feet in love with Middle-earth. Myla would love nothing more than to be able to live peacefully in the Shire and go on the occasional adventure with Bilbo. She has a habit of becoming too attached to fictional characters and buying too many copies of the same book. Myla enjoys creating art whenever she can and collecting all things relating to Tolkien.

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