A Birthday To Remember...
This will be a birthday to remember. - Bilbo
Bilbo couldn't have said it better!!
Well folks, I have kissed sweet sixteen ado and bid welcome to seventeen...I'm starting to feel old and decrepit!
I've never been one to throw a big birthday bash (normally..) or invite lots of friends over. I like to keep it small and simply.
This birthday was different, I decided to go all out. That's right, you heard me!! I decided to celebrate my love of Middle Earth and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, by throwing a feast, worthy of any hobbit, dwarf, elf, or wizard! Yep, we're going to have ourselves a hobbit feast!
Originally I had planned on preparing most (all) of the food the day before (Thursday, 9th), but after making a quick scan of the refrigerator I found we had no eggs! WHAT?!?!?!? The Crazy Chicken Lady is OUT of eggs?? You've got to be joking... NOPE! I kid you not, we had a grand total of 0 eggs, and I don't know about y'all, but it's pretty hard for me to bake diddly squat without eggs, so I postponed my baking escapade until the next day when my dear grandmother could bring some eggs from the store.
Fast forward to the next morning......
I admit, I was a little wee scosh excited about the next day's events, so I woke up at the crack of dawn and helped Mom prepare the guy's lunches, before they headed off to work.
The night before I had made out a menu, so I had a remote idea of what all I needed to get done that day:
Hobbit Hole Door Cookies
Sounds simply enough, right? Yeah, that's what I thought too....
I started out by making a double recipe of homemade bread, once my dough was ready to bake, I buttered eight medium sized metal bowls, filled them about half full of dough, and baked them until they were a lovely golden brown.
They turned out beautifully! We set them aside, and covered them with towels to keep them fresh until we needed them.
Next I threw together my stew. Now, any sensible fellow will know that mushrooms are a staple in the hobbit diet, so naturally I concocted a po-tay-to (< only LOTR fans will understand that... ;), mushroom, meat, and barley stew that Sam would be proud of!
Now that my stew was done, I put it away for later and started on my icing.
Now, since we all know that hobbit holes are..you guessed it...green, I needed lots of green icing on hand for my cake and hobbit hole door cookies. I made a triple recipe of buttercream icing. As for coloring..well I used an entire bottle of green food coloring. Yes I did.
I shoved the icing in the refrigerator and went on to the next project: Cookies!
Now, I'd seen several different versions of how to make cookies that resemble Bilbo's beloved door, but the basic idea is to bake a (brown) cookie, let it cool then spread a thin layer of chocolate on top, let that settle and then frost it with green icing and add a yellow M & M for the door. Sounded easy enough.
I started out by making a quick recipe of Peanut-butter Cookies. While those cooled, I melted some organic dark chocolate chips in a pan, then spread a layer of the chocolatey-goodness atop' each cookie. I placed them in the freezer so the chocolate would harden up again and I could later add the green icing and M & M's.
By this time, it was late afternoon and I decided I'd better get my act together and whip up my cakes. I decided on chocolate, because ya know, you can't go wrong with chocolate. For the bottom layer, little Sis' (who had been my faithful helper all this time) whipped up a big pan of Wacky Chocolate Cake, while I made a Chocolate Quinoa Cake for the small hobbit hole that would be stacked on-top of the other cake.
While the cakes were baking, we enlisted Mom's help and she made us a "No Admittance Except On Party Business" sign. Lil 'Sis and I ran down to the cattle-guard that comes on to our property, and taped it to the gate. Afterwards we had a feeling that our cakes might be burning, so we ran like barefooted banshees back to the house and again stationed ourselves in the kitchen for several more hours of strenuous manual labor.
Once our cakes cooled off enough that we could work with them, I pulled out our icing, to find it was as hard as a rock. Oh dear.... We would have needed a crowbar, an axe, and Thor's hammer to accomplish the task of breaking it up;
so we waited for about an hour for the icing to thaw out enough, so that we could start icing the cake. While we waited, we made our Lembas Bread and Seed Cake.
Finally the icing thawed out and we started icing the Hobbit Hole Door Cookies first, because we're afraid if we iced the cake first we would forget and not leave enough icing for the cookies. Afterwards we began forming what was to be a glorious recreation of Bag-End...in cake form! Total I would guess it took us (there were three of us working on it; 1 to decorate, 1 to take pictures, and 1 to give out free advice...) aprox. 2 1/2 hours to finish decorating the cake. But it was worth it!
By this time, the guys had come in from work and were surprised to see LOTR food sprawled out all over the kitchen! The last light of day was beginning to fade, so we began to show some hussel.
Mambo and Stockton had graciously gathered me some fallen leaves and sunflowers to decorate the table with. Carolina and I snatched the candles out of my room and encircled them around the center of the table. We intermixed leaves and sunflowers until we had a lovely "wreath" in the center of the table. Then I gathered a few more beautiful leaves to sprinkle around the table, for good measure. ;)
Then, while Carolina finished with the table, I began hollowing out bread bowls, dipping stew into them, and placing them on the table.
The last order of business was to light the candles and ditch lights.
The dining room soon began to feel just like a warm, cozy hobbit hole!
In short, this candle-lit feast confirmed that in my home, I want every. single. meal to be like this. It was wonderful and very medievaly! Just how I like i!
The only picture you get of me:
Roasting bread over the candles.
After we'd gorged ourselves, I was presented with two lovely gifts, wrapped in brown paper, and enscripted with dwarf runes.
A sneak peak of some of the goodies we partook of.
Some of the dainties...oh yes and um..Thorin's key..how in Middle Earth did that get there?
Lembas, one bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man. - Legolas
Apparently, Cimarron is a hobbit...he had more than just one small bite! *ahem*
Elves sure do know how to make good Lembas, let me tell ya! ;) We wiped out the entire plate Lembas first thing, and I had hungry hobbits requesting more.
The lovely wax-dripped candles. <3
The remains of our feast..it looked like a party of dwarves were partying in my kitchen!! Ohh..wait..they were...
Stockton and Carolina set up their lego hobbit hole and displayed it by the dessert table.
A peak inside:
It looks like they were having a feast of their own!
P.S. You were wanting to see my Bag End cake, weren't you? Weren't you?!?! Go on admit it..you wanted to glance upon it's gloriousness!
And YES! I'm totally going to make you wait to see my cake until the next post! Aren't I horrid ? Yes, I know...let the suspense begin...