Hobbit Elation Anticipation

There is a quiet elation building at our place, a Hobbitesque type of elation. A hairy-footed, second-breakfast-eating, longing-for-creature-comforts type of excitement.

To wit: Amalia is reading The Hobbit (by J.R.R. Tolkien, but you knew that) to little Mack. It’s a re-reading, for her, but he has never read the book before (although he knows the story, just from listening to all of us talk about it) and it tickles me to hear them together. She reads. He laughs. She stops reading and says that’s all for today. He begs her “one more chapter, Amalia, please. . . ” She gives in. “Well. Maybe just a few more pages . . . ” and he chuckles and settles back into the couch cushions. I love this. How could I not?

The story of a rather small, home-loving little hobbit who goes on a quest (even though it is not to his liking or with his initial consent) and becomes a brave and heroic figure must be refreshing for the smallest member of our family, who (it must be noted) does receive more than his share of bossing around, due to his last born position, not to mention the bossiness of the folks he lives with (cough).

I’ve told him that if he would offer to help his sister fold the laundry, or weed her flower bed, or offer something to ease her chore burden, say, maybe she’d be able to read longer.

He’ll thinks a minute at this, and then clatters out the back door, to ride his bike for a while. I like to imagine that he is thinking it over.

Amalia has been giving in to the urge to make Hobbit seedcakes:

The seeds give this cake such crunch and sweetness, with not much sugar added.

The seeds give this cake such crunch and sweetness, with not much sugar added.

She made enough to take them to the farmer’s market this week.

Also, she recently made enough Elven Lembas bread to take to farmer’s market, as well. It was fun to sell it to people, as we assured everybody that a mere bite of it would feed a man for an entire day. The wives, especially, perked up at that. Would that it were true!

Under its rather quiet appearance is a very tasty and filling treat.

Lembas bread: under its rather quiet appearance is a very tasty and filling treat.

Amalia just recently started her own blog, called second breakfast, a reference, as you know, from Hobbit life.

That little video clip from the movie always makes me smile: “I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pippin.”

Amalia also is working on a very fun project, a book of Hobbit-related recipes. There are lots of references to meals and individual recipes in the Tolkien books. It makes you hungry to read them.  On the very first page of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, we find that Bilbo’s cozy hobbit hole is blessed with “pantries (lots of those).” My curiosity, as a reader, is piqued. I wonder what the humble hobbit has hidden in his (plural!) larders? The thing is, Tolkien didn’t give out a wealth of information on this count. He does explain that, for Hobbits, “growing food and eating it occupied most of their time,”  but he doesn’t spend much time describing exactly what they loved to grow and eat.

Amalia has set a goal of researching and developing recipes from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, for her book: meat pies. Blackberry tarts. Cakes. Raspberry Jam and Apple Tart. Mince and pork pies. Many, many pies. I can’t wait for the baking and the taste-testing to begin! 🙂 I’ve always wondered if my family is related to the Hobbits, as important as food is to us, particularly pies. We also spend large amounts of time collecting, growing, preserving, storing, and enjoying food. 

Just yesterday, for example: I worked in my garden, made Greek yogurt out of raw milk (I traded some extra heirloom tomatoes to a friend for it), went to my folks’ house to cut a stock pot full of sweet corn off the cobs and process it for the freezer, and then I came home and got together all the necessary equipment so I could can tomatoes this morning. Soon my larder and my freezer and my kitchen cabinets will be full of wonderful foods for the winter, and we can settle back and just enjoy the snow and the cold that is slowly and inexorably creeping closer to us.

wheelbarrow full of corn, photo credit Jim Young

 

I was a bit surprised, when we talked with folks at farmer’s market, how many people had not read the Tolkien books. I just assumed that nearly everybody had read those books, but no. I hid my surprise a bit better than Amalia did. (cough)

I can still remember the first time I read these wonderful books. I guess I was probably twelve or thirteen, still engrossed in Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, probably.  My dad was running the drugstore in Nelson, Nebraska. He had a little red wire rack near the front door of the store, filled with paperback books. I had my eye on a new book, “The Hobbit,” because it had such pretty artwork on the front cover. I don’t know how things work nowadays, but back then if books or magazine or comic books didn’t sell after a certain span of time, the storekeeper was instructed to rip the covers off (moan) and throw the books away (feeling faint). The covers were then sent back to the publisher, and the retailer got credit for the books that weren’t sold.

As a kid, I’d beg my dad (and the ladies who worked as clerks at the store) to save the piles of comic books and paperbacks that went into the trash every week, for me. They rarely would. I never could understand this! I know that I was just a quiet skinny little girl, so they probably didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to me, but . . . but . . . why–how–(sputter!)–why on earth could anybody throw away those piles of delightful books? I even remember putting up a large sign right above the trash can “STOP! Please don’t throw away books or comic books! Save them for AMY!Thank you.

But those piles of books and comic books nearly always ended up in the trash. I don’t know if it was a clerk who just couldn’t stand the thought of piles of cover-less books and so forth cluttering up the back room for a day or two (until I’d happen by and discover them), or what. I would imagine that Dad had signed some sort of contract promising to throw away the books that weren’t sold, once the covers were removed. I don’t know. But I got into the habit of stopping by the store every day after school, just to dig through the trash. Some days I’d hit the jackpot, and there would be piles of books right there, free for me to take home and devour. Those were particularly blessed days.

And so that’s when I discovered The Hobbit. When I dug a copy of it, missing its cover, out of the trash bin in the back of Dad’s store. I was so happy! That book was a delight. A wondrous discovery. A revelation, of very fine writing and a completely compelling story. I was sucked into the story and just loved it, every word.

And that’s why I try to listen when Amalia is reading The Hobbit to little Mack. It’s still a magical story for me. The story of a small, humble, food-obsessed little creature, fighting against his fears to do something heroic, and grand, and very brave.

The new Hobbit movie, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is set to be released in December of this year. We’re just a bit excited about that.

Here’s the trailer for the movie, just in case you haven’t seen it yet:

 

Oooh, it looks grand, don’t you think?

 

I’m linking with The Prairie Homestead’s Barn Hop this morning. Join me!

19 thoughts on “Hobbit Elation Anticipation

  1. Katie

    I must admit that even in my thirties (and married to a wonderful and nerdy guy) I haven’t read The Hobbit. Oh, but this post has inspired me! I’m heading over to amazon.com right now to add it to my wish list. Thanks, Amy!

  2. OrangeBlossom

    Oh Amy! We are LOTR fans here, big time. So much that I use my Hobbit name for most of my online writing. My husband and I are both engineers and we are always telling our six (soon to be seven) kids that being smart is cool.

    Please let me know if Amalia writes a book. The kids would beg me to buy a copy! I think you know who I am .. well my email address is there.

    Love your posts. Read them all the time here at Toadfoot Acres (Toadfoot is our Hobbit last name)

  3. Andrea Wisden

    I loved reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as a child, and re-reading as an adult. I’ve seen all the films, and been totally thrilled by them. Often when favourite books have been made into films I’ve ended up being slightly disappointed because they don’t live up to my imagination, but these have been an exception. What an excellent idea to make a hobbit cookery book. I don’t know where it comes from, but I believe hobbits love mushrooms. My partner loves mushrooms and we call him hobbit ears, because of this love of mushrooms and unfeasibly hairy ears. Anyway, perhaps include some mushroom recipes in case I didn’t just dream that up. Roll on Christmas for the next installment of the Hobbit film. Can’t wait!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Andrea, thanks for the recommendation! I agree, that mushroom dishes ought to be in the Hobbit cookbook! My daughter Amalia and I are having fun dreaming up this cookbook, and we both agreed the other night that we need to reread the Tolkien books to get more ideas. Oh well. If we HAVE to . . . 😉

  4. Candess

    What a wonderful mother you are to include reading the Hobbit and all the related activities into your children’s lives. I loved reading the Hobbit and it may be time to read it to my granddaughter. I’ll plan if for a fall activity. Although I love technology, a book and a blanky with a child is great!

  5. Kathy Widenhouse

    I must admit that The Hobbit books just didn’t excite me. (Please don’t shoot.) Although I enjoyed the movies. However I love how Amalia has embraced them and has found ways to live them out in her life. That’s the impact a book can have!

  6. Alana(@RamblinGarden)

    I read The Hobbit and then the Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was in college, in the early 1970’s. And then I reread it. And reread it. It’s been years (although I have seen the three Lord of the Rings movies, and the second Hobbit movie – I somehow missed the first) since I’ve read the books. I love how your children are getting into the books, each in their own way. You will have a most interesting Farmers Market booth before long!

  7. Lesa

    Ah seed cakes, meat pies…. LOTR.. I brought up your site to search for your artisan bread recipe to verify something and the word Hobbit caught my eye as the page was changing..I had to go back. I have not seen your current email yet so what a surprise! I have read and will be rereading the books this winter. Thank you for the seedcake recipe. Looks wonderful.

  8. Pingback: Bearable | Second Breakfast

  9. Pingback: ~this week~ | Second Breakfast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-Spam Quiz: