Regional Cooking from Middle-earth: Recipes of the Third Age

Emerald Took

Published by Trafford Publishing
ISBN 10: 155395257X / ISBN 13: 9781553952572
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Synopsis: This is a sincere labor of love; an honest attempt to share some favorite recipes from over the years, create some, and honor some of the adopted ones. I have always enjoyed cooking and Tolkien's works... and this is a tribute to them both. These are recipes I have accrued over four decades; they represent a sample of recipes I love that I hope you come to love, too. I had a lot of fun with the Elvish names, compiling information and creating an embellished personal history from the inspiration of a remarkable college professor who I grew up admiring, adoring, and genuinely loving.

I read two memorable texts when I was 10 years old: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and The Hobbit. The latter played a very large role in the course my life took. I grew up in the middle of volatile political times and turbulent change, a member of the disenfranchised populations three times over. I learned to make lemonade out of lemons (see recipe #1).

I learned, thanks to Tolkien, that even the most timid and diminutive could have a dramatic, positive impact on the world. I also learned through my cultural teachings and my subsequent reading as a teen of The Lord of The Rings that the earth and all of its inhabitants are sacred. We all have our contributions to make. I saw the obvious parallels in the struggles that the characters of Middle Earth faced and my own world. I identified messages from the text with themes from my own traditions. This book is a celebration of those cultures: Tolkien's and ours. There are family recipes in here that are literally hundreds of years old; some were gifts to my family from other cultures over the years. Some are adaptations of recipes collected over the years from various sources, including neighbors, local restaurants, and dear friends... all of whom are properly mentioned in the index. There are recipes of my own creation from Tolkien's inspiration... namel, lembas (or coimas), which I started making 25 years ago. There are three types, and they are my interpretation, and of course, not meant to be the only interpretation of them.

I am also very health conscious. I don't eat these kinds of foods every day. Some of them simply aren't the best for all people. Use your discretion, and modify some of the fat, cholesterol and salt content where appropriate. There are places where I offer lower fat, salt and cholesterol alternatives, where I know they will work in the recipe. I make mostly vegetarian dishes these days, so a lot of the classic menus have vegetarian alternatives, for those who may go meatless. There are several recipes here for young children and for babies. I also only use whole ingredients: whole grains, no white potatoes, turbinado sugar, and pure honey. Many people who have problems with their sugar levels will find this refreshing. Complex carbohydrates will metabolize better. I do not ever use sugar substitutes in the recipes. I try to keep the recipes as close to foods of the past as possible. There are no microwave recipes in here; most of these are appropriate for wood stoves, electric or gas. I also live in the mountains, so some have been modified to meet the sea level requirement. If I am uncertain how a recipe will perform in your area, I give you fair warning.

I have classified the recipes by region, not race of peoples. Many areas have had a number of different cultures living on them through the ages, and their populations have migrated, here and in Middle-Earth. Many, like Bree, offer a combination of different influences and types. I hope there will be some there that appeal to the reader. The foods of The Dark Lands chapter have more to do with humor in the characterizations of the food than the actual places they are associated with. For example, the classic cheeseburger is lovingly referred to as Mount Doom because that's what it will do to one's arteries if eaten too frequently. Mince meat pie is nicknamed for the Balrog because that's probably what would go through your mind that you might become if you ran into him in the Mines of Moria. I hope you have fun with them, too.

Above all, this project is meant to honor and respect all peoples... from Middle-Earth and our own. Tolkien said that Middle-Earth wasn't some other dimension or parallel universe: it is our earth. I feel he really loved this earth, and so do I. It is in that spirit that this project was conceived. I hope it brings you great joy, fun, sharing and a full tummy.

Wishing you all the best always,
Emerald Took
To read reviews of this book please visit: The Post Gazette and Oregon Magazine
Also see: The Revenge of the Hobbits

About the Author: Emerald is a traditional Hobbit name, since my people are originally from the North country, who traveled down into the Shire during the First Age. My history is that of a Fallohide, and a Harfoot Hobbit, since my families are from Long Cleve and from the Bywater region. Originally, Hobbit mothers and grandmothers have been naming their daughters after other relatives and mostly, flowers and precious stones as long as anyone can remember. My Took lineage is from Reginard, who had three sisters: Lily, Sage and Emerald.* The other families of the area thought the Tooks quite odd, since we loved to travel (well, more than most Hobbit families), and also enjoyed the water. Some of us even swam, (something traditional Hobbits rarely did). Today, we are mixed with the races of Man; having traveled outside the Shire again after the end of the Third Age after the War of the Ring, when King Elessar was crowned. My dear ancestor, Cousin Pip (Thain Peregrin) and his lovely wife Diamond (from Long Cleve) went into the lands of Rohan to serve under the rulership of Man from that time forward. We are spread out all over the world now, but our recipes and our family ties continue to be honored no matter where we live. The important thing we always try to remember is that we are all relations. . . one way or another. The next person I meet today is probably a distant cousin, so I always treat them like a long lost friend. This cookbook is to honor those relatives, stories, and some fables that I hope will bring some fun and genuine enjoyment to your family. With my blessings, from our home to yours. . . Sincerely, - Emerald Took *Lily, Sage and Emerald are names of my own family and creation. In Tolkien's works, he does not name the daughters, just the fact that there were some.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Regional Cooking from Middle-earth: Recipes ...
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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Emerald Took
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