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An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery – a review

Cookbook coverChris Rachael Oseland ’s new cookbook, An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery, is a compilation of delicious, down-to-earth recipes any Hobbit would love.

The book is organized in order of how a typical Hobbit would go through their culinary day. Among many other recipes, Breakfast includes mushroom, and bacon hash and apple and cherry griddle cakes. Second Breakfast includes recipes for pork and apple hand pies for Hobbits on the go. By Elevenses it’s time for honey cakes, seed cakes, and other sweet treats. On to Luncheon with delectable baked scotch eggs, steak and ale pie, and strawberries and cream bread. Of course, no self-respecting Hobbit would miss their scones and country ginger snaps for Afternoon Tea. Supper recipes feature venison cobbler and rosemary skillet peas, and there’s not a Hobbit to be found that wouldn’t be proud to ‘fill up the corners’ with dinner recipes such as savory bread pudding with mushrooms, and boxty on the griddle!

Luncheon Selections

Luncheon Selections

Is your mouth watering yet? Ours certainly were, so we decided to try a few of the recipes in TheOneRing.net’s test kitchen. Greendragon was taken with the baked scotch eggs, rosemary skillet peas and lavender and lemon bread. “I love peas and rosemary – cook with them both a lot – but would never have thought to put them together, nor to cook the peas in a frying pan. (Sam would be proud)!” Kelvahrin and I both tried the steak and ale pie to raves from our respective families. I also made the strawberries and cream bread which was just as tasty and fragrant when we finished the last slice as when we cut the first one.

Chris really did her homework, researching the kinds of foods that would have been available around the late Victorian era when Tolkien was a young man; many of the same ingredients that made their way through his writings to The Shire.

From Chris: “[the research].. was the most fun – falling deep down a research rabbit hole. I have a MA in History, so honestly this was like candy for me. Once I compiled way too many historically suitable recipes I made myself (mostly) stop the research and focus on testing. A lot of people think of Middle Earth as a faux medieval realm, but The Professor was very clear that the Shire was his homage to the disappearing way of life he loved from his late Victorian childhood.”

The result is that the recipes stick to basic ingredients such as butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat. One of the best things about the cookbook, is that most of the recipes that contain butter and meat as ingredients also include clear instructions for how to make them vegetarian, and even some vegan. There are also gluten-free recipes and paleo/primal-friendly recipes. Many of the recipes also include suggestions on using leftovers for later meals, though all of us at TheOneRing.net’s test kitchen can’t imagine leftovers ever being a problem!

Lavender and Lemon Bread

Lavender and Lemon Bread

Again from Chris: “As for the dietary restrictions – that’s a real passion of mine. Food brings us together. I see it as part of my job to ensure there’s a place for everyone around the nerdy table. The vegetarian recipes were pretty easy. Most baked goods are accidentally vegetarian, and once you have a little practice, it’s not hard to veganize most vegetarian recipes. Getting the gluten free options in there was the most work since these recipes come from an era when bread really was the staple of life, so I bought in some northern English (mostly Scottish influenced) recipes with oats and made sure that there were some roasts as well as the popular hearty meat pies of the era.”

Steak and Ale Pie

Steak and Ale Pie

As you can see, Chris has a way with words which also makes the cookbook fun to read. Top it off with fabulous pictures of the food, and metric conversions for all measured ingredients, and Chris’ book offers Tolkien fans everywhere a Middle-earth adventure, right in your own kitchen!

An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery would make a lovely Christmas present, and is available now from Amazon for $24.95. Also look for other books by Chris including Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook, Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settler’s Cookbook and Steamdrunks: 101 Steampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks.

Posted in Books Publications, Creations, Fans, Merchandise

New edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil coming this Fall

Adventures of Tom BombadilAdding to an already lengthy list of scholarly works related to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings and artwork, Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull are putting the finishing touches on a new edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book, scheduled for release on October 4, 2014. Tolkien fans and scholars know the book, originally published in 1962, as a collection of entertaining poems wonderfully illustrated by artist Pauline Baynes. The original book contained 16 poems, some about Tom Bombadil, others related to Middle-earth, and still others unrelated to his invented fantasy world.

From Wayne and Christina’s webblog: “This new edition will contain the sixteen poems as published in 1962, together with the original drawings by Pauline Baynes. But it will also include earlier versions of the poems, where earlier versions exist – some of these were published in magazines and journals which are now hard to find – and it will reprint a later ‘Bombadil’ poem, Once upon a Time. In addition, we are very pleased to be allowed to publish for the first time, from Tolkien’s manuscript, the predecessor of Perry-the-Winkle, called The Bumpus, and the complete, tantalizingly brief fragment of a prose story featuring Tom Bombadil, in the days of ‘King Bonhedig’. To these, we have added an introduction, comments on the poems and on Tolkien’s preface, and glosses for unusual words, as we did previously for Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham.”

Those of us with well-worn copies of the book on our bookshelves will definitely want to add the new edition to our collections this October! Thanks to ringer malickfan for alerting us to this great news!

Posted in Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien, Uncategorized

Smaug breathing fire: not as implausible as you might think

headFrom scientific american.com: What does a narcissistic flying reptile that loves the taste of crispy dwarves have in common with a beetle that shoots hot, caustic liquid from its butt? More than you think.

A few weeks ago, audiences were finally treated to the Cumberbatch-infused reptilian villain from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit. Smaug (pronounced and interpreted as if you smashed together “smug” and “smog”) is a terrible dragon that long ago forced a population of dwarves from under a mountain. He laid claim to all their treasures. He burned all their homes. The titular character of the book is then tasked with helping a company of these displaced dwarves take back the mountain from the beast. It wouldn’t be easy—the most common descriptor of a dragon is “fire-breathing,” after all. But unlike other aspects of the book and now the film that are wholly magic, Smaug’s burning breath is actually one of the least magical, and can be wrangled into plausibility. Doing so involves looking inside a beetle’s butt, a Boy Scout’s satchel, and a bird’s throat. [Read More]

Posted in Characters, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Is there a unicorn in your near future?

The Last UnicornFor those of you who aren’t aware, TORn friend and award-winning author and screenwriter, Peter S. Beagle, has been on tour for a few months offering a Q&A and screening of the movie: The Last Unicorn based on his best-selling novel of the same name. I was lucky enough to attend a screening a few months ago and it was well worth it! This month, the tour goes to Bakersfield, CA, Fort Collins, CO and a number of cities in New Mexico. Check below for the full January schedule courtesy of Peter’s publicist, Connor Cochran, and check out the tour’s website for future screenings near you.

The first screening is this Saturday, at noon, at the Southside Works Cinema in Pittsburgh, PA. (Less than 48 hours away!) Any fan who wants to buy a ticket should go to https://southsideworks.ticketsclevelandcinemas.com/, select Saturday from the dropdown date menu, scroll down until you see THE LAST UNICORN showing listed, and then click on the time.

AS FOR THE REST OF JANUARY…

• Friday January 17, 7 PM: the Reading Cinemas Valley Plaza 16 in Bakersfield, CA

• Sunday January 19, 1 PM: the Harkins Flagstaff 11 Luxury, with the signing session afterwards at the local Barnes & Noble store. (This one is also different than usual because all ticket sales have to be directly through us, instead of the theatre. People wanting to buy tickets in advance should call 650-728-8098 or email  flagstaff_tickets@conlanpress.com.)

• Wednesday, January 22,  7:30 PM: the Loft Cinema in Tucson, AZ

• Saturday, January 25, 11 AM & 6:30 PM & 9 PM: the Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe, NM. (And at 5 PM, as a separate ticket, there will be a special live-on-stage “fantasy summit” as Peter and George R.R. Martin interview each other!)

• Sunday, January 26, times to be announced, at the Lyric Cinema Café in Fort Collins, CO. (They may be showing the Bakshi LORD OF THE RINGS as well — still waiting to hear.)

In the gaps we’re still trying to set up shows in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Las Cruxes/El Paso. Still in January, but after Fort Collins, we are working on possible shows in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Salt Lake City.

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Events, Film Screenings, Lectures & Education, Merchandise, Miscellaneous

Are Hobbits human?

Bilbo, by Alan Lee

Bilbo, by Alan Lee

Here’s a thought-provoking article from Slate.com. We couldn’t help but notice the correction at the bottom of the story: “The caption for this story originally stated that Arwen and Aragorn are half-elf and half-human. Their lineage is apparently much more complicated than that.” Knowing fellow Tolkien fans, we imagine they received a comment or two (or twenty) to set them straight!

Are hobbits human and just really short? Or are they some entirely other species, like a gold-hoarding dragon? In high-school biology class they teach you to define species in terms of interbreeding. A horse is something that can make nonsterile babies with other horses; it may mate with a donkey, but since their offspring are sterile mules, horses and donkeys count as separate species. By that standard, the most relevant J.R.R. Tolkien passage comes from Appendix A of the Return of the King:

There were three unions of the Eldar and the Edain: Lúthien and Beren; Idril and Tuor; Arwen and Aragorn. By the last the long-sundered branches of the Half-elven were reunited and their line was restored.

It helps to recall here that Eldar is another word for elf and Edain is another word for human. Tolkien is saying here that there were two human-elf pairings in the backstory to the Lord of the Rings. One between Lúthien and Beren and another between Idril and Tuor. Both Arwen and Aragorn are descendants of one of these pairings. So when they get together in the course of the series, they reunite the half-elven lines.  [Read More]

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Tolkien

Adam Brown, ‘Ori,’ to do a Q&A at charity screening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

Adam Brown as OriThose of you living near Newbury, U.K., should take advantage of this special screening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” being presented by the Corn Exchange theater on Tuesday, Januray 14, 2013:

Join actor Adam Brown (who stars as Ori in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy) for a Q & A session before the screening of the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Having grown up in Hungerford, Adam was part of the Corn Exchange’s resident theatre company, Plested and Brown, and starred in the Corn Exchange’s annual pantomime for four years. He now returns to answer questions about working on major blockbuster films. Tickets cost just £15 of which £4.25 will be donated to the NSPCC (reg charity no. 216401) – see below for more information – and £4.25 will be donated to the Corn Exchange (Newbury) Trust (reg charity no. 0180567). [Read More]

Posted in Adam Brown, Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien: The iconic storyteller’s little-known, gorgeous art

Tolkien Artist & Illustrator book coverJ.R.R. Tolkien was born on this day, January 3rd, 1892. During his lifetime, he created a world that came to life in our imaginations, and that we’ve come to love and cherish. While many of us can recite some of his prose an poetry by heart, and are familiar with his illustrations that appear in his books, there’s a whole treasure trove of lesser know drawings and paintings by the mulit-talented man. The folks over at brainpickings.org have a nice little tribute on their site celebrating the amazing artwork of The Professor as presented in the beautifully illustrated “J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator” by Wayne G. Hammond and Christian Scull. Have a look and join TheOneRing.net in a resounding: ‘Happy Birthday Professor Tolkien!’

 

Posted in Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien

Our 10 Favorite Hobbit-related Gifts Mostly under $100

Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet? If you’re like us, you have a few more things on your list and what better way to complete the task than buying some Hobbity presents. TORns staffers Mithril and Altaira scoured the internet to find the perfect Hobbit-related presents to celebrate the holidays and the release of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and we were astounded by how many wonderful choices there are. So, without further ado, here (in no particular order) are our top 10 gift suggestions for your favorite Hobbit fan (even if that happens to be you). All amounts are in U.S. dollars.

 

Hobbit Score - AUJHobbit Score - DOS

1) The musical score special editions: Amazon (DOS $19.29; AUJ $21.15)

Journey from the Carrock through Mirkwood to Laketown and on to Erebor, swept up in the intricate and thrilling soundscapes of Middle-earth created by Academy Award-Winning Howard Shore. The special edition features twelve extended tracks, a bonus track, expanded liner notes and interactive sheet music packaged in a hardcover DigiBook.

[Desolation of Smaug] [An Unexpected Journey]

 

 

(more…)

Posted in Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

The DoS preview is over, but stay tuned for more!

The Desolation of Smaug sneak peak just ended and those of us who were lucky enough to see it I think will agree it was fabulous! It started with a short tour by PJ and Jed Brophy of Stone Street Studios that ended in the editing room. There, we were treated to many clips, finished and unfinished, of various parts of the movie in response to fan’s questions. It ended with a finished, trailer-like excerpt of Gandalf and Radagast in Dol Guldur, and maybe a dozen other shorter clips from filming and from the movie itself. Fabulous!

For those of you who missed it, fear not! Our staff is busy compiling detailed commentary complete with screen caps!! So, stay tuned here for much, much more. It will be posted here on the Home Page soon. Our friends at Warner Bros. also remind us that If you missed the Peter Jackson hosted first look at “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,”  or just want to watch it over again, a modified version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website  www.thehobbit.com/sneak.  To access the footage, use your UltraViolet code on your copy “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD.

UPDATE: we’ve just been informed by Warner Bros. that we can post no screen caps of the sneak peek. We apologize for disappointing any of our loyal readers, especially those who weren’t able to see it. We *will*, however, be posting more details and commentary from our staff very soon!

Posted in Uncategorized

Own The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Blu-ray Combo Pack 3/19. Available for early download in HD 3/12!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey DVD The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-Ray Combo PackBurbank, CA, February 5, 2013 – From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving on Digital Download on March 12th  and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-Disc DVD Special Edition on March 19th  from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. All disc versions feature UltraVioletÔ and over 130 minutes of bonus content.The first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which is nominated for three Academy Awards*, is an epic adventure that immerses audiences once again in the fantastical world of Middle-earth. The March 19th home entertainment release will be followed by an Extended Edition in time for the holidays.
In addition, Peter Jackson will host a live first look at “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, on Sunday, March 24th at 3:00PM Eastern/Noon Pacific. Content will be streamed live and an edited version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website. Access to the live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet code available by purchasing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. Select digital retailers will issue access codes upon purchase of the film.  Visit www.thehobbit.com/sneak for more information.
Posted in Blu-Ray, Director news, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.

‘Hobbit’ knockoff release blocked by judge

From the L.A. Times: Warner Bros. has succeeded in blocking the release of a low-budget knockoff the same week that “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits theaters. A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Tuesday’s scheduled DVD and online release of “Age of the Hobbits” from “mockbuster” factory Global Asylum. Judge Philip S. Guttierez found that Global Asylum’s movie was likely to cause some confusion among consumers. Read More…

Posted in DVDs, Merchandise, Miscellaneous

Hobbit TV Spot #12 officially available.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Warner Bros. made TV spot #12 available on their facebook page today. This spot is mostly a re-shuffling of previously seen footage, but we do catch a glimpse of wargs being ridden and Gandalf striking the ground with his glowing staff. The length of this TV spot is similar to most of the others, weighing in at 34 seconds. This is just the thing to get you through to the movie openings which start in less than 48 hours! Have a look.

Posted in Andy Serkis, Events, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Television, The Hobbit, Trailer