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Tolkien on tomorrow (10/16) as part of The Great American Read!

The good folks over at PBS have sent us an exclusive clip to share with you all before the episode airs, featuring none other than George R. R. Martin!

Check your local listings here to find out when to tune in to PBS on October 16th to catch this episode of The Great American Read. Don’t forget to vote for Tolkien here!

Want to see the Happy Hobbit interview requested by the show’s producers? Then look no further!

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Uncategorized

Happy Hobbit: Blackberry Tarts – Episode 89

Kili wants to bake a tasty treat to thank Bilbo for the “brownie bites” recipe he gave to Fili… but will it all be a disaster? Be sure to subscribe to the Happy Hobbit channel on YouTube to be alerted to new videos, and follow their escapades on Facebook and Instagram!

 

RECIPE

BERRY FILLING
– 4 to 5 cups of fresh or frozen berries (if using frozen you will need more thickener)
– 2/3 cup of sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1/4 cup of flour
– Instant Clear Jel, quick-cooking tapioca, or another thickener.

CRUST
– 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
– 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
– 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of chilled butter (or lard)
– Up to 6 tablespoons of ice water

Use your torture device of Sauron (food processor) to chop the butter into the flour and salt until it has a grainy, sand-like consistency. Add ice water one or two tablespoons at a time as needed.

Flour your workspace and your rolling pin then roll out the dough for the tarts one handful at a time. Place a spoonful of the berry mixture in the center and have fun trying to seal it all up! You can make it a dumpling shape or more of an open top. Use a fork to seal the edges. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Place in Smaug’s mouth (the oven) and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then 350 F for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit

Tolkien (and Happy Hobbit?) on The Great American Read

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is in the running as America’s favorite book! Tolkien will be featured as part of an episode called “Other Worlds” in PBS’s series, The Great American Read.

Tune in: October 16th on PBS. Check your local listings here.

Our very own Happy Hobbits, Kili and Fili (Kellie and Alex Rice) were asked to participate in the episode. The producers were excited to showcase two creative young women as Tolkien fans to demonstrate that Fantasy hasn’t been a “boys only club” for a long time. Unfortunately, their interview was cut for time, however there may still be a snippet of the sisters asking the audience to vote for Lord of the Rings as America’s favorite book.

If you’re bummed that you won’t get to see TORn staff members on the show, don’t worry! Happy Hobbit will upload the interview they filmed for PBS and post it on their YouTube channel the same day the episode airs.

But what is the program itself about? Here is the summary from The Great American Read website:

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey)*.  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.

*PBS does not endorse any titles on the top 100 list. For more information on how these titles were selected, please see our FAQs.

Be sure to tune in to watch and don’t forget to vote for Tolkien here!

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books

Happy Hobbit: Adventure’s and Fishing in Ireland’s Middle-earth – Episode 88

Join Kili and her sweetheart Bard as they visit the varied Tolkien-inspired landscapes of County Kerry (and a little from County Galway), Ireland! Then, maybe learn a thing or two from Bard about fishing for wrasse from the shore. Follow Happy Hobbit on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course, subscribe on YouTube to be notified every time there is a new episode!

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

New Tolkien Documentary

hobbit 2

While Tolkien was a British writer, his readership and influence extend far beyond the English language. Middle-earth transcends both time and culture as we have seen again and again when having the pleasure to meet fellow fans from around the globe through both TheOneRing and Happy Hobbit. That said, sometimes it takes a little longer for Tolkien events and/or specials in other languages and countries to reach our ears. Fortunately for you, dear reader, famed Tolkien artist and scholar John Howe sent a message our way via thrush to let us know about a delightful Franco-English documentary he narrated in 2015 about the source material for Tolkien’s The Hobbit titled A la Recherche du Hobbit (Looking for the Hobbit).

You can watch the first episode of five in English below:

Looking for the Hobbit ep1 from CERIGO Films on Vimeo.

If you’re confident enough to navigate the French website (all you have to do is click on the shopping cart icon!) you can purchase a region-free English version here, and the series is available in French on DVD and streaming here (along with a preview). You can also peruse several delightful behind the scenes photos on their Facebook page.

john howe hobbit

John Howe at Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ.

What’s more, John Howe has taken the time to provide us with his thoughts on why, even after all this time, he was excited to contribute to yet another exploration of Tolkien.

(more…)

Posted in Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Howe, Television, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

Happy Hobbit: Thorin’s Toffee Bars – Episode 74

Learn how to make a treat that is fit for a king in this latest delicious episode!

THORIN’S TOFFEE BARS

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust:
¾ cup butter, room temperature (or melted per Happy Hobbit style!)
¾ cup light brown sugar
1½ cups flour
Filling:
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter

Topping:
2 cups milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
1½ cups Toffee Bits (store bought or homemade — scroll all the way down for the homemade recipe we used!)

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350°
2. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
3. To make the Shortbread Crust, beat butter and sugar together until it is combined.
4. Mix in flour, it will be a bit dry.
5. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes (or start at 10 just to be safe) or until lightly golden.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
7. To make the filling; in a small saucepan heat sweetened condensed milk and butter together until the mixture is smooth.
8. Pour over shortbread crust. Bake 12-15 minutes until filling is bubbly and browned. (It will start to look browned and slightly caramelized)
9. To make the topping, immediately sprinkle milk chips on top of filling when it comes out of the oven. Place back in oven for around 2ish minutes or until the chips have begun to melt.
10. Carefully spread the chips over the filling.
11. Sprinkle with toffee bits and press them evenly into the chocolate.
12. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Let them rest up to overnight, or cool in the fridge…that way you can eat them sooner!
13…EAT THEM ALL!

Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe:

Ingredients
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
pinch of salt

Directions

1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil (around 5 minutes)
2. Continue cooking until the mixture is 300 degrees and starts to turn brown.This could be up to 8 minutes of cooking, but in my experience, it is much shorter then that (depending on your stove!) So just be sure to keep an eye on it, or two eyes as Gandalf would do!
3. When it reaches 300 or starts to really thicken and brown, pour it out onto a pan lined with baking parchment.
4. Let it cool completely.
5. Put it into a zip-lock bag and bash it up into bits!

Posted in Creations, Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

New Middle-earth Honey!

Have you ever wondered what the honey from Beorn’s hives gifted to Gandalf and Thorin’s Company on their Quest tasted like? Now you can find out! For the first time ever, Beorn’s treat is available worldwide from Middle-earth Honey, a New Zealand based company striving both to bring the tastes of Arda to the world and to also save the precious bees that produce it.

Their first product is called Anduin Vale Honey and its inspiration was taken directly from the text of The Hobbit: “This is what he promised to do for them. He would provide ponies for each of them, and a horse for Gandalf, for their journey to the forest, and he would lade them with food to last them for weeks with care, and packed so as to be as easy as possible to carry—nuts, flour, sealed jars of dried fruits, and red earthenware pots of honey, and twice-baked cakes that would keep good a long time, and on a little of which they could march far. The making of these was one of his secrets; but honey was in them, as in most of his foods, and they were good to eat, though they made one thirsty.” – The Hobbit, “Queer Lodgings”

round logo

You can meander through the Vale at the Middle-earth Honey website here, and likewise may keep up to date with new products and recipes by following their Facebook page here.

Like Beorn, the nature-loving guardian of the Vale, Middle-earth Honey holds its bees in high regard and gives them the best possible treatment. Their honey is 100%  natural and is based just ten minutes from Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ.

Anduin Vale Honey is but the first of many Middle-earth products, including candies, chocolates, and even some meads (honey wine) to be released later this year.

Even better, Middle-earth Honey is helping to support the endangered honey bee by maintaining healthy hives on the Pacific Island nation of Niue where the bee population has been untouched by disease or decline.

You can find out more about these special island bees in the video below:

Save The Bees – NIUE HONEY from Richard Duncan on Vimeo.

We Happy Hobbits have a pot of this special honey on the way, so keep your eyes peeled for a video review from us soon!

Posted in Fans, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Uncategorized, WETA Workshop

A Wellington Weta Adventure!

Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.

IMG_20151103_121307234_HDR

The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ

Like most fans of the The Lord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.

(more…)

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Movie, John Callen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Pumpkinwalkers (Halloween Special)

pumpkinwalkers yt

When cursed jack-o-lanterns turn Fili, Kili, and Eowyn into pumpkinwalkers, it is up to Daggorlad and the neighborhood bounder to try to save them!

 

Have a happy hobbity Halloween!

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Hobbit Three Year Anniversary: Daniel Falconer

Daniel Falconer Interview

In honor of Happy Hobbit bringing Middle-earth into daily lives for three years, we have a special interview with our friend Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop!

 

Posted in Daniel Falconer, Happy Hobbit, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Trail Riding Basics – Episode 70

HH trail riding yt

Join Fili, Kili, and Sam to learn beginning Western trail riding! But even with transportation, will they make it to the Renaissance Faire in time to see their friends the Wicked Tinkers play?

If you enjoy Happy Hobbit then please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and “like” us on Facebook to share in our hobbity fun!

Posted in Happy Hobbit

Wizard World!

We had a fantastic time at last weekend’s Wizard World San Jose. Thanks so much to everyone who made the effort to come out and join us!

wizard world YT

Our panel, Happy Hobbit: The World Ahead, was a delight on Friday afternoon. In keeping with our theme, there was lots of laughter and learning. It’s always very rewarding to meet people who watch our show and fellow Tolkien-fans in general. In addition to geeky fun, several creatives also turned out, curious to hear about my experience with writing as K.M. Rice and to see Fili’s love of capturing the moment with Alexandra Rice Photography. We can only hope that Tolkien would’ve been proud to see just how much creativity and inspiration people have found in his Middle-earth, leading them to their own unique forms of self-expression. Like Bilbo, many of us artists just need a little nudge out the door onto our own roads! You can watch our panel in it’s entirety here:

The short film that we debuted, Wildling, which we made together as a sister team over the summer, can be watched here (in a bit better quality than what you can see in this panel footage!).

Following the panel, we had time to sweep through the showroom floor before heading over to the Hilton’s Affinity restaurant for some hobbity and dwarven hijinks that made our panel look like a calm and composed event. TORn staffter Garfeimao and her sister, Carynn Hobbit, were in attendance, along with several friends, some old and some we’d only met that day! The following afternoon was none other than Billy Boyd’s (Pippin in LOTR and lead vocals in the band beecake) hilarious Q & A panel.

As always with our show, our goal is to make episodes that help you feel like you were at these events, even if you were only present in spirit, so feel free to prop up your feet and enjoy Wizard World San Jose by watching the video below!

Posted in Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Uncategorized