The Food of The Lord of the Rings Theme Party

I have a plan.

Those of you who do not know me may think that I am only kidding. You may think that I am not crazy enough to actually implement a plan of this scope and, well, obsessive compulsive fandom.

You would be wrong.

This write-up series will be devoted to documenting my adventures in creative cookery which will culminate in an all day party approximately two years from now, or whenever the completed film is released in a dvd set, in all its extended glory. These write-ups will also contain practical advice. If you can’t come to my party, have one of your own! Wouldn’t a Shelob shaped dessert make an entertaining addition to a pre-RotK party or, for book purists, to commemorate your 25th reading of The Two Towers?

So, what is this all about? Having a party and Lord of the Rings food, of course. No costumes. No multiple Arwens and Gandalfs and Aragorns. No prosthetic ears. Just good food and lots of it set out in a huge buffet while we sit around and watch the whole thing from the Prologue to the Grey Havens. And if the food isn’t enough to tempt you, I’m saving up as I write this for a gi-normous plasma screen TV and surround sound system.

O.K. As a concession to fanatics of a different sort, you can do up your hair funny and wear cool jewelry. But nothing excessive! The foci are the food and the film!

Why? Food is extremely important in The Lord of the Rings. Not only are Hobbits fond of six meals a day, but food both specific and general is mentioned very frequently in the novel. Food is used for atmosphere, and carries with it a special virtue, an extension or reflection of the character of those who prepare or serve it. After a quick survey of the text, I have catalogued specific food references, as opposed to those which merely mention a meal or food as a whole. The list occurs at the end of this write-up.

Why else? I like to play with food. And, to make this stuff, I also need to make sure there are enough people about to eat it. And, I think the completed film deserves a party; I think I deserve to be there; and I am pretty sure that both of those things won't meet up unless I do something pro-active about 'em!

My homenode has a complete menu of what I plan on serving, based upon the list I researched from the text. However, this write-up series is not devoted to the mostly common foods which are on that list. Much as I enjoy serving such foods, there isn’t anything terribly complicated about their preparation. Instead, I have chosen to focus primarily on Spectacle Foods. I plan on making many themed foods which reflect peoples, places, and/or events from the book or the film. There will also be forays into less visually stunning fare, such as lembas.

As I complete the write-up for each Spectacle Food, or any other dish which needs at least one trial run, I will mark the item with an *. I’m still thinking of new foods as well as of better ways of implementing my plans, so this list can and will change. If you think up something which you would like me to try, msg me and I may just add it to the list. If you have an idea about how to implement something, msg me and I may just be eternally grateful!

As I am able, I will post pictures at my website:

The Food Workshop

*Balrog s’mores
Individual servings. These will be roughly balrog shaped marshmallows piped directly over fudge skeletons onto store bought graham crackers, and individually lit right before consumption. I have decided not to tint the morgothmallows as they will look fantastic as the toasting process causes them to brown and then char. Performance dessert. A few pics are up.
Dead Marshes Hummus and Babaghanoush
I don’t think I really need do a write-up for this one. It is easy enough to find good recipes for both dips, and then artfully arrange them on a shallow platter. I would then drizzle them with olive oil for that green, wet look. Could be served with lembas.
Much as I am tempted to use something by Keebler, I will be making this from scratch. So far, only an almond version has been beta tested.
Midgewater Marsh Guacamole
This idea was a natural extension of the other marsh. Actually, I thought of guacamole for the Dead Marshes first, but quickly decided that it would be too green and lush looking. I don’t think I really need make a write-up for this one either. Favorite recipes for guacamole abound and there are many easily available from a wide range of recipe sites. I will just mention that mine is somewhat lumpy/chunky, and that I plan on pooling copious quantities of lime juice to make it suitably marshy and to keep it from browning.
Morgul Blade and White Horse Ice for Ford of Bruinen Punch
Or something. I just like the idea of Morgul blade ice. I would attempt to carve the moulds out of blocks of paraffin.
*West Gate of Moria Fudge
Presentation sized. Much like the Weta/Sideshow bookends of Bag End, with both interior and exterior, this Moria gate is shaped primarily from fudge. Edible silver is used in drawing the gate. The tarn and the Watcher are made of gelatin. The gate can be opened from the inside. I have a simple hinge design that works quite well. Pics are up!
*One Ring Cake
Presentation sized (18 inches in diameter). I’ve made a prototype already, and now know what NOT to do. This will be a white chocolate layer cake in a ring shape. Between the layers will be apricot preserves and cognac buttercream. The cake will be covered in rolled fondant, and then coated in edible gold dust. The lettering will be hand painted in edible food dye and luster dust on both the inside and the outside of the ring. I'll work on my penmanship. Pics of 1st cake are up. Some cake #2 pics are up.
Orc Birth Pie
Presentation sized or individual servings. This was a goofy idea I had based upon children’s party no-bake ideas. Chocolate pudding pie perhaps marbled with something else and with orc shapes imbedded in the surface. The orcs may be shaped cookies, chocolate or fudge, or Teddy-grahams, or gummy bears, or chocolate dipped gummy bears. The orcs may have their faces decorated with either food coloring or royal icing so that they are all frowning. I don’t plan on making this any time soon as it is just too basic. I will work on my orc shaped food, however, as I also need them for the Shelob cream puffs.
*Baked Orodruin
Presentation sized. Like baked Alaska, this Orodruin is a central core of ice cream covered in a brown sugar meringue, with (in this case) a flaming central cone. I've made a prototype and there's a pic at my website under the nodermeet pictures. When I get around to it, I'll post a couple more.
OR Mini-Orodruins
A batch of Chocolate Lava Muffins per Alton Brown's FoodTV recipe, covered in meringue and served like a baked Alaska. This could theoretically also work as one large unit if the muffins are stacked artfully prior to applying the meringue. Note that the ice cream version is easier to prepare in advance, the muffins would need to be served immediately. I've decided to go with the ice cream version as this just requires too much last minute prep. Also, I don't need another chocolate item on the menu!
Cheddar Orthanc
Per Scriblerus' request, I pondered what to make to represent Orthanc. I've decided that the big cheese of the Istari needs a big cheese. Since I have seen cheddar traditionally enrobed in black wax, it seemed a logical choice. This one will probably be about 18 inches tall, without much detail as dipping will obscure the finer points of carving. I expect to do it in several sections, and I will first coat it in paraffin before dipping it in non-toxic black wax.
Sharkey's End Kabobs
Seared shark on a stick.
Shelob Cream Puffs with Marshmallow-silk Wrapped Victims
Presentation sized. This will be cocoa glaze covered cream puffs in the shape of a spider standing over person shaped cream puffs wrapped in Marshmallow 'spider silk.' A (second) prototype (spider only) was completed for Trilogy Tuesday and a couple of pics are up on my site.
*Emyn Muil fudge
a last minute addition to my party, made with leftover fudge from the Moria west gate.

Foods in The Lord of the Rings

Frodo at Bag End
tea, beer, strong red wine (Old Winyards)
Hobbits w/Gildor
yellow wine, white bread, apples, assorted fruit
Farmer Maggot
"farmhouse fare," beer, mushrooms with bacon
Tom Bombadil
cream, milk, honeycomb, white bread, butter, cheese, green herbs, berries, water
Prancing Pony
hot soup, cold meat, blackberry tart, bread, butter, half ripe cheese, beer, apples
white mead, lembas. Cram is mentioned, as are the honey cakes of the Beornings.
The flight through Rohan
Orc draughts and mystery meat
ent draughts, water
toast, bacon, salt pork, butter, honey, wine, beer (a reference to a lack of ‘green stuff’), water
Dead Marshes
something nasty found in mud, a reference to birds although none were actually consumed.
stewed rabbit w/sage, thyme, and bay leaf. avalyn reminds me that salt was ''mentioned in Emyn Muil, used in Ithilien.'' How could I have missed it!
Henneth Annun
yellow wine, bread, butter, salted meat, dried fruit, red cheese; raw fish
Minas Tirith
wine, white cakes, bread, butter, cheese, apples, ale, white bread, ‘thin’ milk
1420s Shire
strawberries & cream, plums, grapes, corn, beer

Film foods
fairy cakes, birthday cake, lembas, rabbit stew, apple tart, assorted firm cheeses, ale, fish, raspberry jam, sponge cake, cold chicken, assorted bread, mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, sausage, bacon, carrots, cabbage, tea, fish, eggs.

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