When Frodo, Sam and Pippin bumped into Farmer Maggot their feelings were mixed. Pippin regarded him as a “stout fellow” whereas Frodo’s memory of him was one of fear from when, as a boy, Frodo had been caught stealing the farmer’s mushrooms. At this meeting,however, all were united by their fear of the black riders and Farmer Maggot wanted to help the young hobbits get away.
Farmer Maggot persuaded the hobbits to stay for supper with the promise of a cart ride to the ferry afterwards.
For supper they had bacon and mushrooms to eat, so I thought I’d cook a Bacon and Mushroom Gratin. This is a quick and easy meal and a great standby when unexpected friends turn up. With Farmer Maggot’s sons and daughters, his wife and other hobbits who worked on the farm, there were fourteen of them at the table but my feast is for a far more modest number of two.
Bacon and Mushroom Gratin
250g small new potatoes
salt and pepper
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
125g back bacon, diced
2 tblsp olive oil
125g chestnut button mushrooms
125g Cheddar cheese, grated
Wash the potatoes and halve them. Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain them well.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion and bacon. Cook gently, stirring frequently, to soften the onion and crisp the bacon.
Put the bacon, onion and mushroom mix into a flameproof gratin dish. Stir in the potatoes and season with pepper only.
Top with grated cheese and put under the grill.
When the cheese is bubbling, remove from the grill and serve right away.
Tolkien Feast Week continues through Saturday, September 29, with members of the Middle-earth News staff posting the designated meal for that day and sharing their process, recipes, and photos with you. Our hope is to inspire each of you to cook your own meal and join in the tasty fun of Feast Week.