“When he [Frodo Baggins] came to himself again, for a moment he could recall nothing except a sense of total dread. Then suddenly he knew that he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered tales spoke.” – The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 8: Fog on the Barrow-downs
In this part of The Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbits are trapped by a Barrow-wight in a barrow overnight. For me, this chapter always brings to mind the barrows of Sutton Hoo where, walking around the site, it’s easy to imagine the fear of the hobbits caught in the barrows and the riches Tom Bombadil discovered there-in.
The hobbits had nothing to eat that night: indeed, what was there to eat in the barrow except dirt and bugs? So I have made Barrow-wight Mud and Grub Pudding for this feast night, which would have warmed and sustained the hobbits in their dark tomb.
Barrow-wight Mud and Grub Pudding (serves 4)
150 ml double cream
100g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
300 ml milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
25g caster sugar
6 slices of buttered bread, crusts removed
75g seedless raisins
Heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5
Heat the cream in a medium sized saucepan until it just begins to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the broken chocolate so that it all melts. Add half the milk and stir.
Whisk the eggs until they are frothy. Add the vanilla essence, sugar and the remainder of the milk. Pour into the chocolate mixture and mix well.
Cut the bread into triangles and arrange in a dis,h adding the raisins as you go.
Pour over the chocolate custard making sure all the bread is soaked.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes.