It has been quite the week friends! We have finally made our way from the Shire all the way to Bree. Seeing as we were prisoners of the Barrow Wight last night, it only makes sense that we are hungry by the time we reach the Prancing Pony in Bree. Pull up a chair and settle around the hearth because tonight we conclude Feast Week at the Prancing Pony!
In a twinkling table was laid. There was hot soup, cold meats, a blackberry tart, new loaves, slabs of butter, and half a ripe cheese: good plain food, as good as the Shire could show, and homelike enough to dispel the last of Sam’s misgivings (already much relieved by the excellence of beer).
– The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 9: At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
This year, I am celebrating Feast Week in a college dorm. I am lucky enough to have a small kitchen with which to prepare some food, however my facilities have prevented me from cooking a feast as grandiose as what the hobbits ate at the Prancing Pony.
My spread focuses on a blackberry tart that I baked myself from scratch, butternut squash soup which I bought from my favorite bakery, along with some bread which I also bought. Tolkien says that the hobbits ate hot soup, cold meats, a blackberry tart, fresh bread, butter and cheese. My meal is missing a few elements – cold baked chicken with rosemary would complement this meal delightfully. For my drink, I brewed black tea, however if you are of legal drinking age then a pumpkin ale would go along nicely with this meal. The meal at the Prancing Pony is all about simple, hearty foods.
I found an incredible recipe for a blackberry tart from TasteofHome.com. If you are uncomfortable with making your own crust from scratch, you can buy pre-made crust from the grocery store. However, if you do choose to make the crust that the recipe calls for, you are in for a treat! It is flaky, and the surprising addition of cornmeal adds to the texture (especially when paired with the sweet, satisfying stickiness of the berries).
So maybe my crust came out a bit thick: but I’d like to think it came out pretty well considering I lacked vital kitchen tools such as a rolling pin whilst cooking this. My absolute favorite part of this meal was when my roommates walked in while I was taking the photos of the spread. According to them it was the “strangest thing” they have ever walked in on in college.
If you choose, you can top your tart with fresh whipped cream. I opted not to add whipped cream because I found the pastry itself to be sweet enough without the taste of cream on top but if your heart calls for cream then I say satisfy your inner hobbit!
That concludes day 8 of Feast Week! Thank you for joining Middle-earth News on our food journey from the Shire to Bree. If you participated in the feasting yourself, food is more fun when you share with friends so make sure to tweet your pictures to us @MiddleEarthNews!
The gorgeous Prancing Pony mug featured in the images of this post was generously provided by Sean Robinson of Functional Mud. Functional Mud is an Etsy that specializes in Tolkien-inspired pottery. Something as simple as the right mug can transport you right to Middle-earth. If you are looking for pottery to satisfy your inner hobbit, elf, or dwarf (or that of someone you love), take a moment to browse Sean’s shop.
Happy Feast Week, cheers!