‘ When they had walked for about three hours they rested. The night was clear, cool, and starry, but smoke-like whisps of mist were creeping up the hill-sides from the streams and deep meadows. Thin-clad birches, swaying in a light wind above their heads, made a black net agains the pale sky. They ate a very frugal supper (for hobbits), and then went on again.’ – The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3: Three is Company
This day marks the departure from Bag End, and the first day of journeying through the Shire. The three hobbits — Frodo, Sam, and Pippin — are still in familiar territory and have not yet found much reason for suspicion or fear. So far, the most disquieting aspect of their journey was the prospect of a sleeping on the ground instead of in a comfortable bed.
I imagine that the meal this first day of the hobbits’ journey, “frugal” though it may have been by hobbit standards, was a comforting meal with easy to carry, familiar foods. The hobbits had just left Bag End, so fresh bread would be ready to hand. Some nice sausage would be simple for Sam to cook up over an open fire. I imagine Sam being eager to try his pans over the campfire. A nice bit of cheese would travel well, and apples are an autumn staple to fill in the corners with a bit of sweetness after the meal.
The above menu is precisely what I chose for my meal. I chose a nice pre-cooked chicken smoked sausage, and heated it in a cast iron skillet to draw out the smoky flavor. A multi-grain rustic bread topped with several types of seeds complemented the sausage, as well as a nice, soft, floury brie cheese. Apples made a perfect dessert. Even though I chose to have my “Sleeping Outdoors” supper inside, the simple flavors made me think of campfires and walking through woods that are just starting to turn to the brilliant colors of autumn.
Try these ideas for your Feast Week meal, or try your own and share them below! I’d love to hear what foods make you think of walking through the Shire!