Hobbit Week: Shire-tastic Seed Cake

Kitchen Overlord Hobbit Week - Shire Seed Cake Recipe

Many modern readers imagine seed cake to be chock full of sunflower or pumpkin seeds, but it turns out Tolkien grew up on a decadently buttery version of pound cake full of caraway seeds. They have a sweet, licorice flavor reminiscent of a milder, earthier version of anise seeds. You can find them at most Indian groceries. They’ve been out

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Charles Dickens Very Own Christmas Punch

This is one of my favorite recipes in SteamDrunks: 101 Steampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks. First, it’s incredibly drinkable (unlike some of the bemusingly terrifying Victorian milk drinks). Second, it’s a perfect social drink on a dark winter night. Finally, who doesn’t love pretentious authors using any excuse to show off? Some things never change. 1/2 gallon bottled Mineral Water

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Hobbit Week: Easy Shire Porter Cake

Kitchen Overlord Hobbit Week - Portable Elevenses

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. This isn’t fancy Elven baking chemistry. Like most Shire foods, this is good, solid stuff that can handle a lot of improvisation depending on what you happen to have in your pantry. All you really need is some butter, sugar, flour, eggs, a cup of whatever fruits you like best, a couple

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Hobbit Week: Braised Oxtails (with bonus broth)

Kitchen Overlord Hobbit Week - Braised Oxtails

Wine Braised Oxtails A lot of people shy away from cuts of meat full of bone and fat. It’s a shame, because that’s where the best flavor hides. In Tolkien’s day, nose to tail eating was the norm. A nice segmented oxtail was a great way to get a few bites of rich meat for the whole family with the

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Hobbit Week: Plum Heavies

Kitchen Overlord Hobbit Week - Plum Heavies

Chocolate and vanilla may seem ubiquitous today, but they’re actually both new world beans. That means Tolkien explicitly excluded them from the Shire, even though both flavors were quite popular in Victorian England. Plum Heavies were the cheap, kids cookies of their day. Victorian country cooks would knead in a handful of diced plums plus a little extra sugar into

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Ichabod Crane and I School Americans on What the Pilgims Really Ate

It’s no secret that I am ridiculously in love with Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod and Abbie’s exchange in “Sanctuary” (Season 1, Episode 9) is a great excuse for me to squint sidelong at our traditional Thanksgiving meals. “You know. Turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie. All the stuff the pilgrims ate,” said Abbie. “The pilgrims didn’t have any sugar to make a

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Edible Art: The Doctor’s Yorkshire Pudding

According to The Doctor, we can thank him for banana daiquiri’s, fish fingers and custard, and the Yorkshire Pudding. This classic British side dish is surprisingly easy to make. Use it to impress redheads, repel Romans, and keep yourself busy while living time the long way round without skipping past any of the boring bits. The Doctor’s Yorkshire Pudding 1

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