Every avid Tolkien reader knows that hobbits have an insatiable appetite for food and drink and that “growing food and eating it occupied most of their time.” So today, on this very glorious National Hobbit Day (September 22 is both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins's birthday), take a tip from the inhabitants of Hobbiton and whip up an epic feast. Here, seven shire-worthy recipes perfect for celebrating like a Baggins:
1. Honey Tea Cake
This deeply flavored cake—perfect for unexpected guests like dwarves or elves—is made with buckwheat honey, which has a spicy molasses character.
2. Beef Hand Pies
These buttery, flaky, beef-filled mini pies are quick and impressive.
3. Roasted Wild Mushrooms
Wild mushrooms roasted until golden make an incredibly easy side dish. (Just don’t steal from Farmer Maggot’s crop!)
4. Rabbit Stew with Olives and Rosemary
While on their quest for the One Ring, Samwise Gamgee makes a rabbit stew for Frodo, using only a few fresh herbs to season the broth. This stew features the bright, herbaceous flavor of fresh rosemary.
5. Nutmeg Shortbread
Boring lembas bread has nothing on this rich, buttery shortbread. Nutmeg makes a scintillating addition.
6. Barbecued Leg of Lamb
Since mutton is hard to find, this recipe is retooled for boneless leg of lamb.
7. Dirty Potatoes
To make this supersimple side dish, roast new potatoes until they're tender, then toss them with a black-olive puree.