Friday, September 21, 2012

Second Breakfast: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

Many books stand the test of time, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again is most certainly one of them. I remember my mom and my dad reading it to my younger sister and me when we were very little. I can't be too certain, but I think it was in the dead of winter. Not, unfortunately, by the light of a roaring fire. My imagination likes to supply that fact in my memory, but since the only fireplace we had was covered by drywall, it just sadly wasn't true.

I have read and re-read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since then, as well as Tolkien's other works. Today marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit. People around the world are marking this momentous occasion with a special Second Breakfast. It was, after all, the beginning of a much beloved tale.

Today, I celebrated by making lembas bread and having a mug of good English tea. The lembas bread is obvious Elvish, but since I unfortunately had to have a lonely second breakfast, I wanted something simple and quick. I found numerous recipes here, and the one I chose to use was the one titled Authentic Lembas Bread by Elanor G. I chose it because it was small and only took about 20 minutes to make.

Lembas Bread (makes 4 small wafers/cookies)

1/4 cup (rounded, not flattened off) of whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil (cold-pressed is recommended, but I just used what I had, which wasn't)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. honey

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl; you may want to use your fingers, but a spoon should also work just fine. It will probably be a really gooey mess (don't worry about that), and also not seem like a whole lot, but remember this is a small recipe.
Once everything is thoroughly mixed, add 1 Tbsp. VERY cold water (could even be ice water -- just don't add the ice to the mix!) and mix it up again. The mix should become a little bit more doughy and pastry-like. It'll still be sticky, but that's because of the honey and the olive oil.
Form the dough into wafers that are about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches wide; place these on a cookie sheet. The original recipe says 2-4 inches wide, but I just didn't have enough dough for that if I wanted four wafers! Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for another 5 minutes. This should ensure that both sides are nicely golden brown.
And voila! You have a version of lembas bread!


The above recipe really only does make four small cookie sized wafers. That's fine if you're going to be alone or with only one other person. Unlike real lembas bread, one bite does NOT fill your stomach! But, it was pretty good. Not sweet, but certainly not bitter. Also delicious dunked in a steaming hot mug of PG Tips tea. And, since Pippin ate four, why can't I? ^_~

Tomorrow is both Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday, so maybe I'll have some sort of celebration for them, too!

(I had pictures to go with this post, but my iPod is being temperamental and won't connect to my computer. I really need to get it checked...)