This weekend, with the help of some unusually dedicated friends, I error tested the concept. Go under the cut to see my menu, annotated here and there with advisory notes and explanatory comments.
Being an unnecessarily long and elaborate method of celebrating the achievements (and failures) of Mr JRR Tolkien, Mr Peter Jackson and various other academics, cooks, actors, elves, parents, stunt performers and tiny children (not least ourselves).
Date (part one): Saturday November 3rd 2007
Time: 11.30am for 12pm start
Date (part two): Sunday November 4th 2007
Time: 12pm for 12.30pm start
Films and food will end early evening both days.
(Which they did -- only the cook's weekend will be nuked by this. I needed to take some time off work to recover, too.)
Hobbits: Characterised by a great love of food, and drinking...
a Shadow Growing in the East...
Isildur in the Lake (Martini decorated with a single white grape, wrapped in a sliver of lemon peel and pierced by a great many cocktail sticks)
The Smoking Head of Sauron (Cafe Brulot)
Bilbo’s Retirement Party
Feat. (wine, cold chicken, pickle, cheese, raspberry jam, apple tart, sponge cake, eggs, bread, tomatoes, and Old Winyard’s) “Just tea, thankyou”
Cakes, Ale and party snacks
An eleventy-first birthday cake (I used french fancies with birthday candles stuck in them, but individual fruit cakes with three candles in each would probably be
Spectacular Fireworks (indoor sparklers and party poppers)
and (of course) apples for Pippin
Look Sam, Rosie!
Feat. Ale, ale, ale, more ale, huge foaming mugs of ale, a nice cup of tea and a nasty surprise.
Sausage, bacon, tomato, and bread
A glass of wine for Saruman
Carrots, cabbages, potatoes, and of course:
Weekend City Break in Bree
Beer, bread and cheese as well as:
How to shaft a hobbit (throw (small) apples at guests)
How to stuff a hobbit (venison stew)
Tomatoes, sausages, nice crispy bacon
Frodo on a stick, washed down with Kingsfoil in Aragorn’s spit (mint from my garden, ground in a pestle with a little vodka)
Staying at Elrond’s
Elves don’t eat. You may take this time to flick your hair and fiddle with your jewellery.
(I supplied tiny cups, bowls and shot glasses. The trick is to pace yourself -- don't drink or eat too much of anything).
Third Breakfast (I forgot this and had to hastily improvise. Fortunately I have a lot of toy birds.)
Sausages and a swordfight
Lots of scary crows
Tasty tentacles, brackish water and the return of Frodo on a stick! (Involved a big skewer and a small sausage.)
Staying at Galadriel’s
Elf mourning water (Elderflower-based)
Reading the magic mirror
and the first appearance of Lembas. (pink wafers)
Saruman’s been breeding!
And they’re going to eat mmmmmmanflesh! (scratchings)
Along the River
A small nibble of lembas and hobbits’ tears to drown in.
[ ———— quick! Turn off the Folk music! ———— ]
Gandalf’s Power Up
Flaming Balrog (involved Sambuca)
White Wizard (actually we ended up having a Grey Wizard Chaser, which was lovely)
What’s that ‘Orrible Smell ?
Lembas, water, and wistful thoughts of roast chicken.
Orcs Love Meat!
Orc draught (involved Aftershock, but still wasn't horrible enough)
Maggoty bread, tasty hobbit legs, Goblin on the bone, Orc on a Spit, Uruk heads on a stick, hobbit innards, hobbit belly and pressed gobin (with a side salad).
The Dead Marshes
A not very tasty worm (gummy)
More bloody lembas
I return to you with a manicure and a bleach job
Squirrel droppings and orc’s blood (pteh!) (included Campari)
Staying at Treebeard’s
Drink water, eat earth
...or drink Ent Draught! (involved Goldvasser)
Rohirrim are overly tragic
Feat. Stew, bread, beer, cheese, ham and the blood of an innocent child a glass of wine for Saruman
Come on Hobbitses!
Fish (raw and wriggling)
Rabbit stew (no taters)
I can has Warg attack now please?
Eowyn’s terrible stew (seriously, does anyone know what this scene is about? My best guess is it's a jokey reference to some other fantasy series in which a princess (Ce'Nedra, perhaps?) chases people around forcing them to eat terrible stew, but it's just awful. As was my stew. It contained cubes of cheap white bread, and a secret ingredient.)
Doggie biscuits (Forgot these. Nobody minded. They were too busy trying to figure out what was in the stew.)
[——--- and it’s an overnight cliffhanger! —-—- ]
It’s not that Deep
The horn of Helm-Hammerhand (dark rum, whiskey, beer, guaranteed to sound in your deep)
Breaga’s breath (had a horse's tongue in it!) (photo, recipe)
Fish in Osgiliath, AKA Soldiers ♥ Stew #2
Forbidden fish (I brought in some sprats, showed them to people, and took them away again.)
Helms Deep, AKA Soldiers ♥ Stew #1
Rohirrim stew, bread, water and despair.
Oh, we meant hope! (I got these out of order in the menu, all that stew starts to blur together after a while.)
The Spoils of Victory (flotsam & jetsam)
Apples, cabbages, bread, salted pork and a roasted chicken as big as your head.
[ ———— quick! Run for the loo! ———— ]
Raw Fish (I threatened the sprats again, but substituted sushi.)
Flotsam and Jetsam (spoils of victory)
Cheese, beer, particularly good salted pork (Palm's deli in the Covered Market -- it was really good.)
Edoras, high home of drinking contests
The same again, but with lots and lots of beer, and a single big bright red gobstopper. (Couldn't find one, instead used an eyeball sweet for the palantir.)
The cold hands of Arwen Evenstar
Put on gloves and feel mournful. (We didn't do much of that as everyone wanted more stew!)
Soldiers STILL ♥ Stew
Watchmens stew served with toasted hobbits feet. (half-size toast soldiers)
The Elaborate Salad of Denethor
Chicken, cherry tomatoes and grapes served with a leaf salad, wine, fine white bread and flowers. (Lamb's lettuce had an appropriate look -- and there were still flowers in my garden, so I used those.)
The Elaborate Plot of Gollum
We take the lembas, and throw it downstairs. (A popular move.)
Soldiers STILL ♥ Stew #2
Rohirrim stew, served with despair.
Apparently, they’re walnuts
Eat them, ignore them, throw them at the television. Stand-ins for the countless skulls of the sulky dead. (We also ate a load of leftover halloween treats here.)
Food for the dead (nomnomnom)
Thousands of orcs (licorice pieces)
Trouble with Spiders
Shelob’s poison (Curacao and Delaney's Irish Cream -- surprisingly good!)
The Light of Elendil (Another elderflowery one)
(and at some point someone needs to go and pick up the lembas on the stairs)
No BBQs in the Throne Room!
Toasted Hobbits Feet
Steward Flambée (Frodo on a stick, but with a bigger sausage and doused in brandy and set alight.)
The Horny Halls of Healing
Kingsfoil once more, this time more sensibly prepared. (mint tea, most welcome by this stage)
Even Orc Soldiers ♥ Stew !
Orc Stew (The remaining stew, with black pudding and orcish spices added.)
Hunk o’ Pork (Ham hock)
Cider n’ Black (For fighting.)
We are Marching to Orodruin!
We share a few drops of bitter water, and fall down a lot.
Chuck it in! We want to go home!
Mount Doom dip (Nachos, salsa -- I skipped the cheese as we were in fat overload by then)
Frodo’s fingers (Mini breadsticks. Missed a trick -- should have put hula hoops on the breadsticks.)
Tiaras, confetti, the mute button.
Beer and an irrelevant pumpkin. (The insides of the pumpkin had made the elven stew (vegetarian) earlier.)
Flowers and kisses.
A cup of melancholy tea. (I misstimed this shamefully, and we ended up with tea in one hand and cava in the other.)
I Name This Ship the Barely Tasteful
We toast the departure of a succession of unlikely wigs from the shores of the western world with something appropriately frilly. (pink cava)
[—— thank you, you may collapse now ——]
Appendices : Musical joke
Fry’s Turkish Delight and only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate will be available throughout for your nibbling pleasure. (We ran a mild "musical cliche" penalty, which used up the sweets very rapidly! The mysterious appearance of an extra bag of turkish delight gave us enough to cope with (some of) the final scenes. But really! Dear god! The swelling strings!)
To anyone who wishes to do this themselves, I offer this advice: have your kitchen and your television on the same floor.