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Middle-Earth Menu: “Springle-ring Punch”

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Well, we are back to Middle-earth (and occasionally Narnia) now, after a busy vacation. Nothing makes you pine for home more than being on a long trip, especially one that spans the universe. The second half of my original cookbook was all about events in The Lord of the Rings, so I’ll continue there with more hobbit dishes, as well as recipes for many other characters. I’ll intersperse Narnia dishes every four or five recipes or so.

The Fellowship of the Ring opens with a huge birthday celebration for Mr. Bilbo Baggins, with hundreds of guests. Obviously, food and drink play a large part here since hobbits love both intensely. I envisioned that some guests shared favorite family recipes for the occasion and Bilbo, being a wealthy and generous soul, arranged for local businesses to cater other items. Hobbit children are allowed to stay up at a party, “especially when there was a chance of getting them a free meal. Bringing up young hobbits took a lot of provender.” Bilbo later disappears by putting his Ring on so that he can leave his guests annoyed and puzzled (he leaves to retire in Rivendell). The guests agree “the joke was in very bad taste, and more food and drink were needed to cure the guests of shock and annoyance.” Another guest doesn’t care, so long as Bilbo “hasn’t taken the vittles with him.” He sensibly calls for more wine.

Some of the younger hobbits “got on a table and with bells in their hands began to dance the Springle-ring: a pretty dance, but rather vigorous.” I think they would need some thirst-quenching punch after doing that.

“Springle-ring Punch”

Food

4 cups fresh or frozen whole strawberries
2 cups orange juice, no sugar added
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
11-12 ounces apricot nectar *
3 cups apple juice, no sugar added
750 ml. bottle of sparkling apple cider **

The night before serving: If using frozen strawberries, place in a 4-cup glass measure and let stand for 1-2 hours. Place strawberries in a blender with orange juice. Blend until completely smooth. Pour equally into 2-3 plastic ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Be sure the lemon juice, nectar, apple juice, and sparkling cider are chilled for use the next day.

Right before serving: combine the water, lemon juice, and nectar in a 4-cup glass measure; pour into a punchbowl. Add the apple juice and sparkling cider. Put all the prepared ice cubes into the punchbowl; as they melt the punch becomes slushier and is never diluted. Makes about 12 cups. Serves 12-16.

* Other flavors are fine, such as peach, pear, or mango.

** For a refreshing alcoholic option, use a 750 ml. bottle of Asti Spumante.

This is called Spring-in-your-Step Punch in my cookbook.

Astrid Tuttle Winegar

1462868_10200969636032610_178531601_nAstrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available exclusively in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. She blogs occasionally at Cooking for Halflings & Monsters. You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page or visit (and follow!) her Twitter feed. Staff Reporter.

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