[identity profile] pearltook1.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] shire_kitchen
Author: Pearl Took
Title: Sharing Dinner on Lobelia Lane
Theme: recipe
Elements: must include a dish/meal in the story for
for which you supply a recipe readers can make
Rating: G
Summary: During the Troubles in the Shire, Widow Rumble wonders
how she will manage to make a meal to feed her friends.
Word Count: 837


Sharing Dinner on Lobelia Lane*


It was just the four of them, Daddy Twofoot and his son Dimm, Ham Gamgee and herself. There had been five, but the cold and damp of the shacks on Lobelia Lane had claimed Bell Gamgee early on. There were other residents in the row of hovels, but she, the Twofoots and the Gamgees had been neighbors when they lived on Bagshot Row before it had been turned into a quarry.

Before the Troubles had come upon them all.

Lilac Rumble sighed, her heart aching for her beautiful hole with its lovely gardens. But sighing and aching wouldn’t accomplish anything. She had a meal to make for herself and her dear friends. Every Highday the friends would sneek out of their tiny houses to share a meal. They all contributed something and they took turns doing the cooking.

As the Troubles had continued their supplies had dwindled. The Gaffer, she really did prefer to call him Ham, got supplies fairly often from the Cottons and Daddy Twofoot’s daughter had married Pudlum Oddfoot who farmed near Overhill. They came to visit their kin every two weeks or so. Her own son farmed to the west of Bag End and he would get supplies to her as often as he was able. The farm hobbits weren’t quite so badly off as those that lived in the towns, but it had been a week now since any of the friends on Lobelia Lane had been brought anything from the farms.

Today it was her turn to prepare the Highday meal. She nearly had a spell of tears as she looked at what her friends had sneaked over to her yesterday.

A large onion and two of his wonderful taters from Hamfast. (Everyone wondered where he’d hid his taters and how much longer the supply would last.)

A few stalks of celery and some barley from the Twofoots.

And her own contribution: a small piece of beef, two tomatoes, and a cup or so of milk.

Not much to feed four hobbits. It wasn’t enough to make a good soup, there wasn’t enough of the beef to make a stock out of, and stew was out of consideration for the same reason. She had fretted over it all last night and all this morning.

She looked in her cupboards once more, hoping without hope to find something else to add to their meager supplies. Instead, she found herself staring at her small, two quart covered iron pot. Inspiration bloomed in her mind and she set to work.

The potatoes were sliced thin and layered into the bottom of the pot. Next came thin slices of onion to cover the potatoes. The celery followed that. She pulled out her grinder and ground up the beef so it too would form a layer that would cover the layer of celery. Next came the barley. She blanched and skinned the tomatoes then squished them with her fingers so they covered the barley. Then she poured in all the milk she had and put the cover on the pot.

The others also brought some wood to help cook the dinner as no one hobbit's ration would do to cook a larger meal. She built a snug little fire then banked the coals around the covered pot. It would need to cook a while since there wouldn’t be enough wood to get, nor keep, the oven very hot.

That evening, after the sun went down, the Twofoots and Ham crept over to the Widow Rumble’s shack under the cover of the night. Dimm had managed to get a full loaf of bread and with her Meal-In-A-Pot there was enough to satisfy them all.

*******************

*Tolkien tells us in The Scouring of the Shire, that Bagshot Row gets dug up early in Lotho’s reign and its residents are moved to shacks. In my story While We Dealt In Fear, I have the residents of Bagshot Row getting moved to shacks along Lobelia Lane.

Also, in that same story, I have Sam’s mother, Bell, being alive when the lads leave on the Quest and she passes away in the shack at #7 Lobelia Lane.

*******************

My Recipe
This recipe came from my mother’s mother – my Grandma Cone.
(I substituted barley for rice in the story as I wasn’t sure Hobbits had rice.)

Six Layer Dinner

1 layer thin sliced potatoes – To cover bottom of 2qt. casserole dish (1 or 2 usually are enough)
1 layer onions to cover potatoes (I large is usually enough)
1 layer celery to cover (sliced thin crosswise - 2 - 4 stalks)
1 layer 1 lb hamburger to cover
1 layer rice to cover - (either Minute Rice or left over regular rice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick layer)
1 layer canned tomatoes to cover

Milk

Lightly grease bottom only of casserole. Add layers in the order given. Salt & pepper each layer to taste. Milk should be added until it rises 1/2 inch to 1 inch from bottom of casserole. Cover.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours @ 350 F. Remove cover for last 1/2 hour.

IS APT TO BOIL OVER A BIT

Microwave: 20 – 30 minutes with the last 5 minutes uncovered. IS APT TO BOIL OVER

Date: 2010-05-15 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shirebound.livejournal.com
I can well imagine things happening exactly this way. Hobbits are so resilient!

Date: 2010-05-15 10:41 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
What a wonderful idea! I am quite sure that's exactly how the hobbits took care of one another in the Troubles!

And, you know, I bet barley *would* work just as well as rice! I may try it that way and let you know!

(And you are probably right-- I don't think it would have grown in the Shire's climate.)

Date: 2010-05-15 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rubynye.livejournal.com
Lovely and resourceful. *applauds delightedly*

Date: 2010-05-17 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addie71.livejournal.com
I like how they all pull together here. Nice.

Date: 2010-06-05 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blslarner.livejournal.com
I, too, imagine that things happened pretty much this way. What a way to be forced to live!

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