Monday, October 13, 2008

Hobbiton Hankerings.

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold [as hobbits do], it would be a merrier world."

"Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt. They do not and did not understand or like machines more complicated then a forge-bellows, a water-mill, or a hand-loom, though they were skillful with tools... They are quick of hearing and sharp-eyed, and though they are inclined to be fat and do not hurry unnecessarily, they are nonetheless nimble and deft in their movements... In the days of their peace and prosperity they were a merry folk... they had long and skillful fingers and could make many other useful and comely things. Their faces were as a rule good-natured rather than beautiful, broad, bright-eyed, red-cheeked, with mouths apt to laughter, and to eating and drinking. And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily, being fond of simple jests at all times, and of six meals a day (when they could get them). They were hospitable and delighted in parties, and in presents, which they gave away freely and eagerly accepted."

Excerpt from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien

With a fine and merry heart, I face my kitchen each day, bent on crafting ever-improving tasties to tempt the palate, delight the senses, and comfort the soul. I love cooking, and eating, and sharing, but with one caveat: I've learned in recent years that leaving out as much of the simple starches as I can allows me to more freely enjoy these pursuits, that I might more ably stay "inclined to be fat" rather than decidedly portly. Therefore, you'll find as you read over these recipes that as I lean toward hearty, pleasing, and rich, I lean away from foods that are processed or have a large impact on blood sugar, such as grains and simple sugars. I strive to maintain a balance of healthy and minimally processed, with a firm belief that the closer a thing on my plate is to the way it sprung out of the ground, the better! There are so many joys and secrets of cooking well that my great-grandparents and their forebears knew, that have been lost to fire and sword. One of my chief aims is to find them out again, pass them on to others, and to my children. I hope you enjoy your stay-- won't you join me for a cup of tea and some nut-bread?

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.

~The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

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