Holly Black [userpic]

New Hobbit-Based Resolutions

January 16th, 2013 (05:14 pm)

I finally saw the Hobbit, after feeling guilty about not seeing it for weeks and being about to have to turn in my nerd card. I got tickets to the midnight show on opening night, but was too sick to go and then kind of forgot about it in the madness of New Years - but, all that aside, it was kind of amazing to go back to Middle Earth. And I loved the scene where Saruman complains and complains and complains about Radagast's bad teeth and mushroom eating while Galadriel and Gandalf pretend to be listening, but are really talking to one another

But also, it has caused me to think about how I want to have a more hobbit-y kitchen. Like, earthenware stoneware mugs and more cheese and a better larder. Maybe lots of preserves. Like this:

Mugs by Etsy store ClayCrazePottery.

Mug by Etsy store SundanceClayworks.

Chokecherry Plum Jam and Crabapple Jelly by Etsy store BlueKittysCauldron.

Also, maybe I am crazy? Cassie seems to think I have gone a bit mad finishing our draft of The Iron Trial, but she supports me having more cheese in the house. What about you guys? What do you always keep in your larder?


Posted by: bloodygranuaile (bloodygranuaile)
Posted at: January 16th, 2013 10:53 pm (UTC)

"Have Hobbit-ier kitchen" sounds like an eminently sensible life goal! I may steal it for next year's resolution.

Posted by: Myrrhmade (myrrhmade)
Posted at: January 16th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)

I thought these etsy folks had some neat Hobbity type stuff as well!

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)

Those are awesome.

Posted by: Dragons can be beaten. (celebros)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
english language

If you have access, try to find some Montamore cheese. It's the most rustic cheese I've ever tasted. (We always get it for Game of Thrones theme nights and call it Jorah Mormont cheese, but it is equally hobbity.) http://www.wisconsincheeseinfo.com/sartori-montamore.html

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)

Looked for it tonight at Whole Foods, but it eluded me.

Posted by: Emma Bull (coffeeem)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)

That second mug is especially lovely--the shape reminds me of late 18th century pewter ware.

Bread! Must have a loaf of some nice crusty something-or-other in the cupboard, or a bag of crusty rolls. Cheese, definitely--chevre, lemon Stilton, double Gloucester, feta, and parmesan would all be in my pantry all the time, if only I could magic them into never going bad.

We have one of those three-tier wire baskets hanging in the kitchen, and when it's full of onions, sweet potatoes, and lemons, I can reassure myself at a glance that we won't starve.

Posted by: Emma Bull (coffeeem)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 01:09 am (UTC)
Damn Fine coffee

Oh, and this must be how hobbits keep olive oil or balsamic vinegar at hand: http://www.etsy.com/listing/85415625/aqua-celadon-floral-bottle

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)

Hobbits ... or possibly Delia & Ellen. :D

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:31 am (UTC)

Ahhhh, very nice selection. I have just picked up the trick of freezing bread and bought three loaves tonight on the theory that it would keep me in bread.

I am going to try to make some kind of room in my larder by pulling out all the odds and ends of foodstuffs that I have and don't use (either because they were gifts of things I think of as too fancy to eat or because I bought too much of some odd thing for a recipe and no longer remember its there) and then I am going to fill my cabinets with things I actually use.

When we redid our kitchen, we got two steel lined bins for pet food, but now that we only have cats, I have converted the other one to potato and onion storage and am super excited when it's full.

Posted by: Amazon (amazon_syren)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)

Preserves! Preserves are the best!

I've got:
Peach-Tomato Salsa (sadly, the world's mildest salsa... tweaking the recipe for next year)
Balsamic roasted tomato sauce (in half-cup jars)
Apple butter
Peach butter
Peach-Apple butter
Maple-Pumpkin butter
Cucumber garlic-dill pickles (must make MOAR)
Rutabaga pickles (like for shwarma)
Choke cherry jelly
Rhubarb-strawberry jam
Cranberry Curd (so delicious!!!)
Rhubarb syrup
Choke cherry syrup (the syrups are good mixed 1:5 with soda water to make home-made pop)

Also various non-home-made stuff like:
tinned soups
tinned beans
tinned tuna
alfredo sauce inna jar
pasta (mostly short - fusilli, rotini, that kind of thing)
wild rice
wheat flour
barley flour, oat flour, amaranth flour
sugar... okay, basically anything you can make a cake with
lots of herbs and spices
many teas
hot chocolate mix


Ther's a fair bit more in there, but we'll start with that. Basically, I try to have enough stuff on hand (between the larder and the freezer) to be able to make a Real Meal based on "What do I have in the fridge".

Amazon. :-)

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)

Oh, damn. Your larder is the place to be.

Posted by: Amazon (amazon_syren)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)

Thank you! :-D

I feel quite awesome when I look at it all, although the home-made stuff really only fills one cupboard-shelf.
I keep trying to increase what I make every year (and then actually use).

I find I tend to run things a little heavy on the fruit/sweets side of things - much as I love fruit butters[1], and useful as they are in grilled cheese sandwiches[2] - and need to get good at making and using more savoury items (salsa, sauce, pickles...).

I'm thinking that, in addition to the tiny jars of tomato sauce, I may try and do half-to-one cup jars of crushed (or whole, if we're talking cherry-size here) tomatoes, with just a hind of vinegar and sugar to tip the pH into definitely-safe territory, as well.

Also, the pickled rutabaga having been a huge success means that I'll probably try doing more pickles next year as well. I've got some balsamic pickled beets (and balsamic pickled peaches - which will probably be used with a pork tenderloin roast on Friday) in the cupboard, yet, but I only made single jars of them - due to having left-over chopped produce from other canning projects.

Anyway. Things and stuff and stuff and things. This is how I spend my summers. ;-)

- Amazon.

[1] I need to remember that they need to be a bit floopy and liquidy when they're hot, so that when they cool down, post-processing, they aren't solid as rocks. Woops. O.O

[2] SERIOUSLY. Apple-peach butter with old cheddar and a hint of marmite? Best Thing Ever when grilled. Possibly even whe not grilled.

Posted by: Amazon (amazon_syren)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)

Also, Saint-Paulin cheese is incredibly good. :-D
I recommend it. :-D

Posted by: Ashni (ashnistrike)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)

...How did I not know that Etsy had an edibles section?

A small corner of my pantry is given over to home-made vanilla extract, sometimes infused with things like lavender, chili, and cinnamon.

...I am now thinking about combining these two pieces of knowledge.

Always in the larder - basic baked goods ingredients (flour, sugar, fresh eggs, chocolate, etc.). Root vegetables. Greens. Peanut oil and good soy sauce for making greens tasty. All the herbs and spices in the world. Large sections of cow (not at the moment, but getting a new quarter in on Saturday). Cheese. Grade B maple syrup.

Um. Maybe I am a bit of a foodie.

Posted by: Holly Black (blackholly)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 03:48 am (UTC)


Posted by: kit (mizkit)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)

I liked the part of that scene where Saruman is basically saying, "Yes, yes, on the road to evil here, corruption is in my eyes," and Galadriel and Gandalf are all "Whatever, dude." :)

I want a Hobbit-ier house! But a Hobbit-ier kitchen sounds like a great start. :)

Posted by: Morfin (morfin)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)

hand thrown crockery is great. Check out local craft shows, or as we did, check out your local renfairs. It's best to be able to inspect the pieces so you can determine the quality. Over the last 20 years we've put together a complete set of saucers, plates, serving dish, teacups, teapot, tankard, and mixing bowl all from one potter in a matching glaze.

Posted by: soloadventure (soloadventure)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
When selecting mugs...

Think about the favorite mugs you have around the home. Notice how many fingers you use in the handle. Is it a two fingered mug? Three? One? Very rarely, a whole-hand mug is comfortable, but in my experience making ceramics, most folks like just a few fingers.

:) Good luck selecting your hobbity goodness~!

Posted by: Amanda Fisher (Amanda Fisher)
Posted at: January 17th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)

There are so many worse ways to be crazy. Anyways, I'm pretty sure this only qualifies as eccentric. =)

Posted by: gkbyrne.com (gkbyrne.com)
Posted at: January 18th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Wood instead?

I go for the wood bowls and mugs instead --- because I break everything and nothing is worse than smashing the beautiful new hobbitware. It can't sit in water, which can be a pain, BUT they last and look great. For a really really hobbity looking kitchen mud plaster the walls with lots of curves and nooks. Also hanging bunches of herbs and strings of onions etc from the ceiling. Now I'm looking around at my kitchen. Hmmmmm.

Posted by: Respice finem (malsperanza)
Posted at: January 20th, 2013 01:01 am (UTC)

Scared to go to The Hobbit. Unlike the trilogy, it sounds wildly unrelated to the books, I dunno.

I like hearing what people keep in their larders.

In mine, in addition to the boring things, I keep some stuff that I've hauled home from far and wide:

Jam made by me (damson plum, v. tart, currant jelly)

Violet jelly, sumac jelly, sour cherry preserves, beach plum jam (not made by me)

Smoked bacon from a place in Michigan that ships: https://www.driers.com/
Smoked tasso from a place near Lafayette, Louisiana

Mosto - a kind of thick syrup or reduction of balsamic vinegar from a place in Modena (although you can get versions of it at some fancy shops here)

Baicoli - thin, slightly sweet tea biscuits that I bring back from Venice in tins

Preserved lemons, which I have never used, but I like knowing they're there
Zataran's crab boil
Konriko wild pecan rice
Colonsay honey, which a friend sends me
White Lily flour
Steen's cane syrup

Dried mushrooms from the Veneto in northern Italy (porcini, morels, and a bunch of kinds I don't know the names for)

Boullion cubes flavored with porcini (I used to have to bring these back, but I'm seeing them for sale at Westside Market on the Upper West Side now), and other kinds of broth cubes (in Chinatown you can get good fish bouillon, and in Spanish Harlem they sell ham bouillon with soffrito)

Big jar of capers preserved in brine
Big jar of capers preserved in salt
Anchovies in salt
Jar of squid ink (has to be refrigerated once opened)
Dried bottarga

As for cheese, you can't go wrong with a nice bit of Wensleydale.

Posted by: Judy (riggimortis)
Posted at: January 24th, 2013 04:53 am (UTC)
love the Hobbity larder idea

I keep a wide range of herbs and spices' a variety of flours and
A very unHobbity varity of cheeses like Pepper Jack, Ementaller,etc and exotic Asian sauces, and oils like mustard,and sesame. Don't know if Bilbo would approve, but he might enjoy them.

Posted by: rotha (rotha)
Posted at: January 29th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Larder stuff

Because one of my favorite things is talking about food (I have a food blog, for crying out loud). Anyway, most of my "larder stuff" are not preserves (although I do like black cherry jam) but rather stuff that make tasty-food making easy:
Flavour things:
Red and green Thai curry pastes - keeps in the fridge for months
Coconut milk cans - for the curry. Also keeps for months.
Fish sauce
Soy sauce
Srirache sauce (really spicy - great on wings and such)
Mirin (Japanese rice wine for cooking)
Sake (Japanese rice wine for drinking, which is also great in food)
Cider vinegar
Rice vinegar
Maple syrup
Miso paste (made out of fermented soy - really "umami" and great for making soup in five minuets)
Dashi stock powder (for Japanese fish stock if a minute)
a few spices (black pepper, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg)
Good quality tomato paste (for quick pastas and "Shakshuka", which is a spicy tomato sauce with sunny-side-up eggs on it, which you eat with bread)
Parmesan cheese - also keeps in the fridge for a while and makes Italian food "fancy" easily
Sweet chilly sauce - tasty on everything!

"Potential quick meals" that keep for a while:
Japanese round sticky rice
Jasmin rice (to put Thai curry on)
Rolled oats (oats + milk + maple = porridge)
Dried mushrooms (add a great, deep flavour to soups)

With these things in stock (they take up about one shelf - I have a tiny kitchen) I can make a meal out of pretty much whatever veggies I have at home - in case a band of dwarves decides to drop by and so on. It's not very Middle Earth-y, but I love Asian food and many of its staples keep forever and taste great...

Posted by: rotha (rotha)
Posted at: January 29th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Larder stuff

Oh, right. I also keep mustard, (lite) mayo and whipping cream. Mustard + mayo is a really good sauce for baked salmon and mustard and cream make a pretty good steak sauce (you add them to the pan after frying).

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 10th, 2013 03:09 am (UTC)
hobbit-y kitchen

Thanks so much for featuring my mug set. I am sorry it took me so long to see it. They are stoneware and much more durable than earthenware. Anyway, thanks again.

25 Read Comments