Tomorrow marks half a century that I have been upon this Middle Earth, and as I often do I’ve decided to make it a Hobbit-themed birthday. What makes it even more special this year, however, is that Bilbo Baggins was also fifty years old when he set out on his unexpected journey, as was his younger cousin and chosen heir Frodo when he fled the Shire with the One Ring in the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. Alas, due to the pandemic, I will not be throwing a party. It will just be me and my sister this time around, with some friends popping in via Zoom late in the afternoon for a MERP one-shot.
But the two of us are going to feast like Hobbits tomorrow, starting with Breakfast and followed by (of course), Second Breakfast. It’ll be mostly me doing the cooking, but I don’t mind that one bit. I love to cook, and in fact I have something a bit ambitious planned this year. I’m going to endeavour to make my own meat pies! I’ve got a couple different recipes I’m considering, which I’ll no doubt share with you all once I’ve settled on one (or as I sometimes do, a combination of more than one). I’m also going to whip up some of my Simple Beer Batter so I can fry up some Beer Battered Mushrooms. We’ve got plenty of beer, wine, and even some mead, as well as coffee, various types of loose leaf tea, butter, scones, jam, homemade bread, hard-boiled eggs, cold chicken, pickles, a wheel of cheese, and an assortment of cheese cakes (in lieu of the fictional “seed cakes” mentioned in The Hobbit). The only thing I don’t have is pipe tobacco, but I suppose that’s for the best. It’s been over a year since I’ve indulged my nicotine addiction so it hardly makes sense to start that habit up again now. I do miss a good pipe smoke though.
After supper (and dessert) my sister and I plan on re-watching the entire extended version of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, starting with Fellowship tomorrow night and then continuing the next two nights with the remaining films. September also marks the beginning of that time of year when I traditionally re-read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but I haven’t done so in several years, so it will be interesting to revisit that hefty tome so soon after a re-watch of the Peter Jackson films, and now I actually have the leisure to do so.
We’ll also be enjoying some Tolkien-inspired music, such as this fantastic concept album by Blind Guardian:
Anyway, I’ve only just gotten back to blogging after a long unplanned hiatus, but I’m sure after the next few days’ festivities I’m going to need a long rest. So this time there will be a planned (but hopefully much shorter) hiatus. I’ll probably just take the rest of the week off only to return sometime in the following week with the next installment of my series “Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters“. So until then, stay safe and thank you for following the blog!