Food and Recipes

Food I either made or bought that has to do with each individual book!

Jane Eyre, A Party, and a Melancholy Cook

“My world had for some years been in Lowood: my experience had been of its rules and systems; now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” Jane Eyre

How often we turn a corner in our lives and suddenly find ourselves in a place where we feel off balance. For me, it’s like crossing a river by jumping stone to stone and suddenly landing on an unstable one, then wavering momentarily in the vertigo-inducing inbetween, before either falling and getting doused (if, hopefully, the current is gentle and the waters shallow) or continuing on. This feeling, in my experience, generally accompanies big life changes—break ups, deaths, births, coming home. I’m there now, still stuck in that place of weightlessness, unsure of how to regain my balance and move forward.

For now, I cling to the small pleasures.

Last week, I did the dinner for Jane Eyre as a celebration of my mother’s birthday, as it is her favorite book. For two days, I prepared and cooked and fell peacefully into that brilliant and noiseless place in my head where I go while doing something I enjoy. Some of her oldest friends came to share the meal with us, most of whom I’ve grown up with, providing an extended family that Jane Eyre could only have dreamed of. The dinner was full of laughter and warmth and shared histories. I rarely manage to take pictures of the actual event itself, as I’d often rather enjoy myself and the fruits of my efforts, but I think the photos of the process tell their own story.



Preparations for the vegetable stock that would later become the soup.


The makings of a Sweet Blueberry Buttermilk Pie with Chamomile Cream: Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

Roast Chicken & Vegetables (Chicken not shown)


Blackberry, Mint, and Cucumber Gin Spritzer: Recipe from The Broken Bread


Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup with Caramelized Onions: Recipe from Brooklyn Supper

Jane Eyre knew the feeling of coming to terms with the turns of life well. Once she left Lowood to be the governess at Thornfield Hall, she would’ve had to reestablish her sense of self in a vastly different environment, where different things were expected of her. As for me, I’m trying. I’m looking for a way to do the things I want to do, the things I need to do, and moreover regaining that sense of joy I felt so often in Ecuador, where for a while I felt that I was using my strengths and interests as tools for shaping the life I wanted.

I know that coming home was still a step towards the life I want, but the path ahead is unclear and branches in many directions. It took courage to buy a one-way ticket to Ecuador, as I well know and as everyone tells me. But it takes a different kind of courage to have the strength and resilience to pull the life you want out of the miasma of the daily struggle.

Until I choose a path and start walking, towards that mythical marriage of life ($1,000 a month on a barista’s paycheck does not quite count) and passion, I will cling to this blog which, in a way, is a micro version of just that.


A Long Ago Dinner with the Don

How funny time is–in the moment it seems to crawl, but then, looking back, how deceptively quickly it flew by. Sometimes, when remembering an event in the past, time–a thing without form, measured only by how it is felt–seems to bend in upon itself to bridge the gap.

I wrote the review for Mario Puzo’s The Godfather over a year ago, on the eve of my second departure to Ecuador. Since then, I’ve left and come back and left again, but here I am, back in Orange County, and it feels like only yesterday that I slipped into my vintage polka dot dress and put liberty rolls in my hair before putting on an apron and making spaghetti with meatballs, only after which I ran out to Santa Monica Seafood to buy cannoli for dessert, having forgotten to do so beforehand.

On that night, the men of my family dressed up in pin-striped suits and dagger collars, the women rolled and blow dried and sprayed their hair and sipped wine while balanced on tasteful heels. It was a night on which my heavily Irish-blooded relatives played Italian for a day, drinking grappa, spearing olives on toothpicks, passing the tomato sauce from hand to hand. We ate, and we talked. We drank, and we argued, about politics and gossip and culture–more openly, one would think, than the real Don would ever have permitted. At our table, however, with my uncle Bob assuming the role of Don Kinsch, seriousness made way for levity, family business was fair game, and the women made their voices heard just as loudly as the men. Despite being neither so serious nor so jowly as Marlon Brando, I think he carried it off quite well.






It may almost feel like yesterday, but here’s the god’s honest truth: I don’t remember many details of this dinner. Technical difficulties kept me from writing this entry until I came home for good, so what I do remember has the tang of exaggeration, the lemon-lit glow of embellishment. It was a long time ago and so much has happened since. What my memory does provide is the smell of simmering tomatoes and garlic, the laughter as we each appeared wearing what we considered to be 1940s attire, the crunch of the cannoli, the gleam of the beautiful bottle of expensive grappa, but what I actually remember (scout’s honor) is exactly the reason I continue to do these dinners and maintain this blog: I remember my family together, enjoying themselves, and being happier than any Puzo character ever was.


Coming up! I’m back in the country and back on track, so expect posts much more often. June’s book is a surprise, as the dinner will be part of my mom’s birthday celebration! If you’re interested in what I was doing in South America for all this time, check out my other blog, La Güera Viajera.  In the meantime, keep reading!

Voulez-vous Manger Avec Moi Ce Soir, Monsieur le Empereur?: Chicken Dinner Napoleon-Style

The world of food is one of limitless potential for creativity and innovation, yet it’s common to find that any given person’s favorite dish is a simple one, though they may harbor a weakness for pot au feu or Puebla mole. Napoleon, for example, fancied himself the predestined emperor of the world, and so could have eaten any number of delicacies at any time of the day or night. But no, his favorite dish, at least according to The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, was a simple roast chicken. “[He] had such a passion for chicken that he kept his chefs working around the clock. What a kitchen that was, with birds in every state of undress; some still cold and slung over hooks, some turning slowly on the spit, but most in wasted piles because the Emperor was busy” (3). I have to agree with him on this even if I’m not quite on board with the whole world domination schtick. For this dinner, I made roast chicken the main course and focus of the meal, and then took advantage of some artistic liberties to fill in the rest. Luckily for me, I was not preparing this meal in a soggy, miserable army camp on the banks of the English Channel like poor Henri, but instead was in one of my favorite places in the world: my grandmother’s house on the California Central Coast, in Cambria. But hey, you gotta give a girl points for effort.

It was one of those serendipitous weekends when things just come together on their own. My grandmother called me to say she and her boyfriend would be going up to Cambria for the weekend and couldn’t I come to? It happened that I could (there aren’t many things I wouldn’t move around in order to go to Cambria with her). Then, even more luckily, my dad was able to come up as well. I figured one of my book dinners would be a fun way to celebrate being able to come together so spur of the moment-like, even though so much of The Passion is about being separated from the places and people you love. But one big theme in this novel is taking advantage of the present as its the only point in time you have any control over whatsoever.

It’s hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment (19).

I only recently learned how to make roast chicken from my new chef roommate, so for once I was able to make something without a recipe. It’s amazingly simple. Just salt it, put some thyme on it, tie it up like some Sadeian submissive, and roast for 45 minutes.

DSC_0001While that was in the oven, I prepared the side dish of sweet potatoes and fennel, sprinkled with olive oil, salt & pepper, and herbs de provence. I love this dish. It’s so freakin’ easy and the fennel and sweet potatoes complement each other so well. It’s instant comfort food.

DSC_0015While I did that, my dad (one perk of making dinner for others is sometimes they help!) blanched and peeled peaches from Cambria’s Farmer’s Market for a cobbler. Like I mentioned, roast chicken was the only thing actually mentioned in The Passion but I figured that sticking with simple, country fare with basic ingredients was still appropriate.



One of the things I love most about making food with fresh ingredients is the naturally vivid colors of certain ingredients like sweet potatoes or peaches. At a loss for certain ingredients generally found in cobbler crust, my dad substituted granola from the local Corner Bakery. It’s one of my favorite granolas because it has macadamia and pine nuts in it, and it made an excellent topping.

DSC_0062Finally, it was time to eat. We all sat down, opened a bottle of Venetian wine, and got to it. There weren’t many instances in the novel where characters got to sit down and enjoy a meal with good company. Henri sure didn’t get to partake in the delicious chickens he roasted for Napoleon, whose appetite never waned even in the vast frozen wastelands of Russia. Even in such desolation however, Henri never lost sight of the overall goodness and beauty of life, an attitude which unfortunately makes him more of a martyr than anything else. I’ll end this entry on a happy note, though the ending of the novel was somewhere between sadness and contentment. I read this book twice, almost immediately, and loved it both times. I’m looking forward to doing more Jeanette Winterson books on this blog.

Our ancestors. Our belonging. The future is foretold from the past and the future is only possible because of the past. Without past and future, the present is partial. All time is eternally present and so all time is ours. There is no sense in forgetting and every sense in dreaming. Thus the present is made rich. Thus the present is made whole (62).


DSC_0071P. S. Just so you understand the context when I say I had the pleasure of cooking this meal in my favorite place in the world, just check out the view from the kitchen… I mean, really.


The Meal that Married Two Cities

How is it that time can seem to go so slowly and yet at the same time speed by faster than I can understand? I’ve been meaning to write this blog for months! Yet here I am and almost two months have passed since I wrote the review for A Tale of Two Cities. I made the meal for it weeks ago, and still haven’t written it… and the food part is the easiest part! I blame it on my current situation, in which I seem to be sub-leasing a rut with indefinable borders and a vague termination date. I have been so unmotivated lately. All I want to do is sleep or do things like watch marathons of Netflix shows. I need to stop worrying about things I can’t control, stop fretting that so much of my time is spent doing things I don’t enjoy and make time for the things I do, like this blog. If I’ve learned anything in the past 25 years, it’s that I always get out of the ruts I find myself in, after a time.

I originally wanted to do the meal for this book on July 13th, Bastille Day, but I couldn’t think of what to make.  It is difficult to do a food portion on a book whose focus is very much on poverty and the lack of food. In my bibliocentric sense of justice, I couldn’t reconcile the story with my desire to eat escargot and moules mariniéres. So instead I stuck to the story. Since the story takes place in both Paris and London, I thought I’d have representatives of both cuisines. London provided the main course: an adaptation of the mutton pies that were being hawked during Darnay’s trial for espionage at the beginning of the book, as if it were a fair or celebration. That’s one thing I’ve never understood about my species: the ability to be entertained by the suffering of one of their own, in this case the unfair trial and possible execution of an innocent man. But that’s a topic for another day. For the pie, I used a recipe from a blog called Righteous Bacon, although this was a lamb pie instead of mutton. The only other time I’ve ever cooked lamb is for The Corrections dinner, but I have found it to be a difficult meat to work with, as it can easily be overcooked. It was also my first meat pie, and I think more practice is definitely in order. In the end, it tasted good, but the crust was a little undercooked and the lamb a little overdone. The guinness gave it a nice flavor and the beautiful vegetables I got from Good Eggs* were nice and crunchy. The dough was from a bakery called Three Babes Bakeshop.



To represent Paris, there was an abundance of fresh French bread and wine.


I know, my pictures this time are pretty dark. I really  need to take another photography class. Also, it’s really hard to simultaneously cook and take passable pictures of your cooking. Maybe I should “hire” (which means of course, pay in food) someone to take pictures while I cook. That would be a dream.


I also need to invest in a pie dish, since I think the round metal cylinder thing did not flatter my pie, and it needed some flattering. For dessert, I took some artistic liberties. The only sweetness in the whole book is the hot chocolate that Monseigneur indulges in which, while it is a great little scene, did not make me want to do as the aristocrats did. This following quote will show you just how decadent the rich were in the book and just how sarcastic Dickens was in his representation of them.

“It was impossible for Monseigneur to dispense with one of these attendants on the chocolate and hold his high place under the admiring Heavens. Deep would have been the blot upon his escutcheon if his chocolate had been ignobly waited on by only three men; he must have died of two” (128).

So in order to distance myself from the selfish wantonness of Monseigneur, I decided to make a strawberry shortcake. Specifically French? Not so much. But, I added blueberries to make it a tricolour dessert matching the French flag and the symbol of the revolution. I found it to be very fitting… and tasty.

DSC_0203All in all, it was a good dinner and I hope to continue doing this blog for as long as I enjoy doing it and you enjoy reading it, emotional ruts be damned. Next up, from revolutionary France to Napoleon’s reign, Jeannette Winterson’s The Passion.

*Good Eggs is this wonderful site where you can order produce and other goodies from local businesses and farms, and everything in season. They deliver for a very reasonable fee or you can pick it up at varying locations throughout the week. I highly recommend it! Never before have I found myself window shopping for food!


High Tea in the Heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin

When I think of where I grew up, I mostly think of a then-small town in Southern California called San Juan Capistrano. Thinking back on it, it feels small, but only in comparison to the suburban sprawl which has now metastasized into the majority of Orange County. These days it seems like there is no end, no noticeable barrier between cities. Los Angeles slides into Long Beach which then engulfs Garden Grove etc., etc. The point is that my understanding of what it’s like to live in a small, isolated town is extremely limited. I’ve never lived anywhere surrounded by country, nor had such an intimate relationship with my neighbors that I was privy to the goings on in everyone else’s lives. I have known no Middlemarch. And yet, the idea of stagnation that I discussed in the last entry is one with which I feel some familiarity. Orange County has never been my favorite place. Parts of it are breathtakingly beautiful, the weather is nigh on unbeatable, and the presence of my family is not to be overlooked, but I’ve always felt thwarted by it. To a large degree, Orange County is a place where affluent people go to become more like one another. It’s like a devolution into a specific and unimaginative mold, and I’ve never felt the pull to join the herd. Instead, I remember spending my adolescent years feeling contained, thinking that if I could only get some space, meet some people who felt like I did, that I would be able to grow. Then, I graduated high school and moved to San Francisco, a place that resists inertness like an opposing magnet. San Francisco, overflowing with fecundity, the absolute antithesis to stagnation. Thank god.

What I love about San Francisco is that there is never a lack of new things to do or see or, and this is important, eat. All of the “regular” cultural cuisines are represented, from Chinese to Mexican to Italian, but there are also many lesser known ones like Eritrean, Burmese, and Senegalese. Almost anything you’re craving, you can find, even something that will connect you to 19th century England. In Middlemarch, George Eliot was much more concerned with the inner turmoil of each of her characters than she was with what they were eating. In fact, she mentions food no more than a few times in the whole clunking thing, and nothing sounded like a good entry for this blog. So instead I fell back on some assumptions: Middlemarch is a town in England, and the characters are all very English, so they must drink lots of tea and I bet they eat finger sandwiches and scones with Devonshire cream. You with me?


Well, once again, San Francisco came through, this time in the form of Leland’s Tea in the Tenderloin. I believe that the feeling of stagnation is one we all experience, but I also believe that most of its power comes from our own isolation. The problem is that feelings like this, or depression, make us abhor our solitude and yet sap our motivation to seek the company of others, perhaps because it is exactly the presence of friends and loved ones which is the best remedy to stagnation. They bring that breath of fresh air that smells of a world outside our sordid little self-made island and remind us that it is within our own power to free ourselves, once again giving ourselves the freedom to grow. I think this may be one of the reasons why tea time was such an important custom in England. If people outside of one’s normal sphere of domestic existence were present, this social event alleviated both boredom and restlessness, at least for a time. Perhaps that’s why Dorothea and Mr. Casaubon seemed so unable to overcome their individual and mutual stagnation: they very rarely, especially Mr. Casaubon, sought the company of others. Even Dorothea, who was social and friendly by nature, felt that her place was by her husband’s side, and so rarely left her home without him. It wasn’t until his death that she began to feel the enlivening currents of fresh air entering to disperse the stale air of her confinement.





I am exceedingly grateful for the people I have in my life at this point. The friends that accompanied me on this book-nerd inspired outing are just the kind of people that everyone should have around them whenever they find themselves stuck, whether it be emotionally or intellectually and especially physically, like Artax in The Neverending Story. It is in large part thanks to my friends and family that I have had the motivation to get even this far on this blog and it will be largely with their help that I continue on.

Boats in Champagne Currents, Borne Back into the Roaring Past

Man, it takes a long time to plan a party. As I’m sure Gatsby would agree, if you’re going to have a party, you might as well do it right or else, well, what’s the point? If there’s one thing to say about Jay Gatsby, it is that he never went halfway on anything. If he wanted something to happen, he threw his whole self into its attainment. If some of his dreams didn’t come off as he planned, it was never for lack of trying.

Have you wondered if I’m ever coming back? Well, here I am (I’ve missed you, too) and this month is going to be chock-full of booknerdish indulgence to make up for my long absence. In my last post, I talked about the role of Nick Carraway, the narrator in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and how his role as observer, and the idea of “being observed” in general, helped make the story and the characters into the unforgettable classic they are. And what but the hope of being observed and appreciated is the point of dressing up for a themed party? So sit back, grab a glass of champagne (it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, we are going back to the Roaring 20’s after all), and relive the “Gatsby Glitterati Party” with me.

The reason it took so long for me to actually have this party was that I had a hard time finding somewhere to throw it. I love my apartment in the Outer Sunset district of San Francisco, but it is tiny, and I would imagine could probably fit in one of the closets of Gatsby’s mansion, with room to spare. I played with the idea of having the party at a bar that was kind of speakeasy-esque, like Comstock Saloon or Bourbon + Branch, but as it was a costume party, I wanted people to feel comfortable and, since most of us had to buy costumes, to not have to fork over 10 bucks a pop, not including tip, for the costly (but delicious) cocktails these places sling. Instead I appealed to several friends, but for one reason or another, I just kept finding myself at dead ends. Finally, my friend Adri, whose apartment is slightly bigger than mine and might fit into one of Gatsby’s bathrooms, agreed to host, and just like that, it was on. Having had the idea for this party in my head for quite a while, I had already been collecting parts of my costume, so I was able to save my money for the other accoutrements of a good party, namely booze.

The menu was simple, as food is not an important part of this novel, although alcohol is. The only food mentioned, in fact, was a quick list of food on display at one of Gatsby’s parties which included spiced ham, turkey, and tea cake, and later on the cold fried chicken lying untouched on the table in the emotionally charged silence between Daisy and Tom the night that Myrtle is killed, when Nick spies on them through the window at Gatsby’s insistence. But since it was a simple party, I thought that the spiced ham or turkey would be overkill, so I stuck with the tea cake, which was based on a recipe from the blog COUKiNE. I ended up making a few last minute changes to the recipe when I realized I hadn’t bought all of the ingredients, but it actually came out really yummy. Other than having to substitute whole-wheat flour for regular, I also changed the apple for unsweetened shredded coconut, which gave it a more subtle sweetness (which is not something that can be said about any of the leading ladies of this story; in fact, there’s very little subtlety to any of the characters, with the exception of Nick, of course). Oh, a warning: most of these pictures are terrible, because I forgot to take them until after I’d already had several mint juleps, and consequently did not feel like messing with trivial things like focus and exposure…


Speaking of mint juleps, a refreshing, bourbon-heavy cocktail I’d never tried before, I borrowed the recipe from the blog Pixelated Crumb. Unlike most cocktails I’ve made for these events in the past, this one required a little more foresight. The night before the party, I went out and bought mint to make the simple syrup. When it was finished, I realized that the recipe must have been for a maximum of three people, and since any one person who attended the party is capable of drinking for three, I figured I should probably make more. To the store for more mint and back again, and I had my simple syrup, which I then bottled in Mason jars and refrigerated. Once the syrup is made, the prep of the drink is very easy: an ounce of syrup, two ounces of bourbon (I went for Bulleit, my current go-to), a few leaves of mint, and ice. Voilá, eat your heart out. Careful though, like the Southern regions this drink comes from, it’s sweet when you first meet, but will knock you on your ass if you’re not careful.


As I’m sure you can imagine, after a few of these the party was in full swing (no pun intended). Actually, it was in full Charleston, which we all learned with the help of a YouTube video which I will attach at the bottom in case you’d like to learn as well. If you’ve ever hosted a costume party, you’ll remember that there are always people that go all out and then there are those who don’t even try. But because I have awesome friends, all the costumes were great. Here are some of my favorite pictures, accompanied by a few choice quotes from the novel:



Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people. You can hold your tongue and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care (75).



Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….(154).


Being in Adri’s apartment building, overlooking the quiet Outer Richmond district, reminded me of a scene from the book when Nick goes with Tom to meet Myrtle in the city: “…high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life” (44). While wrapped up in the sudden excitement and vitality of our own lives, its easy to ignore or forget the fact that uninvolved parties are observing you. What a strange thing it would be to see ourselves from an objective point of view! If only  Gatsby or Myrtle or Daisy had been able to step outside of themselves, even for a moment, and see their actions and their lives from a casual observer’s standpoint, how different a story it might have been, and yet, it wouldn’t have been the same story that takes a firmer hold on my heart each time I read it. That is what it truly means to be a classic work of literature, to be able to bring to light different emotions and insights each time it is read. Great stories do not cease to grow once the final period has been placed, but continue to become larger and more complex versions of themselves each time they are read and enjoyed.

If you’ve read The Great Gatsby before, I hope these last couple entries have caused you to reexamine your feelings about it, maybe even tempted you to pick it up again. It is a story that will never cease to enthrall, especially in the context of the society we live in today.

Now that you’re done reading, throw back the rest of your champagne, get on your feet…and Charleston.


Next up: Middlemarch, a daunting read about which I have no idea what to write, and, for the food portion, a tea service! Stay tuned.

A Feast Fit for a Hobbit…and Smeagol Too!

It was a rainy day in San Francisco. It had been raining on and off for days, but the rain still felt fresh and new, like a portent of things soon to be born. And though the skyscrapers and subways of my city are a far cry from the ivory walls of Minas Tirith or the rural pace and comfort of Shire life, there seemed to be a sort of synchronicity in the air between life here on this planet in the 21st century and that of the Third Age of Middle Earth. It may have had something to do with the fact that my roommate and I were at the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building, scouting for things that hobbits like to eat. We found honeycombs and dried fruits, and cheeses with ingredients like apricots, caramelized onions, pistachios and wild mushrooms. I also bought grape leaves to substitute for the mallorn leaves that lembas is wrapped in. For those of you who aren’t quite as nerdy as I am, lembas is a bread-like food made by the Elves of Lothlórien that is known to be extremely filling and nutritious. Samwise and Frodo subsist on it during their entire trek from Rauros Falls to Orodruin, or Mount Doom, in Mordor. That night, I semi-dried the grape leaves and then, the next morning, I wrapped them around some vaguely lembas-shaped crackers. I thought they looked quite authentic:


And then, once they were wrapped and presented on a plate with some pistachio-encrusted goat cheese, the effect was complete.


The next morning, before Frodo Fest started for the elevensies meal, I went to my local bakery and bought a freshly-baked loaf of sourdough. I considered baking my own bread, but then I opted to bake something else instead, and since the sourdough at Devil’s Teeth bakery is sooo good, it wasn’t a loss by any count. DSC_0018

In addition to the cheeses and honeycomb, I bought some smoked salmon. Unlike everything else, this wasn’t expressly mentioned in The Lord of the Rings but there was a certain character whom I thought would have definitely enjoyed it, though he wouldn’t have touched the lembas. Not sure who it could be? Let me give you a hint:

Alive without breath;

as cold as death;

never thirsting, ever drinking;

clad in mail, never clinking.

Drowns on dry land,

thinks an island

is a mountain;

thinks a fountain

is a puff of air.

So sleek, so fair!

What a joy to meet!

We only wish

to catch a fish,

so juicy-sweet!

Yesss, you gots it, my precious! Gollum! Gollum! I thought that Gollum should have a place at Frodo Fest considering that he was, once, something like a hobbit. Poor Sméagol.

Though for this meal I mostly bought everything, I did make one thing that I thought might very well be found in a hobbit’s pantry or at Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday party. It was a blackberry goat cheese tart, and the recipe came from the blog Pastry Affair.


With a little honey drizzled over it and some basil leaves sprinkled on top, this tart was the perfect bit of sweetness to top off our rustic Shire-meal. And, although we stuck to tea as many of us had had rough nights the night before and eleven seemed very early, I had bought a beer called Le Fin du Monde and Barefoot wine. You know, because hobbits are always barefoot so as to be light on their feet. Duh. Unfortunately, the only thing lacking that would be sorely missed at any hobbit repast was Longbottom Leaf. But other than that, I think Frodo Fest was a success, and at least one person recognized the lembas for what it was.

And so, here ends my second, but hardly my last, journey through Middle Earth. That is, until I read The Hobbit. But for the next entry, I’m moving back into our world and the Roaring 20’s with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Thanks for reading!