Special Dinner: September 2012
October 4, 2012 § 3 Comments
This year, Mr. E is doing a round of dinners based on The Lord of the Rings. (A short recap of the “project” can be found in the beginning of the Special Dinner: January 2012 post.) We have also been seriously lagging behind with our monthly special meals, but it seems that we finally caught up.
The September special dinner was inspired by Rohan. It took place in the Golden Hall, the seat of Rohan power, which meant that I’m no longer constrained by outdoorsy settings. (Yay!) Unfortunately for Mr. E, Tolkien said not a word of what was eaten:
“At the King’s board sat Éomer and the four guests, and there also waiting upon the king was the lady Éowyn. They ate and drank swiftly.”
So, Mr. E had to improvise on the basis of what we know about Rohan society: pragmatic soldiers skilled with horses, whose lands are grassy plains bordered by mountains in the south and rivers elsewhere.
As appetizer, we had rye flour porridge. The main course was braised beef with root vegetables (onion, potato, turnip, and carrot) plus apple cooked together. As dessert we had pancake with apple compote.
I’ve been wondering whether I could use a historical style with this project in any way. I decided to try Anglo-Saxon, since Tolkien based several aspects of the Rohan culture on Anglo-Saxons. I also took several classes in Old English at the university and fell in love with the Anglo-Saxon style.
I was looking for something with a horse on it, since Tolkien’s Rohan is a country of horsemen. Not finding anything I especially liked, I just used a printout of the Kingston Brooch under the glass plates to give the table setting a bit more color. The brooch was found in Kent and dates from ca. 600-625.
As a substitute to the gold in the brooch, I pulled out some of our brass candlesticks to reflect the light. Round grass placemats and the wooden platter also nod towards the golden color theme. Aside from a runner, I kept the table simple, since the Rohirrim are a no-nonsense people.
The meal was, again, delicious. I wouldn’t have thought to combine root veggies and apple, but cooked together they made a very tasty combo. And the beef was so soft it just pulled apart – yum!
In other news, things have really picked up at work. I will most likely not post again in October. If so, enjoy your Halloween and/or the rest of the month.