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Foods of Middle-earth

Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 4, 1:21am

Post #1 of 25 (3068 views)
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Foods of Middle-earth Can't Post

Hello all!

I've been thinking a lot lately about two of my favorite subjects...Middle-earth, and food Smile

Food is not only a necessary thing for survival of even the strongest elf, and hardiest dwarf, but, as the tales are largely told from the hobbits' perspectives, it appears quite frequently in Middle-earth. We oft have a veritable "food diary" as our heroes journey throughout Arda, which is one of the, admittedly few, times we see Tolkien delve into a very real and pragmatic aspect of daily living in his tales.

I happen to enjoy cooking, and am strongly considering the idea of, as my grocery budget allows, making Middle-earth inspired meals (with necessary substitutions for things that either aren't available to me, or don't exist in real life). I would like my meals to be inspired by not only the various races of Middle-earth, but also the regional diets as well (Mirkwood elves would, I imagine, eat a little differently than Elrond's household would. Probably more hunter-gatherer than farming and animal husbandry, for example).

The one thing I won't eat or cook with is alcohol, because I don't drink, for many reasons, and I won't buy it, either. I AM willing to sub in grape juice and sparking apple cider, though I'm not sure what I'd use in place of malt beer and honey mead (I also don't like the bitter taste of alcohol, or bitter things in general). Probably just stick to herbal tea or the aforementioned juices. I also detest mushrooms (I know, not very hobbity of me!), so I'll skip those as well.


Anyway, the point of my post is to compile a list of foods found throughout Tolkien's novels, and (if not real) viable modern substitutes. I actually live in an avid outdoor area with lots of hunters, and have friends who hunt, so (while it might cost me, or I might have to barter) I might be able to obtain venison. In fact, though I'm not a fan of ribs, someone gave us a few venison short-ribs. But I can probably procure actual venison/deer meat. I'll sub wild boar with store-bought ham, that sort of thing.


So, without further ado, please send me lists of

a) foods you've remembered seeing mentioned in his books, or viable substitutes for them, and

b) if you're fortunate enough to either be a botanist, herbalist, or a western or southwestern European who is used to foraging for wild edibles in the deciduous European woods and maritime areas (thinking Gondor, Ithilien, and Lebennin would be similar to Italy and Greece in climate. Mirkwood and Dale would be akin to woods and farmlands of Germany and Poland, etc), if you'd send me lists of wild edibles for those regions, I can probably conjure up some storebought substitutions Smile


I'll start:

honey

bread (likely a whole grain of some kind)malt beer (not sure on sub)Ale (not sure on sub)honey mead (not sure on sub)

wine (sub grape juice)herbal teamilk (hobbits kept cows, so presumably that means milk and butter and cream and cheese)

sausages
bacon
wild boar (sub ham)

venison
salt
apples (Poor Fili! I'll enjoy them for him Evil)

cram (I can probably find a recipe for hardtack online, though might modify so it's softer)

presumably fish, given oceanic and river regions
mushrooms (I'll skip them, but someone else may enjoy them)
potatoes (boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew!)
Lembas (one bite may not fill me up, but I KNOW I've seen recipes for them)
twice-baked honey cakes
acorns (and probably acorn flour-I've seen it on Amazon)
If you can think of others, I'll happily add to my list! Looking forward to journeying through Middle-earth hobbit-style! Though I may not eat as much as they do, or I might need six young dwarves to carry ME Sly

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Aug 4, 1:27am)


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Aug 4, 2:45am

Post #2 of 25 (3016 views)
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GRRM vs JRRT [In reply to] Can't Post

This isn't too much of a worthy reply, but any one of GRRM's GoT meal scenes rivals in length any one of JRRT's battle scenes. GoT (SoIaF actually) is positively bloated with food and its preparation; an orgy of words. So much so that I just want him to get back to the story, dammit. All I remember in LoTR is rabbit stew, and I might be conflating the films and books. You want food? GoT is it, and all that other stuff comes in between, as I suspect you might already be aware.


(This post was edited by DGHCaretaker on Aug 4, 2:50am)


CMackintosh
Rivendell

Aug 4, 11:07am

Post #3 of 25 (2984 views)
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Dwarves? [In reply to] Can't Post

At one point in The Hobbit we encounter a trio of trolls arguing over how best to cook a group of dwarves that have just wandered into their campsite. There are three options discussed, argued, or fought over - roast them, mince them fine and boil them, or squash them into jelly.
(It's a very different world from Disney's "Cooking with Mickey Mouse", which unlike "Cooking with Rice", contains not one single recipe with Mickey Mouse as an ingredient!!! Talk about misleading advertising!!!)


ElanorTX
Tol Eressea


Aug 4, 3:24pm

Post #4 of 25 (2975 views)
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Try searching posts [In reply to] Can't Post

as this topic has been discussed before, especially in connection with watch-parties. I'm in the process of moving, so don't have time to get you started myself.

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 4, 5:21pm

Post #5 of 25 (2961 views)
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I never watched GoT [In reply to] Can't Post

Never had the interest. I really am only interested in the food in Middle-earth, not whatever GoT's world is.

Thanks anyway Smile

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Aug 4, 6:35pm

Post #6 of 25 (2954 views)
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Books [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I never watched GoT


Just to clarify, I refer to the books - not the TV show.


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 5, 12:02am

Post #7 of 25 (2942 views)
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Eat your way through [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps you can eat your way through Middle-earth. I recall Bilbo enjoying tea and cakes before he hosts a large number of hungry dwarves. Let's see - seed cake, rasberry jam and apple tart, mince pie and cheese, pork pie and salad, eggs, cold chicken and pickles. Ham shows up in Thorin's breakfast plans. Then William, Bert and Tom are found roasting mutton. Fortunately, they missed out on hobbit and dwarf, so you can too. Funny that although the Elves in Rivendell stock up the Company with travel food, we don't really hear about any of the meals eaten in Rivendell. Other than bannocks, which I'd sub with pancakes. Gollum enjoys sashimi. He also mentions chestnuts. Oh, and goblin (not recc'd). When you need something lighter you can nibble sorrel, drink spring water and pick a few wild strawberries. The Eagles are keto-friendly, bringing rabbits, hares and a small sheep. Which is good, because when we get to Beorn's there's more carb-heavy vegetarian snacks waiting.

Unless you are not starting until LOTR?


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 5, 12:08am

Post #8 of 25 (2937 views)
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If it's in the Third Age [In reply to] Can't Post

and not cannibalistic Tongue, it's on the table, so to speak! Laugh

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 6, 12:12am

Post #9 of 25 (2886 views)
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Beorn's table and onward [In reply to] Can't Post

Beorn is vegetarian, but not vegan as he's fond of butter and honey. Hmmn, that sounds a bit Pooh-ish...
Anyway, Gandalf stuffs himself with bread, honey, butter and clotted cream. Then Beorn sends the company off with nuts, dried fruit, flour, and twice baked cakes. Which sounds like biscotti to me! Roasted Mirkwood squirrel = not good. You can cross black squirrel off your shopping list. We never do find out what the Wood elves were having at the feast, but they do feed Thorin bread, meat and water. We also know they had barrels of butter and apples. Also mention of kine and oxen in their barrel rolling song. Kine are I believe, the females. After escaping the Woodland realm, Bilbo's next meal is yet another pie, stolen this time. I'm guessing that's a meat pie rather than a sweet fruit pastry.


(This post was edited by oliphaunt on Aug 6, 12:13am)


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 6, 12:21am

Post #10 of 25 (2879 views)
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What is clotted cream, precious? [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't heard of it before...

The rest is helpful :) I definitely want to try my hand at honey-cakes here soon! I have a buttload of honey I need to use up (I use it to make bread, but we were given some here, some there, and I now have about 3 quarts of it in my pantry, in various-sized vessels).

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 6, 1:16am

Post #11 of 25 (2875 views)
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Very British [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a classic topping for scones. You make it by baking heavy cream. The ultra pasteurized supermarket cream will not work. You need to.find rich grass fed cow milk cream. Then pour two inches deep in a glass dish and bake at 170 degrees f for 10 hours without stirring. When cooled off you scoop off the thick top. There will be whey left behind for bread baking. Will keep cold for a week. Good luck! I love hunny, though mine is measured in pints not butts.


(This post was edited by oliphaunt on Aug 6, 1:18am)


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 6, 1:33am

Post #12 of 25 (2870 views)
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Is it good? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am quite curious now, but will have to do a little scrounging, as I don't have a milk cow yet (it's actually in the plans, but prob not til next summer, after we're done building our house on 5 acres and get fenced in). But I'm sure there are those around here who do, and I LOVE fresh raw milk and fresh cream products, so I'll have to try it Smile I imagine it tastes similar to cream cheese?

I'm American, and we measure in pints and quarts. I have three quarts of honey (1 quart=2 pints), which is a LOT, especially since I'm the only one who really uses it a lot. Someone gave us this one, someone gave us that one, our realtor gave us a pint of local honey, I forgot we had some (like a ding dong) and bought another quart at the store...I'm a honey hoarder Laugh I use about 1/4 cup, I think, every time I make whole wheat bread, and I fully intend on baking more Smile

The good news is that honey never really goes bad...and I most definitely have enough for honey-cakes!

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 6, 6:47pm

Post #13 of 25 (2800 views)
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Smackeral [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, it's good. Someplace between butter and whipped cream.

As you've got me reading the Hobbit, we join Bilbo and the Dwarves in Laketown. Although they feasted a fair bit, we never hear much about the dishes. Safe to assume there was an abundance of fish. Freshwater, like trout, bass, and eel. Surely there was preserving going on, so smoked trout might be good to try. Or pickled eel. On the way towards the Lonely Mountain, fare gets slim again. Smaug recommends dwarf-ridden pony, charred over open flame. If that's too much, you might try out the favorite meal of the thrush. Snails! Which will go well with wild garlic if you have foraged any.

Speaking of foraging, it's time for me to go pick blackberries around the edges of the town fields. They are not great to eat raw, as there are many seeds. I strain them and make fabulous jam. Earlier this summer I made a dozen jars of wild rasberry jam. In September the grapes ripen for the best ever wild grape jam. Last night I prepared pepper relish, having been gifted a large sack of green, red and purple peppers. I still have to deal with the eggplants, some may be pickled as well. Our basement pantry may not rival anything in Hobbiton but does keep us happy all winter.


(This post was edited by oliphaunt on Aug 6, 6:59pm)


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 6, 7:20pm

Post #14 of 25 (2791 views)
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It sounds like [In reply to] Can't Post

you have quite the abundance in your neck of the woods Smile

I LOVE kippered snacks! Smoked herring, I think. I think I'll leave the snails to the thrush, though Wink

The pepper relish sounds lovely. Is it similar to American salsa? I used to make a lovely salsa with onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers (garlic and spices too). I used to be able to eat jalapeno-level spicy, but I can't anymore. Couldn't eat spicy foods for seven years, due to misdiagnosed medical condition. That has since been rectified, but my tolerance is gone. I have to slowly build it back up, so sweet bell peppers are all the peppers I can use now, until I do. They make a very savory salsa, though!

LOVE jam! In fact, I make a killer jam (and bread and butter pickles) that even a VERY picky, gourmet-eating relative loved! I do strawberry blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, strawberry, mixed berry (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry), and huckleberry. I've also made my own cranberry sauce, which is jam consistency, as I skip the water and just use the berries and sugar. I think they have a lot of natural pectin, and I hate watery cranberry sauce, which most recipes call for. I've made spiced apple, peach, and pear butters, too, with citrus juices (The peach was my favorite). I've also made pepper jelly with jalapenos with a friend, which goes fantastic with cream cheese on crackers, but I couldn't handle the hotness of them well, so only had a couple with just a tiny bit of the jam.

DEFINITELY looking to expand my jam repertoire when our house is done (which, Lord willing, should be around March or so) and we can start getting our farm done, and a garden in again. Would've done garden already, but we have a TON of gophers and field mice, so I need to build cinder concrete block raised beds with hardware cloth lining the bottom to keep the boogers from eating my plants by the roots, and that's not gonna be cheap for the massive size I have planned (I'm talking probably at least 20 beds, at around $150 each, as I need to truck in NON-rocky soil for it. Our land is fantastic pasture, but way too rocky for vegetables, especially root ones).

I will skip the eggplant, too. I've never liked them...but I LOVE most squash! My favorite squash is zucchini and yellow crookneck, sauteed with seasoned salt and sweet cream salted butter as the cooking oil (I only use a tablespoon's worth of butter, if that, in ratio to one small/medium zucchini and one small/medium yellow squash). Even with the butter, it's pretty low-calorie, and delicious!

I also love butternut squash with a little butter and brown sugar (reminds me of yams), but my family aren't fans Unsure Love pumpkin everything, and spaghetti squash made decent spaghetti with meat sauce, but again...family weren't fans. I did not like acorn squash, though. Love zucchini bread and hubby likes pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips, but the girls aren't huge pumpkin fans or yam fans, either (which makes sense. They're all similar flavors). They love roasted pumpkin seeds, though! We all do.

Now you're making me hungry LOL...

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 6, 7:54pm

Post #15 of 25 (2784 views)
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Like the Entwives [In reply to] Can't Post

Order, plenty and peace in your garden!

Too many whitetails, too many tall trees, and too many rocks for gardening. But foraging is rewarding, and we've friends who share their garden produce and receive cooked meals in return. In the fall when I am done with canning, some years I find the patience for black walnut and hickory nut foraging. During mast years the nuts are plentiful, but my willingness to deal with cleaning them in short supply. I prepare cranberries as you do, and we eat it year-round with cold meats or cheeses.

If memory serves, there won't be too much more food lore in the Hobbit, but I will find out tonight. Still, soon enough I'll be having mushrooms and bacon with Farmer Maggot.


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 6, 8:19pm

Post #16 of 25 (2783 views)
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Whereabouts do you live? [In reply to] Can't Post

I live in north Idaho, USA, but my property is part of what used to be a 4,000 acre ranch in a valley, with nearby mountains (Rocky Mountain foothills, Bitterroot subrange) and conifer/boreal forest all around. The ranch area was cleared 100 years ago, however, so my own property is just prairie grass. No trees on my 5 acres, save three juniper and two green giant arborvitae that my grandma planted by her single-wide last year. They're only six feet tall, though, so I hardly count them as being "treed".

It's great pasture, but this area had a glacier go through in the ice age, so the ROCKS Pirate So many rocks that the guy who sold us the parcel was able to use a rock crusher, and only dug out maybe a 2,000 square foot area (it's basically now forming a slight hill on the backside of our property, but not a terrible slope) and was able to pave a 20 feet wide by 503 feet long driveway 12" deep with it! O.o

My neighbor, who has a thriving garden (however, she has dogs and cats, so the gophers and field mice stay away. We aren't fenced in yet, unfortunately, so can't get even those animals yet), said they had to use their backhoe to dig it out, then truck in the garden soil to fill it in, because it wasn't great for anything other than pasture grass. One COULD rock-pick it, I suppose, but you're left with half the soil you dug out, once the rocks are out (maybe even less), and that soil is so nutrient-depleted now, the field having been fallow for 4 years. And it would take me another five years to rock-pick a quarter acre garden! NO THANKS!!! Unimpressed I'd rather just bite the bullet, and truck in rock-free garden soil with compost already mixed in, that I can add more compost to from my cows and chickens as needed later on. Way less work, and way, way less time and aggravation.

Besides, I use the square foot no-till gardening method, and have zero interest in fighting weeds and critters and kneeling down far and killing my back (we're going to retire here, but my back gets tense easily), and don't want to weed a path, too, or compact the soil, so we figured raised beds out of concrete blocks will give us a seat, would last forever, and I can raise it taller as I get older, until they're eventually counter-height and I don't have to bend at all. Each bed will probably be around 12 feet long, and 32" wide (actual soil area inside it- the blocks are 8" wide by 8" deep by 16" long- so two blocks wide, plus the outside edges), and I plan on starting with around 20 of them, and adding more later. Square ones for pumpkins and melons, and long, but still 32" wide (short arms) beds for berries, of which I need to grow a LOT. We love berries, and I sell my jams Smile

Those beds we've used before (just one deep, open bottom) in our old house and I loved it. They're as easy to construct as legos (same principle, and we don't need mortar because it's not a retaining wall, just a garden bed), they're cheaper than wood, they don't deteriorate like wood, even cedar, eventually does (and pressure-treated wood has arsenic and other "goodies" in it that poison edible gardens for human consumption, though it's fine for ornamentals, and is also expensive), you can put 2" deep but same dimensions otherwise paver stones on the top of them, which make great shelves for baskets and seats, and you can easily make them as tall as you need (I'm only 5'1", so the max height I'd have would probably be 4 high, or 32", otherwise it'll be taller than counter height) later. And they'll last forever, and mice and gophers can't chew through them (again, 1/4" hardware cloth on the bottom and they'll be critter-free, at least from underneath. The hawks will take care of above ground).

I grow my veggies in it spaced on all sides by referencing in-row spacing (if it says 4" apart in rows 3' apart, I do 4" apart all directions), don't compact or till, other than to mix more compost in, and when they grow big enough, most will shade out weeds, leaving me with less work (and it's mulched until then, or for things that aren't leafy). I'm gonna run PVC pipe water lines under each bed during construction, that come up in the middle, and will put a valve for soaker hoses there, and put that whole thing on a hose splitter timer, so it's watered early morning at the roots, with each crop getting specific water for each (tomatoes ripen by cutting water off, but melons need a LOT of water, so this will solve that dilemma), so I don't forget, or need to be home, to water.

When you homeschool, run a farmer's market vendor business, have animal chores, and a garden, and can and preserve, etc, you do whatever you can to save time and automate what you're able to automate! I've had good success with this garden method, and these bed styles, and the best part is that it works VERY well to do these raised beds in heavily rocky areas (they don't call them Rocky Mountains for nothing-geez Crazy)...which means raised like this might work for you as well Smile

I am glad you can forage! Around here, the only things I've found we can forage (and we have to fight bears for them) are morel mushrooms (I can't stand mushrooms, but many forage) and huckleberries, which are in season now (again, bears love them too, so gotta be cautious. Also, some illegal commercial pickers have been destroying patches with rakes and pulling plants to pick by the vans in state forests this year, which is a nasty problem that the forest service police are trying to eradicate, but it's making public patches harder to find for locals who want to forage, which is pissing us all off, but I digress). I'm sure there are other edibles in the forest, but I haven't had the time to look. Hucks are worth it, though, because they're my favorite fruit, and SOOO good!

Best of luck to you! And I'm jealous- would love wild blackberries to forage!

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 7, 4:23pm

Post #17 of 25 (2711 views)
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In the garden part of the Garden State [In reply to] Can't Post

I live in the garden part of the Garden State. We have to watch for bears too, I see them frequently. But ours are black bears only, no Grizz. Do your littles ever watch We Bare Bears? We can find wild blueberries in the northern hills in early summer, but I've never picked enough to put them up. There are plenty of blueberry farms down in the southern part of the state, which is also where cranberries grow.

So once Bilbo and the Dwarves reached the Lonely Mountain, they lived on field rations, chiefly cram provided by Laketown. I figure cram was hardtack. Wouldn't bother making that, but you could try making matzoh (needn't be kosher) or rye crispbread (Knäckebrot).

I love the idea of raised garden beds. I can't imagine selling my wild berry jam. By the time I walk in the hot sun, get bit by flies, mosquitos and wasps, and scratched by briars picking berries, wash berries, cook them, sieve them, make jam, sterilize jars, process them, and clean up I'd have to ask about $50 a jar!


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 7, 10:44pm

Post #18 of 25 (2676 views)
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Gotcha [In reply to] Can't Post

My littles are 10 and 13, and I've never heard of that show. I assume it's a show?

Yeah, I may make hardtack someday, out of pure curiosity, but I imagine it's, as Tolkien describes, "hardly palatable, and useful mostly as a chewing exercise", or something of that sort Wink

The raised beds really make a huge difference, especially if your land isn't the most ideal for in-ground gardening. It also drains well, which is helpful Smile

I hear you, on the amount of work! Thankfully, I plan on growing my own, and I will probably do thornless varieties as well. I likely won't sell my huckleberry jam, not least of which is that it's illegal to sell state land-obtained hucks, and my property is too low elevation to have any. It's also my all-time favorite fruit EVER, so I may not even make it into jam, tbh. I usually just wash and freeze them, and stick a handful in pancakes, muffins, or, once in a while, a smoothie blend with frozen strawberries. Or make pie filling to top cream cheese pies with (my favorite dessert. Not the same as cheesecake).

I can buy it, spendy though it is, from others who have farms on the mountain slopes that do have their own bushes (it cannot be cultivated, not true huckleberries, though I've seen a "garden huckleberry" that has to be cooked, and makes grape-like, delectable jam, which I'm considering growing), but if you're lucky around here, you own land near the top of a mountain that has wild huck bushes. However, that land is usually on the sides and crowns of mountains, so not useful for livestock like we want, unless you're only raising goats). But, unless I find a friend who has their own bushes, and is willing to share with us, any huckleberries I get would be from state land, and not legally sellable, or I spend $60/gallon at least buying them from farm stands run by people who own their own bushes, which, at that price, I ain't parting with a SINGLE berry (how dragonish of me! Wink).


But, if you grow your own berries, or have good farm connections nearby at good prices, selling jams is pretty cost-effective. If you grow yourself, it's not as much of a time investment, per se, as far as actual work goes (I also plan on timer-operated watering, and mulching to suppress weeds as much as I can). If I haul in 200 lbs of strawberries, and make jam, I can still profit off the jam we don't eat, providing I didn't spend a ton of gas, etc obtaining them. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's probably not profitable for you, and I'm not gonna be a "jam millionaire", but I can turn a small profit off my jam, and jam is always a great seller at farmer's markets! I could even just sell the berries to market jam-makers, too, if I wanted to.

1 lb strawberries at the store (so much higher cost than at-home growing)- $4, rounded up for simplicity. Half pint mason jar- about $1 each. Sugar and pectin probably add about $0.50 per jar. 1 lb strawberries makes 2 jars, approx, of 8 oz jam, after reduction. $3.30-ish estimated per jar of jam. Half-pint/8 oz jar of jam can sell for $7/jar at market, or even up to $10/jar. That's still turning some profit, especially if you're making a big batch, as you're dividing your time amongst 7-14 jars at once. It takes about an hour or so, maybe 2 if you count picking. So 2 hours of labor, divided by 14 jars. $10/hr, $20/14 jars= $1.43/jar. We'll say $1.50.

labor $1.50Jar-$1Berries-$2 (remember, this is storebought, not homegrown)sugar/pectin-$0.50Total cost-$5/jarProfit-$2-5 per jar.

Remember, you're not selling mass-produced, generic, chemical-laden jams. Your jam is NOT SMUCKER'S. Your jam is farm-fresh, sun-ripened fruit, ideally grown as organically as possible (I rarely spray herbicide in my garden, and ONLY if I have bindweed or other impossible to eradicate, and in the past 7 years, only did it once because of that weed, and never pesticides, but certified organic costs thousands of dollars, so not going that route. Mine is "naturally grown", non-GMO heritage seeds, and I use well-aged compost from my chickens, not chemical fertilizers), hand-picked, hand-grown, hand-canned, American-produced, using American-grown fruit (this is a BIG DEAL, since most of our produce comes from Mexico and China, where we do not have regulatory agencies monitoring as well for proper herbicide and pesticide use), using only fresh fruit, American-sourced pectin, cane sugar, and lemon juice (strawberry doesn't need it, usually, but lower-acid, like blueberry, does), and much healthier and full of vitamins.

In other words, your jam is considered gourmet jam, not Walmart jam Wink Therefore, your jam is worth a lot more than grocery prices, and most farmer's market shoppers recognize this, and are willing to pay extra for superior product. My prices above reflect buying a pound of strawberries from China at the grocery store. In reality, $3 worth of non-GMO, heritage variety seeds, over two growing seasons (to support new plant vitality, you should pinch buds the first year, and not let them produce til year 2), will probably yield about 50 lbs of strawberries, if you compost well, water properly, full sun, weed properly, etc. We'll say $10, for the water, the compost, the seeds. $0.20/lb. $0.10/jar for the berries, which makes your cost per jar drop to around $3/jar. You could charge $8/jar at the market, leaving you with $5/jar profit. 14 jar batch=$70 profit. Not bad, for 2 hours worth of active canning work (providing you mulched well, so minimal weeding)! And that's after your $10/hr wage, too!

I don't fancy-cut my strawberries, either- I just straight chop, and throw the tops back in the bed, reasoning that, as they break down, they'll fertilize the remaining seeds on the berry tops, and those seeds will sprout and create new plants Wink So I don't mind leaving a little bit of red behind, and makes hulling much faster. I'll also freeze right after picking, if I don't have enough to make jam (or enough time), and wait til I do have enough, then thaw and make all at once. Blueberries and raspberries don't require hulling, which is nice.

Like I said, jam can indeed be profitable, especially if you get regulars who will consistently buy from you, and if you grow it yourself Smile I myself run two canners at once on a camp chef outdoor freestanding heavy-duty propane stove/double burners, though I do not yet (plan on it) have a double-stack half pint rack. With those, I can water bath up to 28 jars at a time, and I don't have that heat and humidity heating up my kitchen in the dead of summer. It also frees up the whole stove to run two big, non-stick stock pots for the jam itself, and I sterilize my jars in the dishwasher on hot wash setting (I can do a whole day's worth of jars at once in there, while I'm hulling and prepping fruit), and the rings and lids in a pot on the stove in the back. By the time the fruit is ready, so are the jars. I let them sit in there, keep it closed to retain heat, while I make the actual jam.

I think my record, with one canner running, per 8 hour day, of jam was, I think, about 50 jars, which is also all the fruit and jars I had at the time in my smaller house (if I'd had more fruit, and more jars, and two canners running, we could've done a lot more in that time frame). But that was one canner, one jam pot, and two people (my bff and I) working. That's $250 profit right there, once they all sell. Even split in half, $125 each for 8 hours of work is NOT BAD AT ALL (almost $16/hr). However, those were mostly personal use, though I did sell some of my excess to my aunt and uncle, who had the picky 5-star eating family member visit them for a reunion, and waxed poetic about my mixed berry jam, and she barely knows me, so it was an honest "review" Cool

The key is finding a busy enough market to sell them all at once LOL...I'm still working on that, but it's all good. It's definitely worth it for me to sell my jams. I already run a stand of soap, candles, and bath bombs, but my business name is "North Idaho Homestead'' for a reason. I knew that I'd add a lot more than just bath and body products to my stand eventually, and they're all "farm/agriculture arts", and my ultimate goal is farm produce, jams, baked goods (maybe), and my artisan farm soap and bath bombs and candles. All of it falls under "homestead", which is what our farm is going to be- our homestead Cool I will spend winter making my soap/candles/bath bomb stock, so I can free up summer for produce, jams, and other canning, butchering (chickens- steer and pigs go to pro butcher), drying, and other food preservation, and markets.


And I just realized I wrote a novella Unimpressed Ah, but what is one to do, when one is discussing something that one is so passionate about? Evil


I can definitely understand limitations on such when foraging is how they are obtained. I'm really glad you're able to forage, nonetheless! I just wish it was a little safer and easier to forage here Evil Someday!

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


Alveric
Lorien


Aug 8, 4:37pm

Post #19 of 25 (2601 views)
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menu? menu? [In reply to] Can't Post

This is off-topic, but I've always been struck by the moment in TT (film) when the orc kills another orc and says, "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!"
What strikes me is: "menu"?? How would an orc know the first thing about a "menu"? I can't picture an orc restaurant, an orc waiter... OK, maybe "menu," like if they ask the orc-cook what's cooking, and he growls "mouldy meat" or "let's just call it sausage and leave it at that." But still...


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 8, 6:49pm

Post #20 of 25 (2593 views)
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Yeah... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that line is definitely ananchronistic. The Orc could have just as easily said: "Meat's back on the table, boys!"

#FidelityToTolkien
#ChallengeExpectations


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 9, 12:21am

Post #21 of 25 (2582 views)
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True, that [In reply to] Can't Post

But there are anachronisms in the books as well, so some precedent. Anyway, that line *may* get repeated in our kitchen at times.

Back to the business of eating my way through Middle Earth, last night I was at Bilbo's Birthday Party. Disappointed to realize that although the feast was in fact an engrossing entertainment: rich, abundant, varied and prolonged, I never learned what any of the dishes were.

Later got to witness Gollum's first sashimi meals, caught in deep pools with invisible fingers and eaten raw.

Hate to leave on that note, but soon it's time to tuck up in bed and follow Frodo to Buckland.


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 9, 12:25pm

Post #22 of 25 (2538 views)
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Mastershalums [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my, forgot to mention the mastershalums, er, nasturtiums that grew in Bilbo's garden along with snapdragons and sunflowers. In either Hobbiton or the 100 Acre Wood, all three are edible.

I've never eaten snapdragon, nor dragon, but I hear snapdragon is edible though a bit bitter. Sunflower seeds are the obvious part of that flower, though the whole plant is edible. Nasturtiums are also edible. I've had the flowers in salads, and you can stuff the leaves like grape leaves. You may want to add some flowers to your menu in honor of Bilbo's garden.


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 10, 11:12pm

Post #23 of 25 (2475 views)
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Between Hobbiton and Buckland [In reply to] Can't Post

Frodo, Sam and Pippin's evening meal with Gildor and the other elves in the woodland camp included 'bread, surpassing the savour of a fair white loaf to one who is starving; and fruits as sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruit of gardens'. So my homemade blackberry jam on toast is an homage to Gildor. My berries are definitely wild and full of seeds I have to strain out. I suppose the elves' berries are nearly seedless.

Just before the conversation about Frodo pilfering Farmer Maggot's mushrooms the hobbits reach a turnip field. Turnips are an underrated veg, I like them roasted and glazed with a bit of honey and poppy seeds. Goes fine alongside a mighty dish of mushrooms and bacon.

I wonder what kind of dogs Farmer Maggot kept? With names like Wolf, Grip and Fang they sound large and fierce. But perhaps to a Hobbit a beagle looks large and fierce? Back in the Hobbit, Beorn kept dogs, who waited his table. Are there any other domesticated canines?


(This post was edited by oliphaunt on Aug 10, 11:16pm)


oliphaunt
Rivendell


Aug 11, 9:35pm

Post #24 of 25 (2423 views)
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In the Old Forest [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sort of glad Tom Bombadil and Goldberry didn't make it into the LOTR films. My imagination is free of that influence!

Tom brings water lilies for Goldberry. The water lily is not edible but has some medicinal uses. Interesting that it's widely used to symbolize purity and is considered to have anti-aphrodisiac effects. Although that may be disputable, as some lilies are classed as aphrodisiacs.

Supper is yellow cream and honeycomb, and white bread, and butter; milk, cheese, and green herbs and ripe berries. Tom and Goldberry would likely enjoy a meal with Beorn. I read green herbs in the sense of herbs as any annual edible plant rather than just aromatic leaves. Berries can mean any seeded fruit produced from a flower. Grapes and pumpkins are berries! The garden outside the bedroom window features pole beans with red flowers. This must be scarlet runner beans. Runner beans, maybe all beans, are not eaten raw due to lectins. Soaking and cooking takes care of that. Raw potato is also too high in lectins to eat.


Timbo_mbadil
Rivendell


Oct 27, 11:25pm

Post #25 of 25 (904 views)
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There once was a cookbook [In reply to] Can't Post

give me a minute to find it...

Blimey, that was way more than a minute, and I couldn't find it. It was called Samwise's cookbook from before the Big Change (ie in the old forums). I faintly remember posting a recipe for something with batter and beer, dang -- you don't use alcohol.

You might find it somewhere stored way in the back, if you look for someone called Stapper (board member).


Otherness represents that which bourgeois ideology cannot recognize or accept but must deal with (…)
Robin Wood 2003, p. 49. "Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan – and beyond". Columbia University Press, New York, Chichester, West Sussex.

 
 

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