About the Author
Emerald is a traditional Hobbit name, since my people are originally from the North country, who traveled down into the Shire during the First Age. My history is that of a Fallohide, and a Harfoot Hobbit, since my families are from Long Cleve and from the Bywater region. Originally, Hobbit mothers and grandmothers have been naming their daughters after other relatives and mostly, flowers and precious stones as long as anyone can remember. My Took lineage is from Reginard, who had three sisters: Lily, Sage and Emerald.* The other families of the area thought the Tooks quite odd, since we loved to travel (well, more than most Hobbit families), and also enjoyed the water. Some of us even swam, (something traditional Hobbits rarely did). Today, we are mixed with the races of Man; having traveled outside the Shire again after the end of the Third Age after the War of the Ring, when King Elessar was crowned. My dear ancestor, Cousin Pip (Thain Peregrin) and his lovely wife Diamond (from Long Cleve) went into the lands of Rohan to serve under the rulership of Man from that time forward. We are spread out all over the world now, but our recipes and our family ties continue to be honored no matter where we live. The important thing we always try to remember is that we are all relations. . . one way or another. The next person I meet today is probably a distant cousin, so I always treat them like a long lost friend. This cookbook is to honor those relatives, stories, and some fables that I hope will bring some fun and genuine enjoyment to your family. With my blessings, from our home to yours. . . Sincerely, - Emerald Took *Lily, Sage and Emerald are names of my own family and creation. In Tolkien's works, he does not name the daughters, just the fact that there were some.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
BELFALAS BARAN "GOLDEN BROWN FROM THE SOUTHLANDS"
SHRIMP WITH DIJON MUSTARD
* 2 pounds medium/large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
* 1 pound bacon (smoked) or turkey bacon
* 1 large jar of Dijon mustard (or hot and spicy mustard for the extremely brave)
* 1/2 cup organic honey
* 2 oranges
* 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
* Pinch crushed red pepper
* Unbleached parchment paper
Preparation time: 15 minutes (it took us much longer than this to wrap all the shrimp).
Tester's note: We bought large shrimp.
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
Cut bacon pieces in half lengthwise and then in half across; set aside.
Place minced garlic in a medium bowl with chopped basil and thyme. Roll shrimp in mixture. Roll shrimp in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on cooking sheet on unbleached parchment paper. Sprinkle with a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cut oranges in half and sprinkle with juice . . . not too much. Place in oven on 525 degrees (broiler) for 5 to 7 minutes or till shrimp turns pink. (Our shrimp was precooked, so we broiled until bacon was done.) Turn once. While broiling, mix honey and mustard and a spray of juice from the orange.
Remove shrimp when ready, cooling slightly. Place on serving tray with Dijon bowl in the middle and enjoy! (We had quite a bit of leftover dip, so we suggest halving the recipe.)
Serves 10 to 15 people.
Tested by food editor Suzanne Martinson
CARDOLAN "SOUTHLANDS" CORN CHUTNEY
* 2 1/2 cups fresh corn, cooked and cooled
* 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
* 1/4 cup minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1/2 cup chopped black olives
* 1/2 cup chopped red sweet peppers (fresh, or sauteed and cooled)
* 1/4 cup parsley
* 1 dash (or more for the extremely daring) hot sauce
Preparation time: about 10 minutes (45 minutes in refrigerator).
In a large bowl, combine and stir ingredients (we used 3 cups corn). Refrigerate 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use tortilla chips, crackers or burrito shells, or nan bread cut in pieces and serve.
Tester's note: 1 ear of fresh corn equals about 1/2 cup.