“Eat little at a time, and only at need. For these things are given to serve you when all else fails. The cakes will keep sweet for many many days, if they are unbroken and left in their leaf-wrappings, as we have brought them. One will keep a traveler on his feet for a day of long labour, even if he be one of the tall men of Minas Tirith.”
â€”The Fellowship of the Ring, “Farewell to Lorien.”
You can find all sorts of things on the Internet including, as I discovered via Facebook yesterday, a French recipe blog, delightfully titled La cuisine de mes humeurs!, which includes an entire section on recipes for dishes allegedly originating in Middle Earth (Les Terres Du Milieu), including such tempting offerings as Tarte aux fruits rouges faÃ§on hobbit, Le gratin du Mordor, Les bouchÃ©es elfiques, La truite au four faÃ§on Gondor, and even Lembas, le pain de route elfique.
My translation of the Lemas recipe goes:
For 5 lembas, you need:
3 tablespoons crushed almonds
3 tablespoons crushed hazelnuts
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon Forest Honey
1 section squeezed tangerine
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
30g unsalted butter
144g of whole wheat flour
NB : The whole wheat flour gives the bread a tan color, if you prefer, you may use white flour.
Grind the pine nuts and sunflower seeds with a pestle. Melt the butter and mix with the flour in a bowl. Add the egg, before attempting to break the egg, say the Elven prayer: “In May ninista” which means “I am well aware of that,” for indeed, the elves do not like having to take an animal’s life, even if it is only in the form of an egg! If you cannot pronounce the Sindarin, say “I see you.” I think that also works ;-)
Add forest honey and the juice of a section of tangerine (squeezed by hand). In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix with the dough, kneading well. Form a ball of dough and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 180Â° C (310Â° F) Spread your dough 1 cm thick and cut into squares. Incise a diagonal cut on each square and then say: “AlamenÃ«” which simply means “Go with my blessing.” This will help travelers who eat the bread on the road. I can not guarantee that this works but why not take the risk of trying it? :-)
Bake about 25 minutes, the bread is lightly brown but not risen. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. Meanwhile wash the leaves and dry them on a clean cloth. Finally, finish your lembas by folding the leaf around the loaf.
(The elves use large leaves from the mallorne, also called the golden tree, which is found today in LothlÃ³rien. For a substitute, you must choose large solid and flexible leaves, which most importantly must be non-toxic. … I use the leaves of an old magnolia that grows near the woods where I played as a child. … Remember to rinse the leaves with clear water and dry them on a clean cloth.)
The Elven bread keeps for weeks and months and is incorruptible, a quality we hobbits, men, dwarves, and other creatures devoid of elven powers cannot reproduce. It is principally due to the mallorne leaves which protect the bread so that it does not become moldy. Your bread will, however, only remain edible and good for three days, if you protect it from damp and excessive heat.