Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Dinner

Happy 60th, Lord of the Rings!

Yes, that is a Minas Tirith bookend

Tonight we celebrated the 60th anniversary of J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.  This book has been the cornerstone of all high fantasy, and the basis for most, if not all, fantasy games, literature, and video games since.  During and after serving in the English military during WWI, Tolkien re-imagined much of the horror, romance, and joy that accompanies such a voyage in his own world, which has come to inspire several generations to follow.  We celebrated this anniversary by having a LotR themed dinner party, inviting over my parents.  We had Shire Cottage Pie, Cold Ranger Chicken, Hobbiton Hot Wings, Troll-Meets-Sun Rock Biscuits, Huckleberry Ferry Salad, Bree-Land Ale, and Butter Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down One Ring to Rule Them All Cake with Mordor Ice Cream (plus toppings).

I made the Shire Cottage Pie, which I think was supposed to resemble actual cottage pie, which I had never made before.  So I winged it, due to working all day and not having a lot of time to plan this out.  That's one thing about me, I enjoy winging it in the kitchen.  So let's get started.

First thing, you need to chop up all the meat and veggies you are going to use.  For this, I used:

  • 1 medium bag of frozen mixed veggies (already chopped up!)
  • 1 plate of sliced up carrots (not sure how many carrots, Robyn and kids pre-sliced them)
  • 5 veggie burger patties (this is where you could sub in some meat if you want)
  • a bag of potatoes
  • Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic
  • butter
Start boiling your potatoes.  Meanwhile, cook your meats and veggies, so that in the end you have a nice mixed-up sort of pie filling.  If you don't know what I'm talking about -- go have a real Shepard's or Cottage Pie at an English restaurant to get the picture.  Basically, get a big pot, and start cooking the things that need more cooking first, then add as you go.  Use a lid to get more heat all around your food. Use generous amounts of butter -- this is where experience comes in; you don't want a big soupy mess, but you also don't want a dried out thing either. Luckily for me, I didn't have any meat to worry about -- the carrots took the longest, so I cooked them first, then the frozens, then the chopped up pre-cooked veggie burgers.  As this is finishing up, add the Worcestershire sauce and the rest of the seasonings.

By now, your potatoes should be done boiling, so drain and make mashed potatoes.  Butter, milk, seasonings as you like here.  I'm going to assume you know how to make mashed potatoes for crying out loud.

Grab a baking dish, preferably a deeper one like a big ole souffle dish, and add in your filling.  Cover with your mashed potatoes, then cheese.  Put in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.  

Just before serving, blast it with the broiler to brown the cheese, and serve.

Anyway, this is how I made it.  I know its not winning any awards, but I'll make it better next time, and then better still the time after that.

Here are some other pictures of the evening:

Audrey in her hobbit-cloak having some Shire Pie

From L to R: Robyn, Donovan, Audrey, Grandma Julie, Emily, Grandpa Dave, Aunt Carolyn

Grandma Julie with a very small serving of Butter Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down One Ring to Rule Them All Cake, with a small scoop of Mordor Ice Cream, caramel sauce, and a single peanut M&M.  Nice!

Up close single serving of Butter Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down One Ring to Rule Them All Cake with the caramel sauce topping.


  1. Oh my goodness! Great dinner you guys!!!! That was seriously delicious Shepherd's pie! I loved the pineapple cake too! It was just a very fabu evening, Brent and Robyn! Thanks!

    1. Thanks but, you guys coming over with all that chicken made it a great event! Those Hobbiton Hot Wings were amazing!

      Also, I just saw that extra M&M you were hiding in your hand you sneakster!