Tag Archives: the hobbit

Learning How to Decipher Elvish Does Not Actually Take an Entishly Long Time!

17 Oct

Picture courtesy of superstevied.

Gi suilon! Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn.

Did you know that the languages were the first thing that Tolkien created for his mythical universe? According to the author, his stories grew out of his languages as he creates races to speak the tongues he had constructed. Quenya (high-elven) was the first, and most complete, of these languages, the other being Sindarin (grey-elven).

Elvish is strongly influenced by Finnish and Welsh, but is surprisingly easy to learn how to use! It also looks particularly nice in a gift card with a dozen freshly baked loaves of Lembas Bread.

Using the examples of ‘Robert’ and ‘Lynne’, Star Chamber gives us a step-by-step instruction on learning the language of elves — and writing with it — in under ten minutes. They also provide a handy alphabet key  if, like me, you want to cheat your way through this linguistics course. Continue reading

Advertisements

Literary Recipes: Lembas Bread from ‘Lord of the Rings’

2 Sep

20130825_011007

Lembas, or “journey-bread”, is a special bread made by the elves, also called “waybread” in the common speech. Lembas is a closely guarded secret, and only on rare occasions is it given to non-elves. Galadriel gives a large store of lembas to the fellowship of the ring upon its departure from Lothlórien. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee subsist on it through the majority of their journey from there into Mordor. Like other products of the elves, it is offensive to evil creatures; Gollum outright refuses to eat it, even when starved.

Melian, the queen of Doriath, originally held this recipe. Later it was passed to Galadriel and other elves. The recipe I use is adapted from Everything is Poetry.

Ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 110g of cold butter
  • optional: mallorn leaves or substitute

Method.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 6).

2

2.  Zest your lemons as best you can. I thought this was the hardest step (i.e. my knuckles thought this was the hardest step).

1a

3.  Mix together the flour, lemon zest, and baking powder.

4.  Add the butter in chunks and rub it all together.

5.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, lemon juice, and honey.

1

6.  Dump the wet mixture into the floury one, and mix it up into a doughy ball. It should be nice and squishable but not too sticky ’cause you’re gonna need to roll it out.

7.  Put it in the fridge for at least an hour (or skip this step if you’re impatient, like me).

3

8.  Roll the mixture out about 1cm thick and cut it into squares however big/small you want. Hint: smaller ones are easier to wrap in leaves if you’re going to present them all elf-like!

9.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, until they’re nice and golden brown. Check them regularly though after like 10 minutes, because they go from nice to burnt pretty quick.

10.  Optional: consume while playing The Lord of the Rings drinking game.

According to Tolkien himself, “The cakes will keep sweet for many many days, if they are unbroken and left in their leaf wrappings”. I ate mine with salad:

4