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The Hobbit; An Unexpected Party Menu and Recipes

“Now we are all here!” said Gandalf, looking at the row of thirteen hoods- the best detachable party hoods- and his own hat hanging on the pegs. “Quite a merry gathering! I hope there is something left for the latecomers to eat and drink!”

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
Transport your guests to a cosy Hobbit hole, with these tips and tricks from decorating to an Unexpected party menu.

Post rewritten and recipes updated January 2021. First posted January 2013.

For fans of the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings or J.R.R. Tolkien, celebrating Hobbit Day on September 22 is a must. Known for their love of food and good hospitality, the truest way to honour a Hobbit is by providing good food for your guests (and enough of it!)

This page is the hub for all the recipes seen served at Bilbo Baggins’ during the Unexpected Party. The recipes are well researched from historical British cookbooks, so you know you’re presenting your guests with an authentic Hobbit experience.

I also provide a schedule you can follow to make recipe prep smoother leading up to your party, as well as shortcuts for those deciding to celebrate last minute.

Missed Hobbit Day? You can also use the following menu when holding a Hobbit movie marathon, hosting a Hobbit games night, throwing a Hobbit themed birthday, or celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday [January 3] or April 25-26, when fans estimate this Unexpected Party took place, marking the beginning of the quest.

Here we go, into Bilbo’s pantry!

Unexpected Party Hobbit Menu quick links

THE UNEXPECTED PARTY HOBBIT MENU

Seed Cake

‘A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir,” said Balin with the white beard. “But I don’t mind some cake – seed-cake, if you have any.”
“Lots!” Bilbo found himself answering, to his surprise; and he found himself scuttling off, too, to the cellar to fill a pint beer-mug, and then to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.
“And more cakes- and ale- and coffee, if you don’t mind,” called the other dwarves through the door.

Seed cake is a popular Victorian teatime cake made with caraway seeds. Born at the end of the Victorian era, J.R.R. Tolkien will have grown up with very British traditions and recipes such as this one. Grab the recipe for an authentic English seed cake right here and learn more about its history.

Apple Tart and Raspberry Jam

“And raspberry jam and apple tart,” said Bifur.

Apples are an incredibly ancient fruit and can be found in some of the oldest literature. Because of the history of apples, it’s no surprise we find a delicious apple tart coming out of Bilbo’s pantry! Providing myself a bit of creative licence, I combined the raspberry jam into the apple tart to make this glorious dessert for a Hobbit tea. Make it yourself and learn more about British heirloom apple varieties in the process.

Mince Pies

“And mince-pies and cheese,” said Bofur.

Mince pies are another historical recipe that can be found in centuries old cookbooks. While the filling has certainly changed over the years, today we find them as pies filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices, soaked in liquor. You’ll want to start the mince pie mixture several weeks early, so grab the recipe here to get started.

Pork Pies

“And pork-pie and salad,” said Bombur.

Pork pies make great finger food for a party, and Bilbo’s Unexpected Party is no exception. We took it the next step up and made Melton Mowbray pork pies. These pies are quite particular, so learn about them! We cover the shape, the cuts of pork, the seasoning, the jelly, the pastry and how they should be served. Guaranteed, you’ll have the most authentic Hobbit party.

Buttered Scones

A big jug of coffee had just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones when there came- a loud knock.

No afternoon tea is complete without a heaped pile of scones, waiting to be slathered in butter. Little has changed in this authentic savoury scone recipe since they were first made in Scotland. However, we arm you with the best tips for making perfect scones, everytime. Whip up a batch for your Unexpected Party, no matter how last minute you are planning!

Eggs, Chicken, Pickles

“Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow!” Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. “And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!”

Beverages

“Come along in, and have some tea!” he managed to say after taking a deep breath.



Already it had almost become a throng. Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes; so the hobbit was kept very busy for a while.



“Quite a merry gathering! I hope there is something left for the latecomers to eat and drink! What’s that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think for me.”

Making Hobbit Recipes in Advance

Planning your Hobbit party several weeks out? Here are my tips for making the prep work smoother, making your party more enjoyable for you!

  • Several weeks before:
  • Mix together your mince pie filling and store in the fridge until ready for use.
  • 1-2 weeks before:
  • Make the apple tart pie dough and mince pie dough a week or two in advance and freeze.
  • 2 days before the party:
  • If not wanting to freeze your apple tart pie dough, make a few days in advance, cover and keep chilled in the fridge.
  • Mince pies can be made and stored in an airtight container.
  • Make the pork pie dough and jellied stock and keep chilled in the fridge. 
  • Day before:
  • Bake your apple tart.
  • Toss together the salad, cover and keep chilled in the fridge. 
  • Cook pork pies and store in the fridge.
  • Mix together scone dough the night before and chill in the fridge.
  • Day of:
  • Bake seed cake first thing in the morning. 
  • Scones are best served hot out of the oven, so leave till last, baking them 1/2-1 hour before guests arrive.
  • Bring the pork pies out half an hour before serving.

Last Minute Hobbit Party Menu Shortcuts

Left your Hobbit Party planning to last minute? No stress! Here are some tips if you’re wanting to make some last minute recipes:

  • Make less baked goods. It’s better to enjoy one or two Hobbit treats than stress over trying to make everything last minute!
  • While fresh ingredients can’t compare, if making from scratch:
  • Mince pie mixture can typically be purchased in the baking section
  • Pie crusts can be store-bought. Or just buy a store-bought apple tart and mince pies!
  • Premixed salad can be tossed into a bowl before serving
  • Check the grocery store’s freezer section for frozen pork pies that you can pop into the oven for your guests
  • Many grocery stores precook chickens you can pick up on the day of your party

Now Party Like a Hobbit!

Your pantry is now prepared like Bilbo Baggins’ for any guests, both expected and unexpected! Ready to get baking?

Don’t forget to share your photos of your Hobbit baking and party with me! Tag me on Instagram @brytontaylor

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10 Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE these posts! Especially this Hobbit one, I’ll have to do this for next year’s Hobbit day! Out of curiosity, have you thought about trying to create elven dishes (lembas bread?) or do anything from Redwall?

    1. I tried making lembas bread this year but my recipe failed (not everything goes right the first time!) I’ll make them again next year. As for Redwall, I’ve actually just bought the book to read on my holidays- haven’t read it before! So hopefully there will be something inspirational enough to make 🙂

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