What’s Taters, Precious?

Being a SciFi Foodie
by Jim Smith

A year ago, I dreamed up a great recipe … Hobbit Stew.  It was the product of a random conversation leading up to an annual cookout/camping event I go to every year, and a recent watching of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-Ray.  One things Hobbits like to do is eat, and if you actually read the trilogy instead of watching it, you would be impressed by some of the vivid detail JRR Tolkien goes into when talking about food.  I guess sir Tolkien was a bit of a foodie himself.

So, the process went sort of like this: I went to my handy-dandy one volume edition of the Lord of the Rings and re-read food descriptions, particularly those cooked and consumed by Hobbits.  I then looked at some of the things they ate, and considered what would be good in a stew.  Then I started a little experimenting, and eventually came up with a nice hearty stew to drive away the cold weather chills, and make you feel one with every Hobbit in the known universe.

The recipe follows:

Hobbit Stew
1 lb thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or two young hobbits, diced, whichever you local market has available)
1Tbs butter
4 white potatoes, diced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered or sliced
2 carrots, sliced at an angle
1/2 small head of cabbage, diced into small pieces
1c chicken stock
1/2c water
2Tbs corn starch

In a stew pot, cook bacon to render some of the fat, but leave it chewy.  Remove bacon from pot and drain off most of the fat, leaving just a skim of fat at the bottom.  Melt in the butter, then add the diced potatoes.  Sauté until about half of the potatoes are slightly brown, then add the carrots and mushrooms.  Sauté a little longer then return the bacon to the pot, along with the cabbage. Continue sautéing until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer.  Mix the corn starch and water and stir into the pot.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add a little pepper, but since the bacon is pretty salty, I would leave the salt alone.

So what does it take to be a scifi foodie?  Well, there are websites dedicated to scifi inspired recipes from pretty much every scifi franchise out there.  Whether it is Garibaldi’s Bagna Cauda from Babylon 5, Wookie Cookies from Star Wars, or Tribble cakes from Star Trek, there are scifi recipes for all of you nerd foodies out there, so pop in your favorite DVD and start cooking!

One comment to What’s Taters, Precious?

  • Sun  says:

    I am SO a Sci-Fi Foodie! I love it when they get into the food of an alien race, or something like the LoTR. I was an anthropologist for many years, and the food of a culture always interested me way more than any other part. In sci-fi/fantasy, to have a good back story, you must include the food, because humans mark important events with feasting/food, in neary every single, if not every culture in the entire planet. The bagna cauda from B5 is a prime example of the importance of food in the back story. It showed us a glimpse of Garibaldi's past life, one of the more pleasant ones, and filled out the character even more.
    I have spent many an hour debating with other sci-fi foodies just exactly what the blue milk was, or what would go into brewing Romulan ale.

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