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Author Topic: All-Year Pie  (Read 21241 times)
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Jenna Silverbirch
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« on: 01 June 2009, 02:46:22 »

Changes and additions, mostly based on Talia's entry on hobbits and food in green

Name of Food or Beverage

All-Year pie. More commonly known by non-halflings simply as hobbit or halfling pie.

Overview

All-Year Pie, that staple meal of any extensive hobbit family’s diet, has grown from being little more than a term referring to any pie with more than one filling, to become a culinary dish with its own conventions and customs. In its simplest form, All-Year Pies are hearty, thick-crusted pies holding at least two kinds of vegetable and one kind of meat. Although originally a solely halfling dish, All-Year Pie is becoming more and more popular with the humans and dwarves of central and northern Santharia.

Description

All-Year pies are the embodiment of everything that hobbits love about food - this traditional, varied dish is hearty, stodgy, delicious and a communal meal. They are of varying size, baked according to the mouths they have to feed and the fillings available, with some having a diameter of less than a palmspan, when they are intended to be taken out to the fields in a napkin as a hobbit worker’s lunch, and others, used as the centrepiece of a hobbit birthday party, stretch several peds. The greatest house of a halfling settlement usually has an enormous oven primarily used to prepare celebration food of such a size. However, ‘true’ All-Year Pies that abide by the customs of pie-craftin’, must be roughly twice the length of the main cook’s forearm.
For many hobbits, the smell and taste of an All-Year’s conjures up images of their childhood. The rich, breadish smell of the pastry, often underlayed with the strong aroma of the meat or woody mushrooms held within, is said to create nostalgia in other races as well, which they put down to ‘something magical in those secret receipits’. The taste is, of course, only as good as the hobbit who cooks it, but connoisseurs agree that a good All-Year’s has a crisp, flaking golden crust, with the pastry inside moist and firm, but not too chewy.

Usages/Effects

The All-Year Pie was, and remains, a staple of the hobbit family meal. It is the perfect dish to feed a large family, and is normally served as the midday meal, meattime and the afternoon meal,  Vegtime, several times a week in hobbit family homes. Leftover pieces or miniature pies are often eaten at either of the breakfasts, or for supper, known as Cheesetime, when it is not uncommon for the food to be served with a hunk of cheese, as befits the meal's name. At family meals, it is normally served hot from the oven, each family member receiving a piece-size suitable to their age and appetite, and without any accompanying foodstuffs, as the pie contains so many.

Origin/Importance

In the shires of Santharia, for hundreds of years back, hobbit wives and husbands have cooked up tasty, hearty pies filled with any excess produce of the season to feed the many hungry mouths in their smial. The origins of the pie almost certainly long predate the Silvershire massacre of the Ancyros war, as all the shires of Sarvonia have more or less the same customs concerning the dish.

The origins of the name ‘All-Year Pie’ is disputed, with many old hobbit matriarchs in the Dogodan and Helmondshire areas claiming the name had been used in their family far longer than anyone else’s, sometimes with tales of varying degrees of unlikeliness to explain their claim. The Elenveran hobbits, already with cheese as their gift to the culinary world, seem less inclined to try and take ownership of All-Year Pie. However, most wise hobbits with an interest in such things generally agree the name has two likely beginnings. It could reference the fact that the pies are so fat heavy, with the various oils and salts used in the pastry having a curious preserving effect on the fillings, that a well-kept pie could still be edible a year after it was baked (nonsense of course, though some pies keep for an impressive month). Or, the name's most likely origin is that hobbit cooks would be referred to as ‘baking pies all the year’ and the name simply developed from there.

All-Year Pies began as an efficient way of using up any excess produce in the harvest season, and also a means of making food stretch further in winter or any other time of hardship. As All-Year Pie began to develop as a dish in its own right, not simply a loose term for any pie made by a hobbit, a set of unwritten customs in its preparation began to emerge. (see below for more details) Hobbit cooks, whether a hobbit mother or father cooking for their family, or a well-known chef at a tavern, all would take great pride in their pies, the aim being to make the pie as delicious and interesting as they could while still abiding by the traditions of All-Year pie making. The chief cook of the household passed their own secrets of ‘pie-craftin’, as it became known, to those of their children with a passion and skill for baking. Soon almost every important family in the shires was guarding their own family receipits with far greater rivalry and bitterness than good-natured halflings normally show. As a passing human once remarked “They’ll gladly share them pies o’ theirs with any folk, man or halfling, just to show how good they are, but if you were t’ask ‘em how they’s made- well! The glares I got were enough to raise me neck-hairs’

Pie craftin’ used to be an almost solely female occupation amongst hobbits. However, as the pies took prominence in family meals, hobbit husbands, who took as much of a role in cooking as their wives and had as much pride in the family receipts as their wives, began to refer to their pies as All-Year Pies, as did professional hobbit cooks, both male and female.

In recent times, the pie-rivalry between families has been channelled into the more civilised medium of the baking contest. While each shire has many minor, informal contests organised on the whim of any hobbit woman who mentions ‘I could fancy an All-Year’s contest…’ to her friends, the Helmondshire annual pie baking competition, held in the month of the Burning Heavens, has become legendary amongst hobbits, and more well informed, non-halfling culinary enthusiasts of Santharia. Hobbit matrons and cooks travel to attend the event, bringing carts full of the best vegetables and animals ready to prepare their pies, and often carts full of their extended families as well, who set up miniature camps around the competition marquees, for the three day competition has grown into a festival of sorts, with entertainers and edible delights from miles around. The prize is a supply of rare mushrooms and barrels of the local Thain’s prized beer, but the participants care far more about the respect and renown, especially from the matrons who act as judges, that winning brings.

The Helmondshire contest has helped spread the word of All-Year Pie beyond the shires. Passing travellers have taken the basic receipit with them, modifying it to their own liking, often unheeding of the conventions of pie craftin’ which seem mystifying to an outsider. Poorer folk, and dwarves, have taken to calling any pies they fill with leftover scraps ‘halfling pies’ even though they bear little resemblance to true hobbit pies, while wealthier Santharians can use the conventions of pie-craftin’, which to them give the dish an air of the gourmet, to cover their desire to simply bake a traditional, stodgy pie. Many humans, and occasionally elves, of a more culinary disposition, or simply those who love a good meal, travel to attend the Helmondshire baking contest to sample the pies. A few human cooks, both male and female, have recently been allowed to enter, and have taken second or third place, but have yet to win.

For pie craftin' enthusiasts in the other hobbit shires, a second, even larger contest has been set up. Occurring every seven years (symbolising the seven meals in a typical hobbit day) and held in the Alianian hills, it is more of a full-blown festival than contest, even more so than its Helmondshire predecessor. Because of the huge distance hobbits from other shires have to travel to reach the hills it lasts several months, with numerous contests and divisions taking place in that time, many of them based around other delicacies, although the pie is still the most common subject of competition. However, despite the scale and length of the Alianian contest far less attend. This is mostly because it is a younger, less well-known festival with more focus on hobbit traditions than any modifications of exsisting receipits, so there are little to no representants of other races.
(I'll be saving detail on the contests themselves for another entry)

Method of Preparation

This receipt will make a pie to serve around four to five. True All-Year pies must be around twice the length of the main cook’s forearm, and baked after midday. Pie Craftin' rules about weights do not have to be exact, as many hobbits tweak the amounts slightly to create a better pie, but should be roughly followed.
Pie Craftin’ rules for pastry ingredients: The flour's weight should be three the suet weight. Suet can be replaced with a mix of butter and lard, which should be half the flour's weight, depending on what is available. The salt used should be three times pfpper grass used. Many hobbits add their own secret oils and salts to the pastry to improve it's flavour and keeping time. Below is a standard receipit.

Ingredients for a standard pastry:
6 Mut Flour
2 Mut Beef suet
Three pinches of Salt and one of Pfepper Grass


In a bowl of a suitable size, place all ingredients you desire to use. Add a small amount of water to begin, and work the fat into the flour with the tips of your finger in a rough pinching movement, as if you were running sand through your fingertips. When the water has been used up, add some more, around a ladle at a time. Some cooks replace a small amount of the water needed with egg yolk. 2-3 ladles should be enough, but it may require more or less. Go by eye, and as soon as the ingredients combine entirely and the pastry forms into a single ball of dough, firm and slightly yielding but not at all runny, stop adding liquid.

Remove a third of dough to use as the lid of the pie, leaving two-thirds for the casing. Roll them out on a floury surface as required to line your baking dish, remembering to keep the lid nice and thick. It is better to be rougher with your dough than more gentle.

Pie Craftin’ rules for filling ingredients: Main vegetable (normally tuberroots) must be twice or three times the weight of the meat used. Secondary vegetables should be the same weight as the meat. Salt and pfepper grass used for seasoning should be the same amount as used in making the pastry. At least one kind of herb must be added, of any kind or quantity. No vegetables or animal meat that has not, or cannot be grown or reared in a hobbit shire is considered suitable for making an All-Year pie.

Ingredients for a standard pie filling:
10 Mut Tuberroots
5 Mut Mutton
2 Mut Weeproots
Stock or water
Salt and Pfepper Grass, same amount as used for pastry
Herbs or any other seasoning desired. Some recommended choices are the Squilla fungus or, if the meat is substituted for porkprickle, a few leaves or seeds of a spicy plant grown in the hobbit shires, the Yanse or Smokeseed bush..


Trim off the meat’s fat (this can be used to make a delicious stock for future pies) and cut it into roughly even cubes. Slice the tuberroots into chunks of about the same size. Finely chop the weeproots.
Place all ingredients into a large, lidded casserole dish and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Add stock or water, just enough to moisten and aid the cooking. Then place the lid on your dish and cook the filling for a couple of hours in a medium-heated oven, until the ingredients have achieved a state of mushiness.

Now tip the filling into your pie casing and add the lid. Increase your oven’s heat and cook until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve however wished, although the author enjoys a heap of steaming cabbage cooked with butter to accompany her pie. However, as many hobbit children are peculiarly averse to the stuff, it may be wiser to serve it on its own, unless you want your dining-hall floor strewn with carefully discarded vegetables.

Importance

I think I’ll just combine this with the origin section, if that’s alright.

Variations

Helmondshire
In the Silvermarshes one can find the most traditional pies, as the shire is essentially the birthplace of the dish. Ingredients are simple and hearty.

The Dogodan Shire
The Alianian hills proximity to the sea means that fish and seafood is used just as commonly as land-animal meat.

The Elenveran Shire
The Elenveran hobbits' pies leave out many of the preserving, but fatty oils and salts added to the dish in other parts. They also prefer to use butter in the pastry rather than suet. The people of this shire are far less averse to serving the pies cold and prefer wine to beer as an accompanying drink.

The Halbanian Hobbits
While little is known about these rare hobbits it is assumed they almost always use fish, a staple of their diet, as the meat of their pies.
« Last Edit: 27 June 2009, 02:22:30 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #1 on: 01 June 2009, 03:17:08 »

As a suggestion, if you have a question, I'd suggest putting it up at the top or at the bottom in a different color so its easier to spot.  I almost missed yours buried inside of this submission ;).  To answer your question, its really up to you I'd say.  It would be a nice detail to add and could fit well in the importance section since it seems to be a part of hobbit culture. 
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« Reply #2 on: 01 June 2009, 23:42:20 »

This is fantastic Jenna! Definitely not too long, as if there's such a thing - I know exactly what you mean about entries running away with you though - one of my longest entries concerned a shellfish that was only supposed to provide a between-moult snack for selkies. so far it's spawned two separate enties, and possibly more yet...

but your entry. It's briliantly written, engaging - it certainly doesn't feel long when you read it.
Quote
(Do you think I should add a separate section on the contests themselves, detailing general structure and rules and so on?)
I'd be inclined to agree with Drasil on this - it's your choice, and if you can think of stuff you want to write then it'd be a nice addition. I'd be particularly interested to hear a little about famous winners or losers?

likewise here -
Quote
Importance
I think I’ll just combine this with the origin section, if that’s alright.
that'd be fine, I'm guessing (not an expert here, so don't truat me on that). you should probably make that clear though, by changing the section heading to origin/ importance.
again, really nice work, can't wait to see how this develops. thumbup
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« Reply #3 on: 02 June 2009, 00:15:26 »

I want the receipt....     

Oh, yes, by the way, we don't have 'recipes' in Santharia, we use the old word 'receipt'.  :)   But I do hope you'll post the list of ingredients (with suitable regional variations and Santharian measurements....)  - check Dame Sausade's Cookbook for some ideas on how to format such a receipt.  Creativity in presentation is always appreciated!

Looking forward to more,
Judith
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« Reply #4 on: 02 June 2009, 00:55:18 »

Question duly hilighted, Drasil.
Thanks for the heads up, Judith. I noticed that while browsing the food archives, but I'd have used recipe out of habit. rolleyes I'm currently writing the receipt based on a some pies I've actually cooked.
Thankyou very much Seth!*blushes at praise* I do this a lot - I keep on thinking 'what if...?' and always want to add more detail. Though I suppose in a world built entirely of words that isn't such as bad thing.
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« Reply #5 on: 03 June 2009, 06:04:04 »

That looks very good. Who was the first non-human to be allowed in the contest, and how did it come about? How did this contest come to be? Are there vegetarian All-Year Pies? Any funny stories about All-Year Pies? How about a song? (Four and twenty blackbirds?) What would make a pie "untraditional"? A very good entry and an aura point from me.
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« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2009, 03:12:16 »

Concerning the question whether you should do a separate section on the contests themselves: Well, not every entry on pie needs to turn into an epic ;) You can also save some things for another related entry (e.g. if you focus on a certain festival etc.). And I'm sure if you continue to write hobbitish stuff, you'll have enough opportunity to throw in more that links your entries together. Though of course one tends to get carried away, I admit. ;)
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« Reply #7 on: 05 June 2009, 03:49:03 »

Some smaller things to point out:

- I see you're in the "it’s" league... Remember: "It's" is only used as an abbreviation for "it is", everything else is "its" ;)
- The entry topic is always written with capital letters, so it should be "All-Year Pie".

To the rest I can only say "Bravo!" so far, this is really getting into the heart of the hobbit society, where you really embed your pie in Santharian concepts, and give the halflings their rightful place in the Santharian kingdom! :D I'm hoping that you will continue to develop stuff for these little fellows, they definitely have deserved that attention!  thumbup
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« Reply #8 on: 05 June 2009, 03:58:07 »

From grammer, if I remember correctly, its can also mean "belonging to it", same as yours his hers etc. You just have to drop the apostrophe.
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« Reply #9 on: 06 June 2009, 02:37:25 »

I should have the recipit for this up by the end of the weekend, when the pencil icon can be changed to exclamation mark. Hooray!

Thankyou for the aura point Sivartius  :)
I think I'll save the pie contests for another entry then, Artimidor. I'm a shameless hobbit sympathiser (hey that would make a great piece of personal text) and certainly plan on posting plenty of hobbit related matter on the dev boards Especially as there are no other halfling developers on the boards. I think it would be good to try and expand their culture into something uniquely Santharia, as at the moment it's pretty much exactly as Tolkien first wrote it, whereas all the other races have evolved far beyond their orginal Tolkien-tribute status.

I'm absolutley terrible with apostrophes... However I can use the correct form of their/they're/there with great skill   :D

Also: should I link to the various subjects mentioned with articles in the compendium? (the hobbit tribes, the article on cheese etc.)
« Last Edit: 06 June 2009, 02:39:27 by Jenna Silverbirch » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: 06 June 2009, 02:39:21 »

I'll handle the linking myself when I put it on the site, so don't worry about that, Jenna :)
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« Reply #11 on: 06 June 2009, 05:35:19 »

Jenna, your pie is great! I read it already last week, but had not the time to comment.

There is one thing I wanted to ask you though -  or make a proposal : you are writing throughout the entry, that "wives", women , mothers etc make this lovely pie. But, why not the fathers, men as well? I thought we could break up in the Hobbit culture that shema, that men are going away and women stay at home, tend the children and cook. That is not necessary in a society where most men work at home as well, as gardeners, farmers and what else. The women can as well look after the stock while the men are cooking. Of course it doesn't have to be vice versa, but I would like to have a more equal share of the cooking. we have at least one famous hobbit cook (Lorehaven).

I started some time ago for the link entry an entry about hobbits and their meals/Food and wanted to add something about this line (but got stuck halfway through). What do you think, could you change your submission in this direction?


I would have some more proposals and comments to your entry, but don't have the time now to write them down, is your submission due to upload already this weekend? Otherwise I would go through it the week after next week where I am away.
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« Reply #12 on: 10 June 2009, 22:32:28 »

Receipit added, Talia's comment intergrated.

Talia: Even if I had managed to post the recipit at the weekend, it wouldn't have been ready for uploading. So I'd love to hear any more suggestions you have  :) I think the idea of halflings having less of a gender divide than some races is a great, so I've modified most references to pie-craftin being only a female pursuit. What do you think?
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And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
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« Reply #13 on: 11 June 2009, 05:23:38 »

Aaaand All-Year pie is completed and ready for in-depth commenting.
« Last Edit: 11 June 2009, 05:36:34 by Jenna Silverbirch » Logged

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
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« Reply #14 on: 11 June 2009, 19:13:49 »

An absolutely delightful entry to read through Jenna. Made my mouth water as I went throguh it, haha. So here's my 'in-depth' look at your entry. All in all everything was right, but there was one major aspect which disrupted the flow of reading: Long sentences.. Haha, though your sentences make perfect sense, at some points your sentences reach 70 words! Which is kind of long to follow up on in one go. So one major suggestion from me would be to shorted some of your sentences. All the info stays, but break them up into small bites, short n' sweet.

Other than that there's only a few suggestions of changing a word here and there.. material wise though a fascinating entry, well done grin


---

Name of Food or Beverage
All-Year pie, more commonly known by non-halflings simply as hobbit or halfling pie too though.

Overview
All-Year pie, that staple meal of any extensive hobbit family’s diet, has grown from being little more than a term referring to any pie with more than one filling, to become a culinary dish with its own conventions and customs. In its simplest form, All-Year pies are hearty, thick-crusted pies holding at least two kinds of vegetable and one kind of meat. Although originally a solely halfling dish, All-Year pie is becoming more and more popular with the humans and dwarves of central and northern Santharia.

Description
All-Year pies are the embodiment of everything  hobbits love about food - they are hearty, stodgy, delicious and a communal meal. They are of varying size, baked according to the mouths they have to feed and the fillings available, with some having a diameter of less than a palmspan, when they are intended to be taken out to the fields in a napkin as a hobbit worker’s lunch, and others, used as the centrepiece of a hobbit birthday party, stretch several peds. However, ‘true’ All-Year pies that abide by the customs of pie-craftin’, must be roughly twice the length of the main cook’s forearm.
* For many hobbits, the smell and taste of an All-Year’s conjures up images of their childhood, with the rich, breadish smell of the pastry, often underlayed with the strong aroma of the meat or woody mushrooms held within, is said to create nostalgia in other races as well, which many will swear on comes down to ‘something magical in those secret recipes’. As the saying goes, the taste is only ever as good as the hobbit who cooks it. Connoisseurs will agree though that a good All-Year’s has a crisp, flaking golden crust, with the pastry inside moist and firm, but not too chewy.

* This sentence is a tad long, and half way through at “…, is said to create” I would recommend splitting it into shorter more clearly defined sentences ^^

Usages/Effects
The All-Year pie was, and remains, a staple of the hobbit family meal. It is the perfect dish to feed a large family, and is normally served as dinner and lunch several times a week in hobbit family homes. At family meals, it is normally served hot from the oven, each family member receiving a piece-size suitable to their age and appetite, and without any accompanying foodstuffs, as the pie contains so many.

Origin/Importance
In the shires of Santharia, for hundreds of years back, hobbit wives and husbands have cooked up tasty, hearty pies filled with any excess produce of the season to feed the many hungry mouths in their ?smial?. The origins of the name ‘All-Year Pie’ is disputed, with many old hobbit matriarchs in the Dogodan and Helmondshire areas claiming the name had been used in their family far longer than anyone else’s, sometimes with tales of varying degrees of unlikleyness to explain their claim. The Elenveran hobbits, already with cheese as their gift to the culinary world, seem less inclined to try and take ownership of All-Year pie. However, most wise hobbits with an interest in such things generally agree the name has two likely beginnings: either it references the fact that the pies are so fat heavy, with the various oils and salts used in the pastry having a curious preserving effect on the fillings, that a well-kept pie could still be edible a year after it was baked (nonsense of course, though some pies keep for an impressive month), or, most likely, hobbit wives would be referred to as ‘baking pies all the year’ and the name simply developed from there. ..coming to 70 words in a single sentence ^^

All-Year pies began as an efficient way of using up any excess produce in the harvest season, and also a means of making food stretch further in winter or times of hardship. As the All-Year pie began to gain individuality as a dish, not merely a loose term for any hobbit pie, a set of unwritten customs in its preparation began to emerge. (see below for more details) Hobbit cooks, whether a hobbit parent cooking for their family, or a well-known chef at a tavern, everyone would take great pride in their pies, the aim being to make the pie as delicious and interesting as they could while still abiding by the traditions of All-Year pie making. Mothers passed their own secrets of ‘pie-craftin’’, as it became known, on to their daughters, who shared it with their future husbands. This lead to almost every important family in the shires guarding their own family recipes with far greater rivalry and bitterness than good-natured haflings normally show. As a passing human once remarked “They’ll gladly share them pies o’ theirs with any folk, man or halfling, just to show how good they are, but if you were t’ask ‘em how they’s made- well! The glares I got were enough to raise me neck-hairs”

Pie craftin’ used to be an almost solely female occupation amongst hobbits. However, as the pies took prominence in family meals, hobbit husbands, who took as much of a role in cooking as their wives and had as much pride in the family recipes as their wives, began to refer to their pies as All-Year pies. As did professional hobbit cooks, both male and female.

In recent times, the pie-rivalry between families has been channelled into the more civilised medium of the baking contests. While each shire has many minor, informal contests organised on the whim of any hobbit woman who mentions ‘I could fancy an All-Year’s contest…’, the Helmondshire annual pie baking competition, held in the month of the Burning Heavens, has become legendary amongst hobbits. The event is not only known to halflings though: Every time there are a few well informed, non-halfling culinary enthusiasts from all over Santharia. Hobbit matrons and cooks from the Dogodan and Elenveran shires travel to attend the event, bringing carts full of the best vegetables and live-stock ready to prepare their pies. The entire extensive family will often attend this festive event too, setting up miniature camps around the competition marquees, for the three day competition has grown into a festival of sorts, with entertainers and edible delights from miles around. The prize is a supply of rare mushrooms and barrels of the local thain’s prized beer, but the participants care far more about the respect and renown, especially from the matrons who act as judges, that winning brings.

The Helmondshire contest has helped spread the word of All-Year pie beyond the shires. Passing travellers have taken the basic recipe with them, modifying it to their own liking, often unheeding of the conventions of pie craftin’ which seem mystifying to an outsider. Poorer folk, and dwarves, have taken to calling any pies they fill with leftover scraps ‘halfling pies’ even thought they bare little resemblance to true hobbit pies, while wealthier Santharians can use the conventions of pie-craftin’, which to them give the dish an air of the gourmet, to cover their desire to simply bake a traditional, stodgy pie. Many humans, and occasionally elves, of a more culinary disposition, or simply those who love a good meal, travel to attend the Helmondshire baking contest to sample the pies. A few human cooks, both male and female, have recently been allowed to enter, and have taken second or third place, but have yet to win.

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« Last Edit: 12 June 2009, 05:28:23 by Jonael Tomeskrift » Logged

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