Raise a cup of tea on September 21st for Hobbit Day

A traditional cooked English breakfast, perfect with a cup of tea.  Image: FreeFoto.com

A traditional cooked English breakfast, perfect with a cup of tea. Image: FreeFoto.com

San Jose’s vintage literature fans know that September 21st is Hobbit Day, and many locals like to celebrate it with a cup of tea and an appropriate mid-day snack.  The official Hobbit Second Breakfast website extends this invitation: “You are cordially invited to take part in a global celebration of the 76th anniversary of The Hobbit. Wherever you are in the world, join us at 11am on 21 September to take a few minutes out to enjoy a Second Breakfast with friends and family.”  Why not enjoy this whimsical idea you’re your own Second Breakfast, Elevenses, or Afternoon Tea?

Hobbits are known, in Middle Earth, for their healthy appetites, and their love of comforting, traditional country dishes, accompanied by glasses or mugs of ale or beer and cups of hot tea.  Meat pies, roasted meat, garden vegetables and bread puddings, as well as fruit, scones, clotted cream, jam, cakes, tarts, and biscuits, all make their appearance in the Shire.  The Hobbit Second Breakfast website even includes recipes for Hobbit Scones and Seed Cake if you want to make your own, although nice scones can be purchased ready-made from the bakery booths at local farmers’ markets and even in some grocery stores.  Check Nob Hill, Zanotto’s, and Fresh & Easy stores in the San Jose area, as well as the British food supply stores in the Bay Area for Hobbit-friendly treats.  Of course, be sure to check your tea party pantry, too! Combine the food with a pot of English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, or other hearty black tea, pick up a good book on Saturday morning or afternoon, and celebrate in Middle Earth style! 

A Cornish pasty.  Image: David Johnson, GNU Free Documentation 1.2, Wikimedia Commons

A Cornish pasty. Image: David Johnson, GNU Free Documentation 1.2, Wikimedia Commons

Here are some recipes from the official Hobbit Second Breakfast website:

Hobbit Scones

225g (about 1 cup) self-rising flour
55g (about 4 T.) butter
pinch of salt
25g (about 2 T.) caster (granulated white) sugar
150 ml (about 2/3 cup) milk
1 egg

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.  Gently stir in the sugar and milk with a fork to make a soft dough.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead for a few seconds until the dough comes together into a ball.  Pat the dough into a round, about 1 inch thick.  Use a 2-inch wide cutter to cut 8 to 10 scones, re-forming the dough as necessary to use it all up.  Place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack and serve with clotted cream and raspberry jam.  Makes 8-10 Scones.

Hobbit Seed Cake

250g (about 1 cup olus 2 T.) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g (about 12 T.) soft butter
150g (about 12 T.) caster sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp caraway seeds
3 large eggs
1 ½ tbsp orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line a 1 lb. loaf pan with waxed paper, and set aside.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions, and the vanilla and orange zest.  Beat well to combine thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, alternating with the milk, until all is added and well mixed.  Stir in the caraway seeds.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 50 minutes, or until it tests done with a skewer.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!
For more information:
Hobbit Second Breakfast official website
“Our Hobbit Second Breakfast”
“Hobbit Day and Second Breakfast Ideas”
“Second Breakfast Blackberry Cake”
“Hobbit Day Second Breakfast: Apple Sultana Gingerbread Muffins”
“Second Breakfast: Hobbits Need It.  Do You?”
“Food of the Shire: Hobbit Breakfast”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Tea-table recipe: rose-petal jam tarts”
“Tea history: what type of tea did American founders drink?”
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Cinnamon-raisin tea bread pudding with cream cheese filling”
“Bring a tea picnic to the Bay Area-local Mostly British Film Festival”
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“Shrewsbury Cakes: a Regency recipe to eat with tea in San Jose”
“San Jose’s British population celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with tea”
“Enjoy traditional Irish seed cake with a nice cup of tea” 
“Escape the rain in San Jose with a Cornish cream tea & Pirates of Penzance!”
“2012 Olympics-watching calls for tea and British food”
“Review: Original English Tea Scones from Sconehenge Bakery”
“Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, role model for tea drinkers and new mothers”


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