Eating like Elves

We have officially moved from the Harry Potter stage to full-on Lord of the Rings here at the Local Bites ranch. I have been reading Tolkien to my son for over a year now, methodically trudging through Middle Earth, tripping through impossibly detailed descriptions of family lineage, unpronounceable names for swords and dwarf drinking songs. If there is a bumper sticker for those who complete a marathon, there should certainly be one for those who succeed in reading The Hobbit and remaining trilogy out loud to a nine-year old. Perhaps a picture of me, fists raised, on top of Mount Doom.

So you can imagine our unbridled excitement for The Hobbit movie.  We loved every single one hundred and seventy minutes of it. As you can also imagine, I particularly liked the scene where the elves invite the dwarves to dine in Rivendell.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it is a witty scene. Hungry dwarves, expecting meat and potatoes after a long, hard journey, are served vegetarian fare. “What is this? It’s…it’s green!”  The looks on their faces were classic…the sad attempt to roast a Swiss chard leaf over the campfire. I’ve seen those looks before, like there’s something stinky on the upper lip.

It delivers a not-so-subtle message about food choices and the attitude that accompanies healthier fare. Elves are the healthiest race in Middle Earth. They are slender, graceful and strong. They have the longest life expectancy. They approach food in a dignified manner and create nourishment, like lembas, that fortifies the soul, not just the body. Their food elevates the spirit AND leaves one feeling satisfied long after the food is consumed.

Dwarves, on the other hand, are gluttonous. They are short, squat, irritable and impulsive. And they are so very stubborn about their meat and potatoes.

See the connection? A strong message that did not go unnoticed by my impressionable son. He returned this weekend from my mothers, normally a treat-laden couple of days, to proudly report that he declined a soda, pieces of candy and dessert at the restaurant. “I want to eat more like the elves”. He listens intently as we classify the food on his plate…this is dwarf food…this is elf food…

We should all take a few lessons from the elves.

Me? I’m a hobbit at heart. Produce from the green garden, bubbling stews with roots, fruit tarts, fresh-baked loaves and a good brown ale. And small, frequent meals. Elevenses, anyone?

If you had a sword, what would you name it?

Posted in: Eat

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