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Middle-earth Menu: “Bullroarer Took’s Pickled Cauliflower”


I am naming this for Bilbo’s legendary ancestor who was apparently so big (for a hobbit) he could actually ride a horse. Bullroarer Took was known for attacking some goblins during a particular battle and “knocked their king Golfimbul’s head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit-hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment.” You may now groan at this anecdote and recall that The Hobbit was geared toward youngsters (who would probably groan and roll their eyes, depending on their ages…).

Please follow this link to my blog for the Savory Seasoning recipe! Or, I’ll make you a batch—head over to my Etsy Shop Elegant Sufficiencies and order your own: Savory Seasoning in a Jar or (the cheaper version) Savory Seasoning in a Ziploc Bag.

“Bullroarer Took’s Pickled Cauliflower” cauliflower

5 cups plus ⅔ cup water

2 pounds cauliflower, cored and cut into 1″ pieces (about 4-5 cups, or an average head)

½ cup carrot, peeled and cut diagonally into ⅛” slices

½ cup celery, cut diagonally into ⅛” slices

¾ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon dill seed

¼ teaspoon “Shire Seasoning” (Savory Seasoning; see above)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons small capers, drained well

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the 5 cups water and cauliflower. Bring to a boil; lower the heat to medium/high and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook another 2 minutes. Drain and don’t bother washing the saucepan. Place vegetables in an 8-cup container. In the saucepan, combine the ⅔ cup water, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add the capers, then pour over the vegetables. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Use a slotted spoon to serve. Cover and store in refrigerator; keeps for a couple weeks or so. Makes 6-7 cups; serves 12.

This is known as Keep-You-Awake Cauliflower in my cookbook.

Photo of author Astrid Tuttle Winegar, creator of Middle-Earth Menu: Sweet and Savory Pork RoastAstrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available exclusively in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. She blogs occasionally at Cooking for Halflings & Monsters. You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page or visit (and follow!) her Twitter feed. Staff Reporter.

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