Happy Tolkien Reading Day! (2021 Edition)

Happy Tolkien Reading Day, everyone!

Each year, the holiday looks a little different for me. One year (before kids), I read The Hobbit in one day. It satisfied my soul, though my eyes certainly complained the next day. Last year, it was a beacon in a dark season. It reminded me that, like Easter, darkness can’t hold back the coming dawn.

This year, my focus is cultivating a love of Tolkien into my children so that they become third generation Tolkien fans. Between Lord of the Rings Little People, the Unexpected Party from The Hobbit film, and Middle-earth-inspired food, we’ve already had an adventurous day and there’s more to come after naptime.

Obviously, I want them to like the same fandoms that my husband and I do. (I converted him not long after we got married.) But more than that, I want them to understand some of the most important things that I’ve learned from the lore of Middle-earth. Heroism. Sacrifice. Courage. Friendship. Contentment. The beauty of becoming immersed in a magical world that is unlike our own yet shares truth that they can hold onto.

As I enjoy these last few minutes of quiet before naptime ends and the Chelsea buns are ready to be rolled out, I reflect on how grateful I am for inspiring stories, like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. They have shaped my life, and I hope that they shape my girls’ lives for the better too.

My kids’ new favorite Little People…

Are you celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? What are your favorite ways to celebrate?

Happy 2021 (and Tolkien’s Birthday!)

A belated merry Christmas and happy New Year!

2020 was quite a year. While there’s a lot that could be said, I prefer to dwell on the positive. For my family, that means celebrating our second child. Nothing has made my heart happier than watching my first excitedly anticipate the arrival of her sister and watch her fall in love as she helps me care for both of them. It’s been a beautiful way to end one year and start the next.

While there are a lot of great things about starting a new year, one of my favorites is that there are still things to celebrate as the holiday season fades. (We keep everything up until Epiphany, but that only did so much to keep the Christmas spirit alive after the New Year.) Specifically, there’s Tolkien’s birthday, which is today!

For me, that means lots of tea and a toast at 9 pm local time “to the Professor.” Usually, there are Middle-earth related shirts, but since everything doesn’t fit immediately postpartum, I’ve settled for an homage to Gondorian style instead.

And it means starting the year off feeling inspired to write. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my tweens and read The Hobbit for the first time that my passion really began. While there are plenty of writers who have inspired me over the years, none have left a mark quite like his.

So here’s to another year of celebrating the Professor and to a new year. May Tolkien’s work be a reminder that there is light in dark places and that the King still has a crown.

SB Roberts 2021

Happy Hobbit Day!

I didn’t mean to take the summer off of blogging, but it appears that’s what happened. The truth is, as usual, life has been busy. Between working part-time from home (which has been the norm for a few years), caring for my toddler full-time (which is also the norm), and preparing for another little one, there’s been a lot to do.

But there’s nothing like a good holiday to slow everything down, at least for a moment. And tomorrow is one of my favorites: Hobbit Day! Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday! It’s a good excuse for warm, hearty food–even though it still feels more like summer here.

While I have quite a few favorite British, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish recipes, a Hobbit Day go-to is scones. Sweet or savory doesn’t matter. Paired with dinner or a cup of tea, they feel like quintessential Hobbit food to me.

So, in honor of the holiday, here’s my go-to scone recipe. Honestly, I’m not sure where it’s originally from. It might be from one of my mom’s old cookbooks or a magazine. Or maybe I found it when I first moved out. I’ve been on my own long enough that it’s hard to remember now. But regardless, I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or however many your heart tells you to add)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in butter into the flour mixture until it looks like a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly before adding the milk and vanilla to it. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until the flour mixture is moistened.

Add the chocolate chips. Use your heart to decide the right amount.

If you don’t have a scone pan, turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into triangles. Place the triangles on wax paper on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Do you celebrate Hobbit Day? What are some of your favorite UK recipes?