Middle-earth Feasting with ‘An Unexpected Cookbook’

As Maria has already explained, today is Hobbit Day, and there are so many ways to celebrate! One of my favorite traditions from my days at Middle-earth News was Tolkien Feast Week. Alice has begun the 2016 festivities with her post for Bilbo and Frodo’s Birthday, so if you want to learn more about how you can journey with the hobbits from Bag End to Bree — with food — make sure to start with her article!

I’ll try to join in the official Feast Week meals as often as I can this week, but I also thought it would be fun to crack open my copy of Chris-Rachael Oseland’s An Unexpected Cookbook.

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I wanted a quick recipe, so although there are many delectable treats among the pages of this cookbook, I decided to make the shortbread cookies.

All of the ingredients are pretty standard kitchen fare, so these can be put together at the last moment. The only thing I discovered was that the recipe didn’t specifically mention how many cookies it would make because you could make them whatever size you want. The medium-sized cookie cutter in the collage below is about the best thing I had on hand, so these cookies turned out a little larger than most. Now that it is officially autumn, some small leaf cookie cutters would be perfect. (Though, now that I think of it, if I’d had the inclination to frost these, they could be decorated like a hobbit door!)

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The recipe specifically calls for a glass baking dish rather than a metal cooking sheet, so that’s what I used. Because of the size of the cookies, I actually had to double the suggested baking time, but they turned out well in the end. They were really quite delicious, though I have decided to follow one of Chris-Rachael’s suggestions from this page of the cookbook and try them with almond extract when I make them again!

I definitely recommend An Unexpected Cookbook because, in addition to some great recipes, Chris-Rachael shows off her research and explains which “modern” foods are allowed and why as well as sharing ideas for how some foods could be reused in other recipes (just like they would have in Tolkien’s day). The chapters are even sorted by way of hobbit meal times, so yes, you can get plenty of ideas for second breakfast!

Will you be joining in the Feast Week fun? What do you imagine when you think of hobbit food?

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Another Exciting Trip Around the Sun: Happy Birthday, Maria!

Today is a special day — please join us in wishing Maria a happy birthday!

To celebrate the birthday of our fellow travelling geek, Alice and Lily each created a moodboard in honor of Maria. We chose images and designs that made us think of our friend!

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To get to know Maria better, check out her recent blog post 30 Facts About Me.

What makes you think of Maria? Please share your birthday wishes in the comments below!

Exploring ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ (1920) by Robert Wiene

A while ago, I talked about my love for the silent film era by talking about Georges Méliès’ Le Voyage dans la Lune/A Trip to the Moon (France, 1902). In the comments, one of our readers named Night Train Books mentioned the German expressionist movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from 1920.

Considered to be the first modern horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari starts with a man named Francis retelling his fateful encounter with the mysterious man named Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesare.

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Warped in all senses, fascinating and bizarre: this is the 1920 silent movie by Robert Wiene […] that lay down a template for today’s scary movies, noirs and psychological thrillers. And it is topped off with a surprise ending that still gets used all the time now. With all the weird gaping and gurning, and the distorted perspective of its expressionist sets, Caligari is a nightmarish cinematic extension of Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic Dracula, combining as it does romantic superstition with the supposedly rational world of psychiatric surveillance and control. Source: theguardian.com.

There are several versions of this film available for free online. The version I watched, however, is very similar to the original color tinting of the film, using primarily blue and orange as colors. Sure, the pace of the movie is much slower than your average contemporary horror film, but the film is by no means less bizarre.

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As many other films from the era of German expressionism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari makes use of clashing light and color and abstract set designs, imitating expressionist paintings, to evoke powerful emotional reactions.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a fantastic choice to remember that film can be an artform, and not just a cheap popcorn entertainment. If you’re interested to watch the film yourself, you can do it over here on Youtube legally.

What do you think of ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’? Surprised about the ending? Any other film from the silent film era you’d recommend me to watch? Leave a comment down below!

Cratejoy Fandom Month: Rude Dude Productions Unboxing

The Travelling Geek Show was recently contacted by Cratejoy to review some of their subscription boxes since the theme for July is Fandom month! This is the last of my three reviews; read my first review of the Charm With Me subscription here and my review of the Geek Chic Monthly box here!

Disclaimer: While Cratejoy did send me these boxes, I have not been paid to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

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The Rude Dude Productions subscription box delivers a full-color newspaper comic strip to your door (or inbox) every month, and depending on the level of membership you choose, you could get other goodies, too!

Here are the different levels offered (I think it’s a safe bet that I received the Basic Box):

  • Digital News – Receive weekly Newspaper Strips delivered to your inbox plus a digital copy of the monthly printed newspaper which will include extras!
  • Newspaper – Receive a newspaper comic strip delivered to your door monthly!
  • Basic Box – Receive the full-size newspaper PLUS a monthly print, sticker, bookmark, and extras!
  • Premium Box – Receive the same box as the basic subscription, but your newspaper is SIGNED by both Steve Rude and the writer! (Limited Quantity)

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In my box, I received the (huge!) newspaper comic strip of the April 2016 Nexus comic as well as a Nexus art print and two copies of the Nexus Special Landmark Issue. The newspaper comic strip and the art print are both worthy of framing and would make awesome additions to a geeky/comic art collection, and I loved that they sent two copies of the comic book. I personally struggle with the desire of wanting to read my comics, but also keep them in pristine condition. Particularly with special issues, I like to get two — one for reading and one for displaying! So Rude Dude Productions obviously knows their demo.

Shop Cratejoy - The ultimate online destination for subscription boxes. I have only recently dipped my toe into the ocean of subscriptions that are out there (I receive one tea subscription and one geeky subscription every month), and I know that it can be a bit daunting. I didn’t want to throw away money on boxes that might only include one or two items that I liked out of the whole lot. If you’re looking for something but don’t know where to start or don’t know if there is a box out there that caters to your tastes, I definitely recommend browsing through the many options at Cratejoy. You’re bound to find something that you’ll love!

Cratejoy Fandom Month: Geek Chic Monthly Unboxing

The Travelling Geek Show was recently contacted by Cratejoy to review some of their subscription boxes since the theme for July is Fandom month! This is the second of my three reviews; read my first review of the Charm With Me subscription here!

Disclaimer: While Cratejoy did send me these boxes, I have not been paid to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

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Geek Chic Monthly is a subscription box that offers geeky accessories based on a new geeky theme every month. I received their May 2016 box which was all about superheroes!

For starters, I loved the Wonder Woman box! One cool thing about Geek Chic Monthly is that even the packaging references each month’s theme. I got even more excited when I opened it up — I received a Wonder Woman sticker, Captain America earrings, a Batman bracelet, and Iron Man pouch/coin purse, and a Thor necklace!

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Straight away, I tried on the Batman bracelet and the Captain America earrings. I could get away with wearing the earrings any day, but the bracelet had a bit too much bling for me. However, I would totally wear it to a convention or an early screening of a Batman or Justice League movie!

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I like Wonder Woman. I like stickers. It took very little time for the sticker to make it onto the binder that I carry around with me everywhere. Doesn’t she look great?

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I was excited about the Iron Man coin purse because it’s always handy to have little bags and boxes, but I had a sneaking suspicion that there might be something hidden away inside…and I was right! There was also an awesome Thor helmet necklace with a nice long chain. I can totally see myself using the coin purse regularly, though, the Thor necklace is a little like the Batman bracelet — I think I would only wear it on special geeky occasions.

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Overall, I was very pleased with this box, and I can only imagine what cool accessories will be in the upcoming boxes from Geek Chic Monthly. Their August theme is “Pirates,” but unfortunately, it’s already sold out. The theme for September is “Twisted Fairytales,” and that sounds like exactly the kind of box I would enjoy. I’m already wondering about what the design on the box will be!

cratejoy_2I have only recently dipped my toe into the ocean of subscriptions that are out there (I receive one tea subscription and one geeky subscription every month), and I know that it can be a bit daunting. I didn’t want to throw away money on boxes that might only include one or two items that I liked out of the whole lot. If you’re looking for something but don’t know where to start or don’t know if there is a box out there that caters to your tastes, I definitely recommend browsing through the many options at Cratejoy. You’re bound to find something that you’ll love!