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Bountiful Birthday by Linaewen

Author: Linaewen
Title: Bountiful Birthday
Rating: G
Theme: Bounty
Elements: sweet corn
Author's Notes: According to my research, Tolkien's use of the word "corn" does not refer to maize, but instead to a kind of wheat or similar cereal plant; so it seems unlikely that sweet corn was actually present in Middle-earth. However, for the purposes of this story, I am going to forget about that fact, and take the word "corn" at face value. (For one thing, my prompt is sweet corn, so I have to fit it in somehow -- and for another, it's just sad to think of a place without access to sweet corn, one of my favorite late summer foods!) Therefore, the setting of this tale is based on Peter Jackson's version of Tolkien, where corn as we know it is featured in the Shire.
Summary: The four Travellers celebrate Bilbo and Frodo's birthday with a seasonal favorite.
Word Count: 478

Bountiful Birthday

Pippin shifted in his chair, impatient at the wait.  The smells coming from the kitchen at Bag End were tantalizing, making his mouth water.

Frodo caught the movement out of the corner of his eye, and smiled.  "Don't worry, Pippin!  It won't be much longer now.  Sam is helping Rosie put the finishing touches on everything.  Just a few more minutes, I'm sure."

Pippin sighed.  "Sorry, Frodo.  I'm just very hungry, and it all smells so good!"

"It does smell good, doesn't it?" Frodo agreed.  "Sam and Rosie have outdone themselves, I believe.  The harvest has been so excellent this year, we will have a bountiful birthday celebration, indeed!"

Merry sniffed the fragrant smell of cooking food with appreciation.  "Is that Rosie's famous baked corn dish I smell?"

"Of course!" announced Sam, as he entered bearing a large tray laden with food; Rosie followed carrying a huge steaming baking pan filled with golden goodness.  "It wouldn't be a proper September birthday celebration if we didn't have some form of sweet corn on the table, and Rosie's baked corn is the best in the Shire."

"The best in the whole world!" exclaimed Pippin.

Rosie beamed at him.  "Thank you kindly for the compliment, Mr. Pippin!" she said, setting the pan down in front of him.  "For that, you can be the first to serve yourself, after the traditional birthday toast."

"His intention all along, I'm sure!" chuckled Merry.

"About that birthday toast...?" Pippin said, pointedly ignoring Merry's comment.

"Yes, it is time for the toast," Frodo agreed.  Rising, he lifted his glass and faced east.  "To Bilbo, who turns 130 today!  Happy Birthday!"

"To Bilbo!" the others replied, lifting their glasses as one.

"And to Frodo, who turns 52 today!" cried Merry.  "Happy Birthday!"

"Happy Birthday!" they all cried again, as Frodo bowed to them.  Raising his head, he saw Pippin's hand hovering over the serving spoon, and grinned.

"Rosie said you could serve yourself first," he laughed, "but I'm next after you!"


Rosie's Corn Casserole


1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup chopped green onions
1 8 oz box dry cornbread/corn muffin mix (Jiffy brand or equivalent)
1 cup shredded/grated cheese


Drain the liquid from the whole kernel corn and set aside.

Place butter and onions in the bottom of a 8 x 9 inch greased baking pan.

Mix the following ingredients and pour on top of butter and onions:

  • cream-style corn

  • whole kernel corn

  • dry cornbread mix

  • reserved liquid from corn (with milk added as needed to make 1/3 cup liquid)

  • shredded cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes -- check frequently, as it might be done sooner!  Baked casserole is softer than regular cornbread, so serve with a spoon.


  • add 1 egg for a firmer casserole

  • double the amounts for more servings


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2017 09:04 pm (UTC)
Hey, I think they should have it too! My headcanon is that it came over with the Numenorians, like tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes and athelas!

In my own story about it, I call it maize, like the early settlers did. But I love this; what a wonderful way to celebrate The Birthday!

Oct. 1st, 2017 09:18 pm (UTC)
That's a good point about the Numenoreans! My food head canon is still under development, so I may have to take that into consideration if I deal with any more "is this food found in Middle-earth?" questions.

Thanks for reading!
Oct. 1st, 2017 09:56 pm (UTC)
Considering that Tolkien did not mind being "off" botanically, I don't think we should worry too much either. In addition to tobacco and potatoes, he also had flower names for hobbit lasses that were not native to the UK either (for example, Camellia Sackville); and then there was coffee! So when it comes to plants I'm all on board with the Numenoreans bringing stuff over. After all, we know they brought athelas--why not all those other things as well?
Oct. 2nd, 2017 12:03 pm (UTC)
a huge steaming baking pan filled with golden goodness

*wants* What a delicious scene!
Oct. 5th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that when the film first came out I was squirming in my seat at the maize field chase. I also used to be a bit of a 'purist' when it came to reading fanfiction that featured non-English items in the Shire. I am more relaxed about things now. Love the sound of the recipie but not sure where to get some of the items in Middle-England.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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