Inheritance by Nath

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Story Notes:

Written for the October 2014 challenge, Sweet or Savoury, at the Lotr-genfic LJ community; my element was 'spicy'.

Armenelos, Númenor – around S.A. 850

"The lord Aldarion wants that spicy peasants' dish for his dinner tonight," one of the lord's squires announced with a disapproving sniff as he walked in to the kitchen.

"Then that is what he will get," the cook answered, "Though I'm sure he didn't put it quite like that, young man. " He didn't say that the dish in question wasn't a peasant dish, but a sailors' one. As soon as the squire left, the cook shook his head and sighed. But if the Master wants that dish, he's starting to pine for the sea again… That, he disapproved of.


On shipboard in the Icebay of Forochel, T.A. 1974

"King's delight? With no pork? More like King's surprise, if you ask me," the ensign said. "Why's it called King's delight, anyway?"

"Don't know, and it's not my fault we're out of pork," the other ensign replied with a shrug. "You can always go and ask the Icemen if they have any. With luck, they'll give you a few blocks of frozen rancid seal blubber."

"I'll have some, even without pork. How did we end up with no pork?" the first ensign asked.

"We did leave in a hurry when we got word of the King's whereabouts," the other shrugged.


Somewhere in Eriador – T.A. 2953

"What's for dinner?" Aragorn asked.

Halbarad, who was trying to unpick the knot on a small packet wrapped in waxed cloth, mumbled something from which Aragorn could only understand the word surprise.

"I only asked," he replied.

"No, that's what it's called," Halbarad said. "Ranger's surprise."

"With a name like that dare I ask what is in it?" Aragorn replied.

"Well, it should have field peas, bacon, onions, pork or chicken, garlic and a bunch of herbs and spices." Halbarad stirred the pot on the fire. "Unfortunately, we're out of dried peas, so I used beans, and wild boar counts as pork, but we have no bacon, and I could only find one small onion…"

"I can see the surprise element," Aragorn laughed. "But how is this different from any other stew we eat?"

"The secret's in the spices," Halbarad said. "You will see."

"Hmm, not bad at all," Aragorn said some time later as they ate, huddled in the doubtful shelter of a rocky overhang as the rain poured down outside. "I suppose you're not going to give me the recipe…?"

"Well…" Halbarad replied with a grin. "It is an old family recipe, so it's sort of yours anyway."

Chapter End Notes:

A/N and recipe

The recipe is supposedly a derivation of a traditional Dutch seaman's dish, but as the only place I've ever found it is in a 1980's collection of recipe cards from a Dutch brand (Conimex) of Indonesian spices and condiments, I'm taking that claim with a grain or two of salt. Looking at the ingredients, it's not entirely impossible, but I'd like to be sure. It's still tasty, though:-)

Nooitgedacht ("Who would have thought it!")

Fry the bacon and the onions, add the meat, add the garlic, spices, pepper, salt.
Add vegetables, field peas (+ moisture from can if you use canned peas; if not, add an equivalent amount of water/stock)
Leave for about 20 minutes on low heat.
Serve (optional: with baked banana slices)

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