Elevenses

An Oxford Dean who visited Green Man from time to time was rather fond of a late morning snack and introduced this charming custom to the kitchen staff there.

Forgive my poor manners — I see that you are as hungry as a hobbit after your long journey here. So let’s head down to the kitchen where Mrs. Ware is preparing Elevenses, a snack similar to an English afternoon tea, but consumed in the late morning.

Her Elevenses are fit for Bilbo himself! It is generally less savoury than brunch, and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a cup of tea or coffee, but knowing Mrs. Ware, I expect it’ll be much more than just a simple repast as our redoubtable Mrs. Ware would never lay out a slab of sweet biscuit folded less than one hundred times before baking (she’s been heard to count), and this morning is no exception! Soft ripe cheeses and even riper figs and dates adorn the table (the latter gathered by nimble, invisible hands of the Djinns and spirited from warmer lands to our autumnal halls). We’ve butter tarts, currant scones, swedish cardamom rolls, dishes of almonds, thick wedges of fresh bread, and tiny silver bowls of still-warm pudding.

And over there; slices of lightly-sugared oranges, peppered cucumbers, and a pot or four or six of honeys and jams. This slice of delightfully dense, sweet biscuit, though it would melt in the mouth with no assistance, should be generously slathered with sweet cream butter just so, and there’s nothing like a cup of thick Barcelonian chocolate to round the whole repast…

Now that we’ve satisfied ourselves as well as any respectable hobbit would’ve, let’s get back to discussing the subject at hand… And yes, the apple tarts with cheddar cheese crust were quite tasty! I do believe Mrs. Ware says that’s an old family recipe.

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