Pancakes of the King of Men
by MaceVindaloo, Susu, GilArda
Having spent his childhood and youth in Rivendell to protect him from the spies of Sauron who were diligently looking for the heir of Isildur, one might expect that Aragorn would have led a spoiled and privileged life: being served meals as befitted the heir of the King of Men. But both his mother, Gilraen, and his guardian, Elrond, were wise and understood that Aragorn would face a long, dangerous path to achieve his destiny. Besides, if they spoiled Aragorn, that's what Sauron would have expected! Thus at the tender age of six, Elrond deemed Aragorn old enough to start learning survival skills and sent the boy out into the wild with his sons, Elladan and Elrohir.
The sons of Elrond knew their primary duty was to protect Aragorn, but the point of this exercise was to ensure Aragorn learned the skills they already possessed. So they explained to the young boy that they expected him to share in the duties of the camp, including cooking meals and cleaning. Aragorn openly admired the older ones and was eager to learn; the elves admitted they'd never had a more keen student. It was obvious that their tracking skills and mindset when on the hunt were transferred in whole to the boy.
But the elves also took advantage of their young charge's willingness to do anything they said. As the youngest on the expedition, they ordered him to prepare breakfast every morning, and were surprised that the youngster was eager to comply. This meant getting up early and preparing the bread, but Aragorn had already been helping out in the kitchens at Rivendell and had been instructed by the cooks how to create the perfect pancake, which he knew was better than mere bread and quicker to prepare. He was eager to show off his skill and garner his "brothers'" approval.
His favorite recipe was one that added texture and flavor to this classic breakfast by using oatmeal and nuts in the batter. He'd actually prepared a "dry mix" in advance before heading out on the hunt, and so just needed to add the wet ingredients to it. Since the wet ingredients were based on what he could forage in the wild, the recipe did vary somewhat; the type of egg differed, as did the type of fat to be melted for stirring into the batter. If he could not find a lactating mammal to get milk from, he could use water and a milk powder. In a pinch, he could just use water. Any way he did it, he'd heat up an iron skillet over the open fire and expertly watch and flip the cakes and serve with with a boiled treesap for extra sweetness. His guardians were suitably impressed and reported to their father that the boy would make a fine wife someday!
Years later when Aragorn was King, he'd hook up with King Eomer of Rohan to rout out the orcs and other creatures who had escaped the fall of Mordor. Eomer made the same comment about Aragorn making a fine wife after tasting the King's pancakes while on the hunt. It was rather surreal to have a ruler making breakfast for a royal guard, but Eomer never complained because the results were delicious! Not only would Aragorn make a fine wife, but he cooked a darned site better than his sister, Eowyn who was a notoriously bad cook. They'd joke about how Faramir must be starving, being married to her; if they were in the neighborhood, they'd drop in on Ithilien and ask Faramir to join them for some pancakes. And thus these wholegrain pancakes became the "Meal of Men" in that era!
* If you will be using water, add the milk powder to the Basic Dry Mix when blending.
* Do not add either of these if you are using milk.
If there are leftovers, you can seal the pancakes in an airtight container and freeze them. To reheat, put a stack of 2 or 3 pancakes on a paper towel and microwave on high heat for 1 or 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
If you prefer not to cook enough to serve 16 (32 pancakes), for each 4 servings (8 pancakes), you will need:
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