West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
Cabbages and Potatoes?
Sometimes, it's hard to live up to a reputation...
My Sam is a
paragon amongst hobbits; he has every virtue under the sun
and no vices whatsoever. His abilities are legion, he is
nonpareil amongst gardeners, the very paradigm of a
perfect servant, the sublimation of handyhobbits, cynosure
of discerning eyes. And his prowess in their bedroom
surpasses belief - the apotheosis of all lovers...
But, just supposing...
Warning: AU. Humour.
Those of delicate sensibility, where canon is concerned,
should read with heightened Back-button awareness.
Frodo sighed. He had mopped up the worst of the Old Winyards, set the tablecloth to soak, and made a mental note to pack away the few remaining stemmed wine glasses and make do with tumblers in future: less elegant but far more stable. He congratulated himself on the use of the extra heavy candlesticks, and must remember to thank the sympathetic aunt for the notion of setting them in a shallow tray of water. It had saved time and averted possible disaster when the inevitable occurred.
Supper had been surprisingly edible, despite the supplies of which it was composed. There had been just enough of the cabbage, once he had rejected the caterpillar-laced leaves, to provide a single serving; it was lucky, he thought, that he did not really care for cabbage, cinnamon not withstanding.
The potatoes had been tasty; though admittedly his recipe called for ones which might be sliced thinly and arranged in overlapping circles before being bathed in cream and baked to a delectable crispness. Cutting around the eel-worm tunnels had meant making do with chopped cubes; but still, they had been very palatable.
He had encountered the same problem (carrot fly, in this case, so he understood) in attempting the finely sliced fingers of carrot that he so relished, braised in a little buttery water, glazed at the end with a sprinkling of sugar, and dusted with freshly ground pepper and the merest hint of ginger. Fingernails might more accurately have described the results of his slicing, but again, they had been most enjoyable - if one made a deliberate effort to forget the raw material.
All thoughts of a leafy side salad had, of course, been abandoned in view of the slug damage, though the better parts of the tomatoes had made it into a vinaigrette.
It had to be said the raspberry crumble could have been more generous, but temporary double vision had developed from concentrating so hard to remove the grubs. He had conceded defeat, having picked through just half of the fruit, knowing that he would need to deal with the rest tomorrow instead. (There had been a little difficulty, earlier in the day, in finding the best moment to slip out to the compost heap, in order to dispose quietly of the gigantic - and therefore destined-to-be-tasteless - marrow which had appeared on the kitchen table; a repeat journey with the wretched raspberries might well have led to his discovery, and would simply have proven once more his inability to withstand that woebegone expression.)
At least there had been sufficient cream left to douse the pudding properly, for he had taken over the whipping himself. Frodo remained rather concerned as to whether the rag-rug would ever recover from the disaster; he rather thought not, but had scraped off the worst, in hopes, and set the pump to run over it for a while, before hanging it out to drip. He would consult Marigold in the morning, as to what to do next; she was the practical Gamgee and would no doubt solve the problem for him.
Still, the chicken had been excellent (but then, as he had plucked, gutted, roasted, basted and carved it himself, that was only to be expected). Lumpy gravy had been inevitable, though, rather than brave the dangers posed by the whisk, once more.
Taken all in all, he thought, his quiet pre-birthday supper had been a success.
A tactful suggestion, that a bath might be advisable, to soak out the last of the cream (it seemed almost as difficult to remove from hair as from a rug) left Frodo in sole possession of the kitchen, for a while. He had insisted that it must be his turn to do the washing up; in fact it was not - he'd just wanted to use the best china for once. It would be sufficient, he thought, to take the very small amount of leftover food to the pantries, tend the precious dishes and glassware, clean up the other incidental splashes and drips, and generally leave the place reasonably tidy for the caterers. They were coming in early, to see to the all-day celebration, and bringing with them all the necessary equipment, food and utensils (perhaps he could persuade them to use up the wriggling raspberries? No, probably not.)
He put away the last of the crockery, banked the fire in the range and left the kitchen, too exhausted even to contemplate spending a while with a book in front of the fire. As he made for his bedroom, he could not avoid another small sigh, at the sound of splashing from the bathroom, but decided that the drain in the floor would cope with the worst of the spillage, and the rest could wait until tomorrow. Wearily, he pulled off his clothes - the weather was still too warm to need a nightshirt - and slipped under the covers, stretching his aching back and letting his mind drift towards sleep.
A warm, slightly damp and very naked body slid in beside him. Frodo smiled drowsily and held out his arms.
There were, after all, talents which his beloved Sam displayed to perfection...
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