Sometimes a Cake is Just a Cake

Author: Cathleen

Nominator: Pearl Took

2010 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Family

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Pippin wants to enter the Hobbiton Faire Baking Competition with a very special recipe he found in an old cookbook at Great Smials, so he enlists Merry's help. However, Bilbo unwittingly forces Pippin to make a temporary change in plans...

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Reviewed by: Pearl Took  ✧  Score: 7

And today's secret ingredient is . . . Well, this isn't quite Iron Chef Shire, but it is the Hobbit equivalent - baking for competition at the Hobbiton Fair. But things get interesting when, after a day of baking and behaving themselves, Merry, Pippin and Tulip make one more cake to enter. Earlier in the year, Pippin found a recipe in an old book at Great Smials, it didn't even have a name, but it sounded good to the youngster. He and Tulip decided they wanted to make it for the fair. With a little help from Merry, the cake gets baked at Bag End and taken to the Fair the next day. There are many cakes in the competition, even ones made by Pippin's own family, but in the end Pippin and Tulip’s ‘Splendid Strawberry Surprise’ wins the top prize. Just what is it that makes the cake so moist, fragrant and tasty? You'll just have to read it and find out! A fun story in the tradition of Cathleen's wonderful 'Tulip' stories.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

This story was written for the Shire Kitchen Recipe!Fic challenge, and is a fun story about a rambunctious young Pippin, a visit to Bag End, and a baking day--a delightful combination. The funniest part was the reluctance of Pippin's parents to leave their son with Bilbo, Frodo and Merry-- being quite sure that there would be havoc and disaster as soon as their backs were turned. And the day was certainly eventful if not *quite* a disaster. Pippin was as "helpful" as only a small and eager young child can be, exhausting his minders, but not burning down the smial. The accomapanying recipe sounds delicious, and the title was just perfect for this little slice-of-life tale!

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

"Sometimes a cake is just a cake"...but this particular cake is an exception. Bilbo offers to watch little Pippin for the day, but it is Merry who does most of the watching, and as it turns out he is a dangerous babysitter. Together, he and Pippin bake a cake for the fair with a secret ingredient that is sure to please, though it could easily get them both in trouble up to their necks. A very hobbity story, with a convincing young Pippin, and Cathleen writes the responses of the rest of his family to him very well: that privately and sometimes overtly exasperated love that children of this age and disposition provoke in others. I particularly liked the detail of Tulip, the knitted piglet that he carries everywhere.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Trust Frodo and Bilbo's young kinsmen to think of ways to complicate the day as all prepare for a baking contest that will be attended by Hobbits from all over the Shire! A wonderful look at the devious mind of the young Brandybuck as well as the tenacious one of the young Took along with the well advised concern experienced by the two Bagginses. Cute and delightful, as young Hobbit stories so often are; and the recipe sounds truly wonderful!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

Sweet story, meaning more the hobbits than the cake! :) And nice to see Tulip again and how all those watching over the whirl of activity were exhausted but still you know how much Pippin is loved.