Also, today is Harry Potter's birthday. Happy 37th birthday, Harry Potter! (Yes, that's how old he'd be if he were real.) And, happy birthday also to J.K. Rowling, since they share a birthday.
July 31st is a real holiday in Provo. I ran a Harry Potter-related 5K on Saturday night (pics above), and tonight there's an event that will have live entertainment, trivia contests, and butterbeer. I'm going primarily for the butterbeer and the themed foods, though the entertainment will be good, too.
It's fascinating to me how an entire generation can love a book series so much that we celebrate it as though it were real. Wonderful, though.
Once, I went to a July 31st party that had 6 types of chocolate frog, among other goodies (sherbert soda drinks based on potions, jelly beans, etc.). I ate a bunch of sugar instead of dinner and woke up feeling utterly empty of anything substantive. I still look fondly on those chocolate frogs, though.
If you're throwing a Harry Potter party today, have fun and don't forget the food! Personally, I think one of the most engaging part of the books is the wizarding food; why else would people flock to the theme parks for butterbeer and buy Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans? Food helps us connect to cultures and learn about them, and I think that also goes for the fictions cultures we wish we could be part of.
I've made a few Harry Potter-themed foods, and they've turned out great. Here are a couple of my favorites. Have a great July 31st!
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 1 lb. can pumpkin (or 2 cups fresh, roasted in the oven then pressed through a strainer to save your Pumpkin Juice to drink!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 2/3 cups evap. milk (1 can)
1/2 tsp. allspice
9 oz pie crust pastry (enough for two single standard pie crusts) - I like to use a store-bought one, but you can make your own.
Except for the pastry, mix together all the ingredients well. This is the filling.
Bake the filling only (no crust) in a large casserole dish in hot oven (425 °F) for 15 minutes.
Keep oven door closed and reduce temperature to moderate (350 °F/180 °C) and continue baking for 45 minutes or until table knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean.
Cool filling completely on a wire rack.
Roll pie crust pastry thin and cut into circles approx 4" in diameter.
Put a spoonful of the cool pumpkin mixture towards one side of the center of the circle.
Fold over the crust into a half-circle and firmly crimp the edges closed.
Slice three small slits in the top for venting.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake only until crust is a light golden-brown, approx 10 minutes.
Tastes good both hot and room-temperature. I like eating these while drinking a mug of hot cocoa!
- 1 two liter bottle of cream soda, chilled
- 1/4 tsp caramel extract
- 1/4 tsp butter extract
For the Cream Topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup butterscotch topping
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- In large mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.
- Add butterscotch topping and powdered sugar.
- Mix the caramel and butter extracts with the cream soda and then pour the mixture into clear cups or mugs.
- Top with butterscotch cream topping and enjoy!
Assorted Candies:Acid Pops: Dip sour-flavored lollipops in honey and roll in Pop Rocks.
Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans: Dip regular flavors in sugar water to make them sticky. Cover beans with spices or flavorings. Go nuts and let your dark magic take you to some scary places.
* NOTE: You can also just buy regular beans and tell people you've mixed in some of the store-bought Bertie Botts. Watch people hesitate before eating the buttered popcorn flavor.
Licorice Wands: Take chocolate Twizzlers and dip the end in melted chocolate (any color). Cover the chocolate end with sprinkles.
There are a bunch of other recipes online if you want to search them and learn how to make Cauldron Cakes, treacle tarts, pumpkin juice, and the like. But these are fun and a few of them are quick, perfect for a party!
Here are this week's debuts:
Jonathan Rosen - Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies (8/1)
Danielle Davis - Zinnia and the Bees (8/1)
Katie Slivensky - The Countdown Conspiracy (8/1)
Patrick Moody - The Gravedigger's Son (8/1)
Tiffany Pitcock - Just Friends (8/1)
Katy Upperman - Kissing Max Holden (8/1)
Chelsea Bobulski - The Wood (8/1)
Matthew Landis - The League of American Traitors (8/1)