Harry Potter Marathon
In June, the final episode of the Harry Potter franchise was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Daniel Radcliffe was on the cover and the other Harry Potter covers from over the years were showcased inside. This brought up a discussion in The Tribe Headquarters about who had seen which movies. As it turns out, none of of us had read the books OR seen all of the films. A Harry Potter film marathon was in order!!!
It only took a moment to decide that my contribution to our marathon should be food based! I had some basic knowledge and had seen a few of the films, so I knew I wanted to get some Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. I also made Harry Potter pancakes! I needed help to make the rest of the menu! I asked my facebook friends and scoured the net. There is more information on the foods from Harry Potter than I ever imagined!! I even found one site that has the foods organized by scene and movie!!
*sidenote* It is really funny watching these movies with Elaine - I look forward to her rant about how the movies should be named after the real main character - Hermione Granger
Once I found the names of the foods, it was pretty easy to find recipes. From there is was just a matter of deciding which ones to choose. I am all for adventure and trying new things, but when making lots of recipes at once, they need to be reasonably simple. I like to enjoy cooking and fill my food with love, not be rushed and stressed. I compared recipes to find the ones that sounded both easy and tasty.
The one item that has the most variety in recipe choices seems to be the butterbeer. There were some very serious recipes based on visits to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando. There were some that involved 3 steps and 5 bowls and heavy cream and ghee. Some needed frozen bowls and kitchen tools that I don't have (and have never heard of!). The easiest one I found only involves 2 ingredients and one glass! (per person). Cream Soda plus Butterscotch Schnapps equals greatness!! It may not be exactly butterbeer like they serve in Orlando, but it sure is tasty!! 1 part Schnapps to 7 parts cream soda is the recipe I followed.
I also found Elderflower wine. This is mentioned in several websites places as being served in the Harry Potter world, but I did not know if it really existed. Luckily, my local package store carries some! It was less than $15 and boy does it pack a punch!! It reminded me of what might happen if you mix plum wine with sake. It is good, but VERY strong. It was fun to find another drink from Harry Potter that exists outside the wizarding world.
I mostly found recipes for sweets, so I was searching hard for something else to make and eat during our marathon. (Thank you Stina for the veggies!) I only found two reasonable (aka something my roommates and I would eat) recipes for things that were not sweets!! I ended up making Cornish pasties and pumpkin pasties. They both turned out really well, so I will post the recipes in Kory's Kitchen. While searching for unsweet ingredients, I learned several new things. I learned that fresh pumpkins are *not* in season the first week of September in Connecticut. I also learned that Cornish pasties are very similar to what I know as shepherd's pie. I also reaffirmed the fact that I like to stuff dumplings way too full of yummy goodness. The best thing I learned, however, is about an English syrup called TREACLE!!!
I had never heard of treacle, but two of the dessert recipes I wanted to make required it. Of course that meant I needed to find it and cook with it! The net said I would need to seek out a shop with specialty British goods, but our local grocery store carries it. I used it to make treacle tarts as well as treacle fudge. It is super delicious and I will definitely find more things to make with it. It's kind of like a honey syrup - but that description does not do it justice. The fudge was one of the easy recipes (and did not require a candy thermometer). The fudge recipe turned out really tasty but it was not a fudgey consistency. Since it is more of an apple butter consistence y, Laurence and Stina have decided to spread it on toast! The treacle tarts were not the desired consistency either - but I blame myself for that. I used a pan for those mini cupcakes and used store bought pie dough. The treacle/ginger mix that I put in the tarts was great tasting, but it was not a tart by the time I dug it out of the pan. Next time I will try baking the pastry separately before adding the treacle mixture.
As I continued my search, I found recipes for brie in a puff pastry and magic wands. I made them because they looked fun and were easy. The dessert about which I was most excited was the cotton candy cupcakes with cotton candy frosting! I have always loved cotton candy and I couldn't wait to try these recipes. I also did two things I had never done before; made cupcakes and frosting from scratch! There is actual cotton candy in each recipe, which makes them pretty sweet. It was especially fun to see the batter and frosting before I added the food coloring; imagine a greyish purple mess and you will know what it looked like. I would have never thought to use actual cotton candy in baking and I am glad I tried it. I will make these next time I need to take a dessert to a gathering.
I learned a lot from this Harry Potter experience and I am really pleased about that. I learned some new cooking history and tried some new ingredients. I learned that Elaine will never be a Harry Potter fanatic. I accepted that I stuff my dumplings too full and that I want more experience with treacle. I learned that some people have WAY too much time on their hands (a listing of food by scene in each Harry Potter film?). I learned that I do NOT like the way David Yates directs. I got to use my creativity to contribute to our celebration. I also got to experience (once again!) the joy of sharing my food gifts with my loved ones - which is the best part of cooking for me.
I will get the recipes for these items posted over the upcoming week so that you can try them too! Thanks for reading