Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Harry Potter Countdown... Only 12 Hours!

If you have already read Edgy's post, you are aware that we are in the midst of planning a Harry Potter Non-Sleepover Party for tonight.

Now, like all good sleepover parties, we must have good munchies, and since this will be a theme party, we are having Harry Potter munchies. Now, because I can get a bit carried away with celebratory themes, I have tried to limit myself to an amount of food that can reasonable be eaten in the amount of time it takes to read one book. For example, I only made ten chocolate frogs. Because, as of now, only Edgy and I will be at the Harry Potter Non-Sleepover Party, and I think that five frogs each will be plenty. But, I still have chocolate left, so I might make more. We'll see how much time I have left.

I also have finished six peppermint toads. And while I didn't have high expectations for them, I am quite happy with them now.

I have been trying Butter Beer recipes for about three months, and I think I have finally perfected a formula. It has all the qualities of butter beer, except it isn't warm and it doesn't make house elves, or anyone else, drunk.

1 tsp Torani Ginger Spice Syrup
3 Tbls Torani Butterscotch Syrup
1 12 oz can Club Soda

Edgy asked for Pumpkin Pasties. I am all for making them, but I am not sure how I want to go about it. It seems, since we are first introduced to them on Hogwarts Express, that they could be sweet or savory. You know, like a little bit of lunch to satisfy until the big feast.

The pasty is traditionally a Cornish meat pie, carried by the tin miners for their lunch. It is meat, onions, and potatoes wrapped up in pastry without any gravy, and only salt and pepper. It's one of my family's recipes that has lasted crossing the ocean from Cornwall to Virginia, to Michigan, to Oregon. So, I almost want to hold to the tradition that pasty is a meal, not a dessert.

But, Edgy always imagined them sweet, and all the pumpkin pasty recipes that I have found have been more like pumpkin pie with a top pie crust. I am thinking about experimenting with phyllo dough.

I am also thinking about getting more creative and doing a kind of pumpkin/meat pasty, to be a little bit closer to the Cornish tradition of pasty, just replacing the sliced potatoes with sliced pumpkin... and maybe more seasonings. But, I would have to be able to find fresh pumpkins. And so I need to get shopping so I can fully explore my options.

There are lots of other foods to choose from. In the Harry Potter books, they mention food all the time. Like, Roast beef, milk, roast chicken, ham, tea, fried sausages, stew, pumpkin juice, hamburger casserole, casserole, tripe, pork chops, shepherd's pie, Cornish pasties, lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, steak and kidney pudding, steak and kidney pie, black pudding, rock cakes, bath buns, chicken and ham sandwiches, bread, marshmallows, lemon drops, crumpets, baked pumpkin, roast potatoes, jacket potatoes, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, chicken drumsticks, homemade bread, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, sprouts, carrots, gravy, ketchup, custard tart, apple pie, treacle tart, chocolate eclairs, jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, and rice pudding, bouillabaisse, blancmange, porridge, rolls, orange juice, kippers, eggs and bacon, toast, jam, corn flakes, turkey, chipolatas, gravy, cranberry sauce, turkey sandwiches Christmas pudding, eggnog, trifle, Christmas cake, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, treacle fudge, chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties, cauldron cakes, Liquorice Wands, Pepper Imps, chocolate balls full of strawberry mousse and clotted cream, Sugar Quills, tooth flossing string mints, Jelly Slugs, mince pie, brittle, nougat, coconut ice, ton tongue toffees, Fizzing Whizbees, ice mice, peppermint toads, blood flavoured lollipops, Cockroach Cluster, fudge flies, Acid Pops, sherbet balls, pumpkin tart, Butterbeer, Red Currant Rum, Gillywater, Mulled Mead, Firewhisky, and elderflower wine. And I am sure that I have missed a bunch.

I had plans to make chocolate wands, but now I can't find a reference to chocolate wands, only licorice wands. And I don't think I can get very creative with licorice wands, so, I have decided to focus my efforts on the pumpkin pasties.

Although pancakes are never mentioned, I have a very good recipe for pumpkin pancakes, so we are having pumpkin pancakes for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes

2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. chopped pecans (optional)

Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Using a large bowl, combine
pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir
until blended; stir in pecans just before ready to cook.

Pumpkin pancakes with sausages, almost more excited than the book! Yum! Yum!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sir Kenelm Digby's Birthday, or The Day We All Should Go Watch Harry Potter, July 11th

Sir Kenelm Digby, according to my Forgotten English Calendar, was a "colorful English writer" and was interested in the "six follies of science:" which included: "the squaring of the circle, perpetual motion, the philosopher's stone, magic, astrology, and the elixir of life."

Honestly, I have never heard of Kenelm Digby. But, he sounds like a wizard. If he was, he probably would want his birthday celebrated in a wizardly way. You know, like going to go watch the new Harry Potter movie.

If you missed your opportunity to attend a midnight showing of the movie, where you can see half of the audience dressed up like various Harry Potter characters, you really missed out. Okay, you really didn't. You got a good night's sleep, and are well rested for work and you didn't have to deal with the interruptions of cheering and clapping and woot-wooing at every few minutes. I was most bothered by some weird cheering when one of the characters that we are supposed to like died. Hello? Even if you didn't read the book, weren't y'all paying attention to who that was? Harry hugged him, like, five times in the movie; that means he's a good guy.

Anyway, I thought that this was a pretty good adaptation of the book, even if it felt a bit rushed. It was interesting to me that they did not explain anything. They assumed the audience knew the story, knew the characters. I liked that. If you hadn't read the books you might have wondered, "Hey, why does that woman with the pink hair get to fly around with Harry so much?" It would have just taken a few seconds of dialogue to explain, but it wouldn't have added anything to the forward motion of the plot. But, since she was an important character, she would have been missed by HP fans. I'm glad Tonks was there, but, I'm glad they didn't spend unnecessary time explaining that she is an auror.

Even with the rushing, I think they got all the important characters, plot elements, and themes covered. I liked that this really wasn't a children's story any more. It's the beginning of a dark time for Harry and his friends and the colors in the film and play of light present that mood well. The editing and story-flow was a little choppy, but I hope there will be an extended version that will smooth that out a bit. Umbridge was perfect. Bellatrix was perfect. I even liked how they worked with Snape's character.

Yes, I can recommend the new Harry Potter movie, and I don't really recommend the other ones. Except for the third one. It will be a good Sir Kenelm Digby's Birthday Day activity for you.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


For the last week, I have been dog-sitting Edgy's dog, Puppy. And now I want to take her home with me. My mom also want me to take her home with me. I want to take her home with me, because she is very good company, and I think that I am getting tired of living by myself. My mom want me to take Puppy home with me, because she thinks that I am cranky if I am tired, and likes that Puppy makes me go to bed. Yeah, Puppy decides when it is bedtime, and makes me go to bed.

I also have decided that I want to move to downtown Salt Lake City. I have decided it is much more fun to live in a ethnically diverse and richly cultural area, at least an area that is more ethnically diverse and cultural than the area that I live now. It's just neat to see dread locks and goths and non-white people, and Churches that aren't Mormon while walking on a simple morning walk. That doesn't happen in Pleasant Grove, where I live, or in Provo, where I work. Yeah for diversity!

Anyway, I've been having lots of fun with Puppy. I have tried to discover how much fur I can brush off of her, given unlimited amounts of time. I stopped after two hours. My black t-shirt no-longer looked black, and there were still loose hairs. I was trying to help her loose a layer of her fur coat because it is unbelievably hot here in Utah, and no relieve is in sight. But, now, Edgy's living room rug has a lot of dog hair on it, and I can't find the vacuum... but I haven't looked too hard. Sorry, Edgy, you are going to have to vacuum when you come home.

Tonight, while I was packing up to go back home in the morning, Puppy knows something is up. She stole one of my flip flops, and ran out into the dark back yard. Now, normally, this would not have been a big deal, because they were four dollar flip flops, but, they were the only footwear I had brought, and I didn't fancy the thought of limping alongside Puppy on her morning walk with only one flip flop. So, I ran outside after her. I couldn't see her for a while, but I did, she was there, running full force at me, and she head butted me! Right on my shin! That will leave a mark. Well, we chased each other around the yard for about a half and hour, and I eventually found my flip flop, so all is well.

Now, she is calling me to bed, with short brisk barks, so I had better get going, mostly because I am not done packing up my stuff yet. I am especially not done packing if I am to sneak her home to live with me.... just kidding Edgy!