Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Harry Potter is 32 years old today.  Huzzah!

With seven books, eight movies, numerous video and computer games, and the juggernaut that is known as licensed merchandise, the odds of someone having no clue who Harry Potter is are roughly the same as the ones that I will ever meet Matt Damon.

My guess is that anyone in the world who says they've never heard of Harry Potter is lying...because for some reason, it's cool to admit it.  What a delusional world they live in...

A few weeks' ago, when I was obligated to read a couple of crummy (nicest word I can muster) books called The Marriage Plot and Fifty Shades of Grey...I turned to the Harry Potter series to help clear out the literary ickies.  And just like a Lay's potato chip, I couldn't have just one.  I reread the whole series in less than a month...and while I was at it, I watched all the movies for good measure too.

With that kind of obsession under my belt, it's no shocker that I know today is Harry's birthday.  And while I'm itching to make all kinds of Harry Potter (British, actually) goodies to celebrate the big day, ultimately, I must limit myself to what's available here in the US, and what, really, I have the time and energy to do.  Because even though it's the birthday of The Boy Who Lived (aka The Chosen One), it's still a bread-baking day for Yours Truly (aka Mom Who Provides Nourishment for Her Family).

Thus, Yorkshire puddings, Shepherd's pie, steak-and-kidney, kippers, and treacle tarts were put on hold.  Instead, I opted for Rock Cakes (Mrs. Weasley's recipe) and Pumpkin Pasties.  The links here will take you to the websites I used for reference.

So here you're looking at the rank-and-file of Dumbledore's Pumpkin Pasty Army before I marched them into my oven (upon which I'd cast the Incendio spell).  You'll notice the picture is (deliberately) too far away for you to note the five or six soldiers there that look pretty beat up.  I was just getting the hang of using my new ravioli/dumpling makers...that's why a few of them look burst.

Baking the Army (see below pic) brings out their flaws quite obviously.  But, they still taste good.  I feel like I'm joining Harry, Luna, Neville, and others on the Hogwarts Express (where the cart lady is selling nothing but sugary sweets...no fruit, no veg, nothing).

And here's the Rock Cakes, which I, when  first reading Harry Potter, thought were some funnily named teatime mishap concocted by Rubeus Hagrid.  But no, upon further research, Rock Cakes are actually a real British food, especially popular at teatimes.  They don't sound overly appetizing...I mean, the "rock" bit throws me off.  But, honestly, they're easy to make, and tasty little buggers to boot.

Makes me wish I were British.  Sometimes.

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