Congratulations, you’ve made it halfway through V-day, whether you like it or not! Your stomach is probably grumbling about now, and it’s probably because you haven’t had any food specifically prepared for your by Molly Weasley today. The bad news is this article won’t cook the food for you, but the good news is there are some excellent resources to help you cook like the Weasley matriarch herself! Okay, okay, there are recipes for cooking like a house elf, too. And for making butter beer. And for other delicious food so good you will likely think it took actual magic to make them.
Some places online like to claim that simply slapping Harry’s face onto a perfectly normal cookie makes it a Harry Potter cookie. I like to beg to differ. If I’m going to make Harry Potter food…it better be food Harry Potter ate. In his real life*.
What I mean is that I much prefer the approach of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, the author of which rather admirably went through the HP books themselves and pulled out examples of what those lucky bastards get to eat in the Great Hall. Dinah Bucholz, author of the cookbook and all around Harry Potter fan, writes in her intro to the breakfast chapter: “In the Great Hall we find a mix of the traditional and modern. Some mornings find Harry eating humdrum cereal, but other mornings he enjoys toast and marmalade, porridge with treacle, kippers, suasages or fried tomatoes.” Each of the recipes in the book includes an origin story and a reference to where it can be found in the Harry Potter series.
I have tried several of the recipes in this book and they’ve all been successful. As per usual, though, my favorites are the desserts. And of course, since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened in Orlando, we’ve all been trying to replicate the butterbeer they make in the park. Seriously I don’t know how they did it, but Universal managed to nail butterbeer perfectly.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
I’ve tried tons of recipes for both hot and cold butterbeer, both alcoholic and non. My favorites are as follows:
A) Alcoholic, cold butterbeer: Cream soda, tons of butterscotch schnapps.
B) Non-alcoholic, hot butterbeer: warm milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, melted butter. Not very healthy, but it soothes your soul.
C) Butterbeer off the secret starbucks menu. Both are good, but cold can get cloying if you don’t calibrate the syrup correctly.
So at this point you’re saying: “Yeah okay great but how is this related to Valentine’s day, Jenisaur?”
To which I respond: “Uh, shut up you can cook for yourself or for your Valentine.”
And then you can’t help but answer: “Seems legit. You are brilliant.” Yeah thanks, I know.
If the cookbook isn’t enough for you, there are plenty of other resources online, but know that finding food you actually enjoy make take some trial and error testing. It took a lot of batches of nasty over-sweet milk crap before I perfected my butterbeer options. The Harry Potter Recipes website is a good start, but not nearly as thorough as the cookbook itself. Or you can check Madame Rosmerta’s on mugglenet, which claims to be comprehensive but didn’t “wow” me. I do recommend sifting through pinterest and tumblr posts as well, mostly as inspiration for your own designs and recipes in the kitchen.
In case you’re scrambling for dinner ideas tonight, however, I’d recommend downloading the kindle version of the Unofficial Cookbook off Amazon. In all my searching, this book has been the best resource as the recipes have been tested and they link directly back to the HP books without being strange squares of marmalade that someone just happens to call puking pastels. With a little luck and some time on your hands, you can whip something magical up for your sweetheart tonight. Or for your friends. Or for yourself. We don’t judge here. Enjoy!!
*In before “Harry Potter is fictional, idiot.” I get that. This is a joke. Sort of.
featured image source: word for teens