Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A wizarding afternoon tea

If you are a Harry Potter fan you’ll know that food and drink are a very central part of the books (and films). From Chocolate Frogs to Pumpkin Juice there’s hardly a chapter that passes without the description of some glorious meal or weird and wonderful foodstuff.  


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The pages of J K Rowling’s seven amazing books are the ideal inspiration for a really magical afternoon tea, and with these easy ideas you can whip up a feast to put the finest house elf to shame.

Sandwiches
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and Ron Weasley showed up at Hogwarts late in a Flying Ford Anglia! Professor McGonagall made them eat their dinner in Professor Snape's office. This included a plate of chicken and ham sandwiches that refilled itself.

Make mini club sandwiches as follows. A slice of buttered bread, then chicken, then another slice of bread (buttered on both sides), then ham, then another slice of bread (butter side in). Cut off the crusts. Cut into four. Slide a cocktail stick through each to secure. These sandwiches needn’t be meat, so if you are a veggie feel free to vary the fillings. Hummus and roasted vegetables are a nice alternative.


Unfortunately we cannot tell you how to replicate the never ending supply exactly, but you can always magic up a few more from the kitchen.

Crumpets

"I dreamed I was buying new shoes last night," said Ron. "What d'ya think that's gonna mean?"

"Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something," said Harry."
— J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Toasted marshmallows and crumpets are a Hogwarts common room favourite. For this special afternoon tea why not serve the two together? Fluff can be spread on hot crumpets as an alternative to jam, it’s a crème marshmallow and comes in a number of flavours you can get it in supermarkets , online at Amazon and American Food UK

Scones

Serve homemade or shop bought scones with pumpkin jam and cream. You may find it surprising but certain varieties of pumpkins are actually grown in Italy for solely for making jam. You can buy pumpkin jam online from Muggle jam makers Apple Paddock  or Threapwood Nurseries.

Cakes

Rock cakes were one of Harry’s favourite tea time treats and are really easy to make and delicious to eat. Harry Potter loved receiving a package of Rock Cakes from Mrs Weasley when he was at Hogwarts or eating freshly made ones when visiting his pal Ron and the rest of the Weasley family at the Burrow. Hagrid’s however were exactly like rocks and best avoided.

Mrs Weasley's Rock Cakes

You will need

225 g (8 oz) self raising flour
A pinch of salt
100 g (4 oz) butter
75 g (3 oz) mixed dried fruit
25 g (1 oz) mixed peel
1 tbsp mixed spice
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
1 medium egg
Milk to mix

How to make them

Heat your oven to 200ºC or Gas Mark 6. Grease two baking trays.
Mix the flour, salt and mixed spice, rub in the butter.
Stir in the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar.
Mix to a stiff dough with egg and milk.
Place in rough heaps on the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Makes 8 - 12 cakes depending how large you want them to be.

Drink

Tea

Make tea however you like but make it loose leaf so you can read the leaves. Tasseology is the ancient art of tea leaf reading and is a great talking point at any afternoon tea. Never has Divination been such fun!

How to read the leaves:

After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around the shapes suggested by them.

Some common shapes and their meanings:

Apple - Achieving knowledge

Flying birds - good news

Cat - a deceitful friend or relative

Candle - enlightenment

Dog - a loyal friend or relative

Kite - wishes will come true

Raven - death or bad news

For more shape meanings visit www.tassegraphy.com  or buy or borrow a good Tassography book like Lindel Barker-Revell’s Time For Tea: The gentle art of reading tea-leaves

You can book professional tasseographists from CalmerKarma.

Fizz

Butterbeer is a real Hogwarts favourite. If you are going down to Hogsmeade you have to stop for a pint or two at The Three Broomsticks. It is enjoyed by wizards, both young and old. The Butterbeer in the books is mildly alcoholic. Here we have included versions for drinkers and non drinkers.

For tee-totallers gently mix 8oz of cream soda with 2 tbps of butterscotch syrup and serve over ice. If you are serving the alcoholic version just substitute the butterscotch syrup for a shot of butterscotch schnapps.

You can buy both butterscotch syrup and schnapps at The Drinkshop.

The decor

Have fun decorating the table for this special tea. Use a dark tablecloth in black, forest green or blood red or dye an old bed sheet. Sprinkle confetti stars across and light candles or tealights. Make mini wizards hats out of black sugar paper and write your guests names on them in gold or silver pen as place names.

Alternatively if your tea is for four set each place with the different Hogwarts house colours.

Gryffindor – Green and Silver
Slytherin – Scarlet and gold
Ravensclaw - Blue and bronze or grey
Hufflepuff – Canary yellow and midnight black

Music and entertainment

Buy or listen via Spotify to any one of the amazing Harry Potter film soundtracks. Read a few chapters out loud from one of the books or try a Potter themed quiz