“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Clarice may never silence the lambs in her head, but if she ever drops by to visit her old friend Hannibal, she’s sure to get a meal to die for…
“Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside…”
Whether we’re pretending to study in The Three Broomsticks, taking a break from shopping in Diagon Alley or on the run in Godric’s Hollow, Butterbeer is our favourite wizarding beverage.
Making your own Butterbeer, just like they serve in the Harry Potter Universe (and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios), couldn’t be easier:
400ml brown creamy soda, chilled
1tsp butter flavouring (available from baking supply stores and online)
Whites of two eggs
2tsp caster sugar
1/2tsp musk or marshmallow flavour
Combine the egg whites and musk or marshmallow flavour with the caster sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
In a beer stein, combine the chilled creamy soda with the butter flavour. Spoon the beaten egg white mix on top to form the ‘head’.
Adults: try adding a dash of spiced rum for extra grown-up wizarding magic.
‘It was the boy. In his arms, he carried two large loaves of bread that must have fallen in the fire because the crusts were scorched black… He threw a loaf of bread in my direction.’ The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
When baker’s son Peeta Mellark throws a starving Katniss Everdeen two burnt loaves of bread instead of tossing them to the pigs as his mother commands, he saves her life. It would be the first of many life-saving risks Peeta takes for Katniss, and a moment of enormous literal and symbolic importance.
Books have been written on the importance of bread in The Hunger Games trilogy, with the simple food appearing again and again throughout the books.
But none is more powerful or has a greater impact than these first two loaves.
‘By the time I reached home, the loaves had cooled somewhat, but the insides were still warm. When I dropped them on the table, Prim’s hands reached to tear off a chunk, but I made her sit, forced my mother to join us at the table, and poured warm tea. I scraped off the black stuff and sliced the bread. We ate an entire loaf, slice by slice. It was good hearty bread, filled with raisons and nuts.’ The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
In the magnificent fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, episode seven, Podrick and Brienne cross paths with Hot Pie (yeah, that name…), who we last saw handing a crudely-crafted, barely recognisable bread wolf to Arya Stark.
This time, his skills have improved, and the new bread wolf he gives the travelling party to take to Arya looks, well, good enough for us to recreate and eat.
After all, baking is such a lovely, warming thing to do when winter is coming.