Harry Potter Dinner

Last Friday we hosted a Harry Potter dinner at our house for a small group of friends. It was a blast!

To create a Hogwarts-like ambiance, we made a few changes to our dining room:

  • We set up all of our Harry Potter books on the buffet: 
  • The wands are courtesy of the incomparable (and fellow Ravenclaw) David J. Anderson.
  • We set the table with tapered candles.
  • We weren't hardcore enough to hang candles from the ceiling but we achieved a similar effect by using the Firestorm app for our Philips Hue smart lights. The candle setting in that app twinkles the lights in a warm glow.
  • We put out all of our owl stuff and, as we are Rice Owls ourselves, that's a lot!
  • We even brought up the dragon drawing by R.C. Matteson from our workout room: 
  • And last, but not least, we played music from the Harry Potter movie soundtracks all evening.

Without house elves to help, I think we still did a pretty admirable job of preparing a Hogwarts-caliber feast:

  • We started with cocktails, including Ogden's Old Firewhisky (Most recipes I found online added sugar but I found just steeping whiskey with cinnamon sticks to be adequate.).
  • We also served homemade butterbeer - again using a much-less-sweet-than-prescribed recipe.
  • With cocktails we served a puree of dragon heartstring (which looked a lot like beet caviar) with an assortment of dragonsmilk cheeses.
  • Dinner was a mixed greenhouse salad, dark forest root veggies, and Professor Sprout (broccoli and gorgonzola) pie with sparkling rosé gigglewater.
  • We wrapped up with Hagrid's berry patch cobbler a la mode (ice cream from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour, naturally) and Starrlight mead.

Stuffed and happy, we spent the rest of the evening playing Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, a cooperative deck-building boardgame. It was really fun and gave us a chance to work together - instead of against each other - to defeat evil and save Hogwarts.

It was a lovely - dare I say, magical - evening and it reminded us that we need to have people over more often (if for no other reason than that it motivates us to clean the house!).

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