Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

October 24, 2013

Foodie with Family: Love of reading leads to treats

After spending summer flitting around like hummingbirds, my family returns to heavy reading habits in the cooler, drizzly fall.

We all stake out our favorite reading spots; I get the big easy chair, daddy takes his reading materials to the deer blind, two boys lay claim to one end each of the love seat, another bounces up and down on the exercise ball while reading, a fourth stretches out like a cat on the couch, and the last inexplicably camps out under the couch. Don’t worry, he’s not being crushed. It’s a tall couch.

The house becomes an obstacle course of book piles. We have library piles, book sale piles, library book sale piles, we-went-to-the-thrift-store-on-bag-day piles and book shelves brimming to the breaking point with books waiting to be cracked for the first time or returned to like an old friend who is well loved.

One set of books to which all of us return — including dad and mom — is the Harry Potter series.

To say the Harry Potter books have captured our family’s collective imagination is a vast understatement. The stories capture us, no doubt, but oh, the food.

Those who have read the books know that food is featured prominently; in fact, the dishes in the books are compelling enough that my kids wanted to make many of them immediately after reading. Treacle tart, pumpkin pasties, chocolate frogs, Knickerbocker Glory, rock cakes, Aunt Petunia’s pudding, pies, butter beer, steak and kidney pudding, stews, chocolate eclairs, rice pudding.

My boys were practically slobbering with hunger after they laid the books down. Thankfully, many of the recipes in the books are British classics, and therefore easy to replicate.

Over the years, we’ve narrowed our best-loved dishes from the books down to Treacle Tart and Pumpkin Pasties. Never fear, though, if you’re not a fan of the books, you’ll still adore these recipes. They scream autumn and comfort.

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