I was introduced to Harry Potter over a decade ago by a friend (Thanks Jenn.) and immediately fell in love with the fantastical world portrayed in these books. Since Jason is a longtime fan too we decided that before the final half of the last movie comes out we should prepare for its theatrical majesty by holding a Harry Potter party: a celebration involving watching the first half of The Deathly Hollows, eating Hogwarts style cuisine, and testing everyone’s Potter knowledge with a little house vs. house trivia contest.
As with all Sabin parties, I wasn’t willing to just let this be a mediocre get-together; I wanted it to be a party of Potter proportions! With that goal in mind Jason and I spent a large chunk of time making decorations and preparing food. We made mandrakes out of celery root and extendable ears and Galleons out of Sculpey. We further spruced up the décor with some homemade potions jars and few random items we dug out of our massive Halloween supply. Most impressive where the half dozen wands we designed using wooden dowels, clay, hot glue, and paint; they looked pretty convincing.
Our handmade sticks may have been perfect for a little flicking and swishing practice but man cannot live on wands alone. Yes, food would be needed to fill our bellies with magical fullness. However, Jason and I had a hard time deciding what victuals would be the most Potterish. Finally, after reviewing the books, we determined that students at Hogwarts eat an incredible amount of sugar in the form of pastries and candy so we agreed to make those the staples of the evening. We made chocolate caramel frogs and white mice candy and bought lemon drops, old-fashioned suckers, every flavor jelly beans, tarts, éclairs, and chocolate mousse cups. And, to keep everyone from going into a diabetic coma, we supplied a large tray of sandwiches. I know sandwiches aren’t exactly prolific at Hogwarts but cold meat pies wouldn’t have been very appetizing.
Nothing washes down sugar quite as nicely as more sugar. This is why we provided pumpkin juice, which was really a pumpkin shake, and butterbeer as thirst quenchers. Converting standard soda into butterbeer was tricky. We took root beer and cream soda bottles, removed all their labeling, and replaced it with our own. It took some time but it worked splendidly.
When the scene was set and the gorging underway it was time to focus on the night’s entertainment. We held this party in the theater room at Noah’s so we could comfortably view The Deathly Hollows from plush recliners. Oh yeah! After the show we sorted everyone into houses for a Potter trivia competition. The contest was intense but in the end Slytherin slid their way to victory.
Creating the magic of Hogwarts was time-consuming and somewhat of an inspirational challenge but it was also fun. We hope the spell we cast adequately paid homage to the books we love.