cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Harry

Disclaimer: I am quite the unashamed Harry Potter fan; movies, books, etc. It holds no taboo for me, no embarrassment. I join the millions of others out there whose love affairs with Harry and wizards will last a lifetime. Therefore I wish to share with you his 27th birthday party hosted by a few of my school mates at their home in Bellevue.

It is quite easy to celebrate the birthday of a fictional character, particularly one so famous. His birthday is numerously mentioned by the author to be on the 31st of July, as well as his birth year to be 1980. I do beleive this year was the third annual celebration of Harry's birthday at the Gockel's place where new guests are sorted upon entry into the category 4 houses of Hogwarts. Returning guests arrive already wearing their house colors of either Gryffindor red, Hufflepuff yellow, Ravenclaw blue,or Slytherin green. The sorting ceremony unscientifically depends on a random draw from a palm pilot based on hair and eye color. I was placed in the Hufflepuff house. Oh well, yellow is my color. The scene was quite endearing: children and adults alike gathered to bellow with no shame a rousing tribute of "Happy Birthday" to the Hero. There were a few bits of party food, a store bought cake, and a bowl of fruit punch spouting fumes of the ever-magical dry ice. A bowl of Berty Botts every flavor beans were passed amongst the guests daring the brave to nibble a pickle or vomit flavored jelly bean. Personally I would have preferred a licorice wand or chocolate jumping frog alongside a pint of butterbeer. Party food is an art, and I will be Prefect on the planning committee for that one next year. No harm though! For we arrived with cake in tow, a tribute not only to the art of cake sculpting, but to Harry's magical world as well.

Cake is my confectionery love, unfortunately I made this one inedible for myself. Inconsequential, for it's consumers were enchanted by it's appearance as well as taste which is better than a self-indulging bite in any chef's view. Le gateau was a two man job: I baked and frosted the beauty, while my marzipan-sculpting sister, Ryan, yet again created enchanting figures to adorn the top in tribute to the fallen character Dobby the house elf. Aside from a Dobby figure, she sculpted and painted clothing items to be strewn about the elf's feet as well. The actual cake was a two layer chocolate cinnamon rum cake with a hazelnut frosting. The star ingredient: Nutella. Nutella is quite a sticky agent for a buttercream frosting; it is aggravatingly runny when spreadable, but thick as mud in less than 2 minutes time. A word of caution to the torpid cake frosters out there. Either way Dobby's selfless sacrifice in book 7 was commemorated in marzipan, which I proceeded to consume upon the cutting of the cake.

Let us not forget Harry's birthday drink, which is nearly as important as the cake. To show him a bit of hometown love we presented him a simple table white from the Bainbridge Island Vineyards. Ferryboat White, for none aside from the inhabitants of Kitsap County ride the ferry to and from Seattle. An irksome detail often misrepresented by television and entertainment (such as ABC's Grey's Anatomy) in which Seattle residents are shown commuting to Seattle via ferry. Please.

(Hufflepuff house photo, me in the plaid. We are acting 'hungry')

Success in the cake and success in Harry's celebration. My philosophy, as many know, is any excuse for a cake. Harry's 27th, however, did not merit an excuse for it was a necessity. Happy Birthday Harry, and many happy returns.

A bientรดt

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