In our house, October 31st is pretty much about Reformation Day, because we’re not really into Halloween (or are we?). But this year, since we’ve been so focused on Harry Potter, I wanted something that was both a nod to the series, which celebrates Halloween, as well something that was a reference to our German heritage/Reformation Day. So I came up with what I think was a good compromise…we had a German dinner of brats, sauerkraut, and kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), with a pumpkin-themed desert featuring recipes from our Harry Potter Cookbook (pumpkin fizz and pumpkin pasties).
The rest of the day was spent enjoying the “Reformation Polka,” reading about Martin Luther while hearing Lutheran hymns, listening to the Baby Snooks Halloween special, and watching The Wizard of Oz, Rick Steves’ Luther and the Reformation special, Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, and Halloween episodes of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. It’s not really a traditional Halloween celebration, and not only a Reformation Day observance, but it’s very us!
This may be the most Maggie Smith quote ever!
“On Christmas Eve night, we and our guests gather in the Great Hall for a night of well-mannered frivolity.” Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
I need to make sure we have some well-mannered frivolity on the schedule for Christmas this year!
Bunny received an awesome gift for her birthday in July…two tickets to go to Powell Hall and hear the St. Louis Symphony play the score to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while they showed the movie on a big screen. Today was the day, and she asked me to with her…we had an amazing time!
We got there just after the doors opened, and had a fun time walking around in our Pinup Girl Clothing House Harlequins, people watching, and enjoying an “Enchanted Brew” at the Met Bar:
The ushers at Powell Hall are extremely nice, and we had no trouble finding our seats, which provided us with a great view, and perfect acoustics:
The performance was outstanding. The St. Louis Symphony was so good, and so unobtrusive, that I occasionally forgot we were hearing a live orchestra. The crowd was great, too. It was clear that everybody there was enjoying the show, and it was really fun to get to see a Harry Potter movie with other fans!
This was my first St. Louis Symphony experience, and I really hope it isn’t my last…everything about our time at Powell Hall was so much fun!
Lego has finally added a new line of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sets to their store! We missed out on the Harry Potter sets the last time Lego made them, so we’re very excited about the new wave. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I’ve come up with a special Harry Potter style spell to assist you in your Lego building…Construo LEGOrum!
So far, our family owns three of the sets (Hogwarts Great Hall, Hogwarts Express, and Aragog’s Lair), plus some of the minifigs from the new series. The set we all hope to build someday, however, is the new Hogwarts Castle, which is as beautiful as it is gigantic!
It’s already been two weeks since Harry Potter’s (and J.K. Rowling’s) birthday! To celebrate that occasion, we tried out some more recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. I can’t recommend it enough…we’ve loved the recipes we’ve tried so far, and it’s so much fun to have themed dinners!
This time around, we tried Gillywater (a drink made from honeydew melon and mint), hot rolls, Brussel sprouts with béchamel sauce, Chiddingly hotpot (a fantastic stew with many sour notes from two kinds of vinegar and green olives!), and Sirius Black’s coconut cake for dessert (yes, I got Hogwarts paper plates from Walmart!):
No, not all of these recipes appear in the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling never explains what Gillywater is, so the author of the cookbook just went with something green and refreshing (which it was!). The coconut cake is also a creation from the author’s imagination, based on the fact that Sirius Black was hiding out in a tropical location, so she decided that when he sent Harry a birthday cake, it would have a tropical flavor. I really appreciate not only the known recipes from the books, but also the author’s interpretation of some of the more vague culinary mentions!
We have officially begun the 2018-19 school year!
Our first day of school is pretty much the same from year to year…the children get their new workbooks, and open their schultüte:
We do a little work (today that included religion, foreign language, and reading time):
And then build our first day of school Lego set…this year, it’s the Hogwarts Great Hall!
Tomorrow we’ll get into more serious work, but for today, we mostly had fun!
Our super-fun summer has just sped by, and tomorrow it’s already time for the first day of school! To make our last week of vacation extra special, I prepared everyone’s favorite meal (with some exceptions…for example, no one was allowed to request Thanksgiving dinner!). Our lineup for the past week was:
- Amanda–Reuben casserole
- Bunny–Brazilian black bean stew with Pao de Queijo and Brazilian lemonade
- Moose–French toast with bacon and cranberry-pineapple juice
- Ladybug–Creamy onion soup with Irish soda bread and pumpkin fizz
- Chickadee–Mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon
- Ryan–Cock-a-leekie pie
Tonight we had a “Farewell to Summer” dinner of hot dogs (including Chicago-style and chili dogs) and brats, with a special cream puff dessert:
The school room has been cleaned and organized, and for once, there really haven’t been any significant changes in the way it’s arranged! We’ve either found a really good layout that works for us, or we’ve run out of room to make any changes…or most likely, a combination of the two!
And the First Day of School outfits are ready to go…we’re going with a Harry Potter theme this year!
Tomorrow marks the beginning of our 11th year of homeschooling. As always, I am both excited and terrified, but one thing is for sure…I can’t wait to see what this year brings!