Summer summer summer!
It’s been a long time since I could wear shorts or eat super-fresh tomatoes. I think it’s going to my head.
There are so many lovely things going on this summer, I hardly know where to begin. There’s Shakespeare in the park and cultural festivals and street food fairs. There’s concerts and hikes and races and parades.
Granted, I won’t be participating in all of the above, but it’s still lovely to know that they’re going on. It creates an atmosphere of community investment.
And speaking of communities … let’s alight briefly on the topic of fandoms.
Fandoms, I’ve found, are like moles: Most people have at least one, even if they’re not always willing to discuss them in public. I technically belong to the fandoms for Sherlock, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Marvel movies, though not to the extent that I’ll create fanart, write fanfic, or debate my theories passionately online. I just love the complexity of the stories, characters, and settings, and I love being one of millions of people who share that love.
I’m a scoche more invested in the Harry Potter fandom. And by “scoche”, I might mean that I own a house scarf and take great pride in having been sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore.
(At this point I’d like to point out that my roommate, a legitimate grown-up with a corporate job and a fiancé, has all four house scarves, owns a wand, has visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and periodically cooks recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. So, clearly I have a ways to go before I am a True Fan.)
One thing I love about the Harry Potter fandom is how dedicated it is. Any other readers might have lost patience with a series that went years between installments. Not so the Potterheads — at the next midnight release, they were there, ready and waiting, wearing robes that got a little shorter every time. There are precious few fictional worlds as magnificently detailed, intensely beloved, and universally appealing as the world of Harry Potter, and that’s something that deserves celebration.
So here’s the announcement: The week of July 20, this blog will be one massive Harry Potter tribute. If you’d like to be a part of this project, please let me know. I’m looking for the following:
- Personal essays describing what Harry Potter has meant to you
- Critical essays on various aspects of Harry Potter (feminism, politics, economics, class dynamics … go for it)
- Themed recipes you’ve developed
- Themed songs you’ve written
- Original crochet patterns for house elf ears
- In short, virtually any creative endeavours inspired by Harry Potter.
If you have something you want me to consider for the final lineup, either send it to me via private message or post a link to it in a comment below. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Let’s make the week of July 20 one big joyous celebration of all things Potter.
And now, to finish off, here’s something completely different.
Rosemary challah rolls
- 1¼ c. warm water
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 packet (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 3/8 c. oil
- 3–4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2–3 c. whole wheat flour
- ~3 T. melted butter
- ~1 T. kosher salt
- ~1 T. rosemary
- Mix warm water, sugar, and yeast in large bowl, and let stand until yeast is dissolved.
- Add eggs, 1½ tsp. salt, and 3/8 c. oil. Stir well.
- Add flour 1 c. at a time, mixing well, until dough is kneadable. Turn out onto floured board and knead until windowpane is achieved. (For more about the windowpane test, check here.)
- Set in oiled bowl and let rise 1–3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Punch down and form into rolls a little larger than golf balls. Place in oiled pan and let rise 1–3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Brush tops of rolls with butter. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt, then brush again with butter.
- Bake at 375°F for 30–40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Brush again with butter, pull apart, and enjoy. Makes about 24 rolls.