What’s cooking in the Castle?
Written by Taylor Grey
Sometimes what we as students have is taken for granted – that our clothes will be clean, our meals will show up on the Great Hall tables, as well as the snacks that have begun to appear in the common rooms. We don’t realize that sometimes the job of the house-elf is thankless. The other day between classes I took a wrong turn and ended up by an area that had the most wonderful smells from behind a secret door. (I won’t tell you where, or how, you just have to find the secret on your own!!)
It took a moment and much giggling before the door opened and I found myself on a narrow balcony looking down upon a most curious creature: Abner the house-elf, standing behind huge wheels of cheese and large fluffy loaves of bread. Abner stands about 2 feet tall and is rather cute (as house-elves go). He glanced up at me as he prepared dinner and waved me down to where he was.
Abner the House Elf: “Sigh… Always with tasks… Cook this they say, cook that. Just once it would be nice for someone to cook for me. Then the little brats complain! Oh I don’t like custard pie! Blasphemous little swine. You’ll eat it and like it, that’s what I should say.” I could see the twinkle in his eyes as he said it. I could only nod and tell him I understood, and that I was sorry that no one told him every day, “Thank you for what you are doing.”
He bade me to sit on a stool and, as he created the wonderful meals for us, he spoke of the Muggle way of creating food and offered to share several recipes with me if I would pass them on to the other students. (Warning me to have a bezoar stone handy should I try to do some Muggle cooking on my own…)
In one breath, Abner kindly asked me not to make too much fuss about the grumblings he’d said before and mentioning that house-elves seek no repayment for what they do for us. He then mumbled, “But a thanks once in awhile would be nice.”
So, this is my formal thank you to all of the house-elves who help to make Hogwarts such a wonderful place to be. Should you find yourself on a quest that leads you down to the kitchen, and you happen to meet Abner, please say hello and thank you. While he is just an elf, sometimes the simplest of words such as these make all the difference in the world.
Without further ado, here are Abner’s recipes for fresh butter, homemade ice cream, and blueberry cobbler. (No Bezoar needed!)
Easy to do, needed for other recipes
(makes 8 oz)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 quart jar with fitted lid
large bowl with ice water
Sea salt to taste
- Pour whipping cream into jar.
- Give it to someone with a lot of energy to shake.
- The heavy whipping cream in short time will form into a solid mass (also known as clotted cream that is used on scones).
- Continue to shake jar until the butter milk separates from the butter. Pour buttermilk into container and save (or drink). Place butter into ice water and work with fingers to remove all pockets of liquid.
- Pat the butter dry with a paper towel and work in the sea salt (just a little or leave unsalted).
- Separate into halves and wrap each in parchment paper.
- Will keep for a week if refrigerated.
Easy to Make Ice Cream
2 cups (16 oz) heavy whipping cream
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (about 14 oz)
A shot of vanilla (to taste, about 2 teaspoons). You may also add some coffee but just a little if you want a different flavor
- Combine heavy whipping cream, condensed milk, and vanilla into mixing bowl. Begin mixing on a very low speed for several minutes until just before the mixture forms soft peaks. Hint: If it begins to separate you will be making butter.
- Pour into a Tupperware or plastic storage container and freeze – 3 hours for soft serve, 6 hours for hard pack. You may add peaches, cherries, caramel, or cookies into this mix.
13”x9” glass cake pan
non-stick cooking spray
1 pint fresh/frozen blueberries
1 can blueberry pie filling
2 mixes of blueberry muffin mix
1/2 cup frozen butter (shaved)
- Spray cake pan and place the fresh blueberries and pie filling in the bottom.
- Open both boxes of muffin mix and sprinkle the dry mix over the blueberries
- Place the shaved butter over the surface of the dry mix (you can use more if you would like)
- Bake at 350 for about 40- 45 min until golden brown and bubbling
- Now when I pulled it out of the oven it was still in a liquid state. if you have made the ice cream and have it ready, place the ice cream in a bowl and scoop out a corner of this delight.
- If you are patient enough to let it cool, it will firm up like a blueberry pie. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, and enjoy!