Which has been adapted into a full-contact, non-flying, fo'-realz sport, by the way... it looks like fun, but also potentially very painful. Here's the Complete Muggle's Guide, if you want further information.
First, however: This past week's discussion contained a variety of wonders, from Laura sorting Lady Gaga songs into various Houses, to Masha and Seth questioning why the Hufflepuff mascot isn't a goat, to Christie pointing out another aspect of House symbolism:
This brings to the forefront of my mind the idea that the houses of Hogwarts are actually four different aspects of one person. Though more developed in some than in others, most characters—and all real people—have to some extend the daring of Gryffindor, the loyalty of Hufflepuff, the cleverness of Ravenclaw, and the potential for power that is in Slytherin. It would do very well to explain the stereotyping of the houses because each house is not a complete personality, but an aspect of one boiled down to its essence (oooh, alchemy terminology—totally unintentional!)Alchemy discussions coming very soon, by the way.
Masha also took on John Granger's distinction between invocational versus incantational magic:
Granger then goes on to liken Rowling’s magic to that of Lewis and Tolkien. There are similarities, for certain, but he chooses a strange example in Caspian’s invocation of aid (it’s a musical invocation, which is Granger’s link to his approved incantational magic - but it’s hard to avoid the obvious call to help from beyond)... Magic is not something easily divided - incantations often invoke, invocations often implore, and God-magic can include both - as the Liturgy does, as Tirian’s call or Frodo’s “A Elbereth Gilthoniel” do; as forbidden magic does (and all magic apart from God is forbidden, be it chanting spells or calling up ghosts).While pointing out that there's no demonism in Harry Potter is helpful on occasion in arguing in favor of Christians reading the books, I agree with Masha entirely in that post. Rowling's magic is about as non-pagan as it can be without changing the words witchcraft and wizardry, but the words are there and are not so easily worked around. I don't, however, think the Potter books lead a lot of people into witchcraft. I think they lead a lot of people to be either a) more fervent Christians or b) more fervent social liberals... or, if nothing else, c) more fervent internet junkies... and potential readers can interpret the dangers there at will.
Also, for your vicarious cooking pleasure, I made pumpkin pasties, using this fresh pumpkin filling recipe (which made WAY too much pumpkin filling for the amount of pie crust I made; next time, I'll cut it in half):
I used frozen pumpkin puree, actually, which I ought to have strained, and substituted heavy cream for the evaporated milk. The flavoring turned out pretty superb; I just ended up with three times what I needed.
For crust, I made a recipe for an eight-inch double crust pie.
Pie pastry gets tougher the more it's worked, so I don't recommend rolling the scraps more than twice. Also, the coffee mug as template meant making tiny little pasties with no more than two teaspoons of filling apiece. They were good, but a higher ratio of filling to pastry would have made them more flavorful. No pun intended.
I melted butter for the tops and baked them on wax paper. The latter proved important; I doubt they'd ever have come off even a greased baking sheet in one piece.
They turned out really cute, however—and rather tasty:
And now, for next week's discussion!
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Read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapters 8-10
Here's another recipe I'm inclined to try: steak and kidney pie. That's Jamie Oliver's dad's recipe, by the way, so I presume it's awesome, regardless of what kidney tastes like. (I have no idea, never having tried it.) The difficulty is that I'm at a loss where to get kidney in America, or in Bellingham, anyway, and although my husband is unbelievably patient with my attempts at making British food, I do not think he'll appreciate it if I substitute liver.
Potential Discussion Points:
|Quidditch Rivals by Linnpuzzle|
Some perspective: According to Washington state motor vehicle laws, children are required to be in car seats or some other form of child restraint system until they're eight years old or 4'9" tall (an impressive hardship for enthusiastic young Catholic families, who may easily have four or five children under eight). Children are required to ride in back seats "when practical" until age 13. So, an eleven-year-old kid just three years out of booster seats in Washington state cars could be riding a flying broom skyward with twenty of his fellows at Hogwarts. A twelve-year-old, still forced to ride in the back seat of a minivan out here, could there be legally chased around in the air by Bludgers.
Believe me, I understand the desire and the reasons for child safety laws. But what kid wouldn't rather be at Hogwarts?
|Warner Bros. Source: "Severus Snape: One Teacher's Hero"|
by Mary Beth Ellis
I suspect both these sorts of things are more common among public and private school systems than a demure little homeschooler like myself could ever imagine. But just because something's common doesn't mean it's good, and the whole of Dumbledore's spoilerific history is more comprehensible to me than the lone fact of his keeping Snape on staff—even though I know exactly why he did it.
3. Harry's big childhood weakness is his flat-out hatred toward Malfoy and the Dursleys, an actual pleasure in watching them suffer harm. Considering how much harm he suffers at their hands, and how little moral direction he's ever had, this is not surprising. It's also—from the Catholic point of view, at least—not a good thing; it's serious sin, in fact. No part of Harry's story is more uncomfortable for me to read than his moments of glee over his enemies' pain.
I'd like to talk about future resolutions of this problem, but that would mean spoilers all over the place.
4. "There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other..." I always thought this statement was rather profound. Perhaps anything's possible, but risking life and limb together and working for each other's safety is one of the surest ways of creating camaraderie. I used to work in outdoor adventure education, and this concept was very familiar among that crowd—and I still have warm feelings toward long-out-of-touch friends who pulled me out of a river or talked me down a nervewracking rappel.
5. Quidditch: way cooler than football of either the American or The-Rest-Of-The-World varieties. I'm not sure if there's anything in particular anyone wants to discuss about it, and I'm afraid enough of heights and uncoordinated enough with balls that I doubt I'd be good at it, but still. It sounds like so much fun.
|Tutshill Tornadoes Quidditch Player by KlaasVDV|
Happy reading and writing!