Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dark Mark

Quidditch Round One

1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?
b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill him

2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?
a. It vanishes after a few hours

3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?
c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned

4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff?

5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?
c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to Voldemort

6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?
d. 77

7. Amos Diggory works for?
b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts?
Answer: (One Word)

9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?
a. 30th

10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?
a. Navy Blue

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shhhhh, don't tell!

I just couldn't wait.  April 4th seems like such a looooong way away and my spoilee really needed a little spoiling now - so I sent her a teeny weenie, little itsy bitsy spoil.  She deserves it, darn it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Magic Middles

As promised, here are Beanswallow's Magic Middle Cookies

Makes 26 small cookies or 12 large cookies

Bake 7-9 minutes for small; 9-12 for large

Preheat oven to 375°

Line with parchment or lightly grease 2 baking sheets


1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 c cocoa powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/2 c granular sugar (plus more for dipping)

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c butter, unsalted (or omit salt from recipe)

1/4 c smooth peanut butter

1 t vanilla extract

1 large egg

Magic Middle

3/4 c smooth peanut butter

3/4 c confectioners’ sugar

To make dough:

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  In another medium bowl, beat together the sugars, butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and egg, beat to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  With floured hands, rill the filling into 26 on inch balls (or 12 larger balls).

To shape the cookies:

Break off about 1 Tablespoon of the dough, make an indentation in the center with your finger, and press one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.  Bring the dough up and over the filling, pressing it closed; roll the cookie in the palm of your hand to smooth it out.  repeat with remaining dough and centers.

Dip the top of each cookie in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use it to slightly flatten each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes (or longer for larger cookies), until they are set.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.


Phew!  I hate word jumble tests.  Hope I got this right (got a little help from my housemates).  Am in a MAJOR quandary about my buddy's bag.  And since I can't get help, will have to get it from my muggle friends.  And frankly, I'm not really sure they understand...

Triwizard Tournament

Hungarian Horntail

Madeye Moody

Rita Skeeter (had a great-aunt Skeeter, wonder if we're related?)








Friday, January 18, 2008

Preferences and praddle

What a busy week it has been!  Homework and finishing up a few projects that had been promised prior to the swap have taken every available minute.  Dropped by the Ravenclaw Common Room on Wednesday to check in with the housemates and had a great time.  Much eating, drinking, and swapping of yarns (yuk, yuk).

Just in case my buddy has been wondering, thought I'd say a bit about myself.  Although my physical body has continued to age, my internal age is about 35, I'd say.  I tend toward the unique and generally poo-poo following the crowd or current trends.  Several generations ago my folks raised flax for linen and I am predisposed toward natural fibers be they animal or plant.

And I love containers, vessels of all sorts.  Boxes, bags, bowls - all delight me.  One caution: I am a women of some - ummm - substance.  If a bag is meant to be worn on the body, best the straps be long to accommodate my girth.

I have knitted several pairs of socks, but would not call myself a sock knitter.  I still depend on patterns and written directions.  And that extra voluptuousness make ankle socks a better bet than knee high (although I'd really like to be wearing thigh high stockings!)  My feet spend lots of time in Birkenstocks so I can really show off some socks.

What fun the post swap pics will be!  I'm a bit of an overachiever and hope to make my spoilee fairly swoon with delight.

Monday, January 14, 2008

House quiz

1. Name 4 housemates who have revealed their Patronuses and list the form their Patronuses take.
Minerva Kwikspell - Eagle
Perpetua Pheonixfire - Eagle
Cassandra Hopkirk - Eagle
Patonga Pinkstone - Tiger (finally)

2. Who attended the first meeting of the Ravenclaw Knitting Club?
Elanor Cadogan
Gabriella Clearwater
Fleur Lovegoods
Cassandra Hopkirk
Millicent Brocklehurst
Minerva Kwikspell
Enid Black
Allitrya Spelling
Mafalda Ackerley
Serafina Starfire

3. Name the housemate who likes to knit with peacock feathers.
Fleur Lovegoods

4. Name the Ravenclaw who spent the New Year at Hogwart's Costume Ball.
Emma Diggory

5. Which Ravenclaw got the first howler?
Lavender Ackerly (first to admit it, anyway)

6. Name 5 different types of wood used in the wands of Ravenclaws and name the housemate having that wand.
Minerva Kwikspell - Holly
Fleur Lovegood - Ebony
Gabriella Clearwater - Walnut
Elanor in Ravenclaw - Hawthorn
Perpetua Pheonixfire - Birch

7. Who accidentally ate a toenail flavored Every Flavor Bean?
Serifina Starfire

8. Who cast a noise dampening spell before going to bed and then overslept?
Alright, it was me!

9. Besides the HSKS4 blog, on what blog will you find the Ravenclaw Anthem?
Patonga Pinkstone quotes part of it.  Minerva Kwikspell has the who thing.

10. Which housemate has a Muggle cellular phone?
Victoria Black? Does a cellular broadband card count as a phone?

How do you know what you do not know?

Pixie piss!  It was me who was turned all along!  CLASSES START NOW!  Ahhhhhhh!

Time turning trouble

Well!  Can you believe it is another week before classes?  I was so ready... quills, check; parchment, check; books, check; new wand (that I want to use soooo badly!), check.  And then it is still a week away.  I hope whoever is messing about knows what's what because timeturning can be a dangerous thing.

My friends Patonga and Penelope are both caught in the time disturbance - and I'm sure they are not the only ones!  Is it today or is it next week?  Was it today yesterday?  Oh, my!  It seems like forever that I've been preparing myself for Hogwarts.  In the meantime, I'll join the other girls in the Inner House Knitabout.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Checking in...

Mom and I made several large batches of applebutter today.  Neville and I went to lunch and stopped by Sticks-n-Strings for a look see.  He's starting a lovely Cobblestone jumper and I shopped yarn for a new bag.

PS: The Magic Middles were lovely!  I'll bring a plate to our next chat and share the recipe.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just a few more days of freedom

As Head Mistress pointed out it is only a few more days until classes begin.  A few of us are taking the opportunity to look around the place and have a little fun.  Gabbie Clearwater, Fleur and a few others sat out on the lawn knitting socks for the house elves.  They got a real kick out of running out with pumpkin juice and cookies just to see how they were coming along.  Now that the little devils can wear new clothing they are becoming fashion conscious, of all things.  You should have seen Ottis in pink hair rollers, an old Santa hat and a piece of 1970's green ripple afghan worn as a poncho!

Heading home for the weekend.  The new chef, Havelock, has some idea about cookies with "magic" middles.  We'll see.........

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Still anxiously waiting ... and knitting.

Still waiting for the owls to arrive.  Some lovely needles and a new friend should arrive just about the same time.  

Picked up my wand at Ollivanders, it's an 11 1/2 inch Maple wand with a Kelpie core!  Mr. Ollivander said maple has a very positive energy that frequently used for love spells and divination.  He also said this type of wand is drawn to people who have an appreciation for beautiful things.  The Kelpie is a water demon that frequently takes the shape of a horse.  Evidently, Kelpies have a fondness for Britton and Ireland. 

Must rest now.  Lots of homework already and my foreign exchange student friend from Primary School is coming by tomorrow morning.  I'm meeting her in the Village at Sticks & Strings for some fiber fun!  

Remind me to tell the story of  Analisa, her troll and his big square feet.  But that's for another day....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Late start to the day....

Crap, crap, crap!!!  I overslept this morning and was late for Divination.  The Professor should have seen it coming - a sad, tired, worn out joke I'm sure.  At least I didn't have to look into the blurry eyes of my Housemates who haven't been getting much sleep.  For the first time in a week everyone got some sleep.  The reason I overslept is my alarm glass was on the night table outside of the noise dampening charm I caste before going to bed.

I'm the snorer.  Madam Pomfrey promised to keep it hush, hush and gave me a charm to put under my bed.  Evidently, keeping the sound of my snoring in means keeping the sound of my alarm out.  Tonight I'll try setting the glass at the foot of my bed.

Just in time too - we all need to be on our toes.  Funny happenings around Hogwarts.  Strange weather, owls disturbed, house elves are wringing their hats, and a potentially tragic romance is blooming.

Everyone knows sweet Petunia Acromantula from Hufflepuff has a terrible crush on Augustus Cauldwell.  'Gus is a nice guy but his father is very old school.  The last part-muggle girl he dated disappeared during the winter holiday and never came back to Hogwarts.  Prissy's family was vacationing in the woods at the foot of the hills where the Cauldwell's family castle is located.  There was some talk about the disappearance happening when Mrs. Cauldwell and Gus were visiting relatives.  Anyway, I hope the Hufflepuffs are watching her back....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Weather Most Fowl

It is well past Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere and today it was 70° F!   It is not right and though no one can put a finger on it, all know it does not bode well.  Owls jumped back and forth between perches in the Owlery; a rank odor rolled through the halls downwind of the first year's potions class; and my robes are hot and scratchy.  So I called Mum and she called the Head Mistress and she called the Prefect and I got permission to go into town for the afternoon!

Ran into Bella Shackleford at Madam Malkin's.  I was looking at the Whopperwear temperature-adjusting robe and she was there with her dad.  Bella and I picked out robes.  Then Mr. Shackleford went over to Flourish & Blotts to pick up Bellas books, we darted over to Scribbulus Everchanging Inks to pick up quills, ink and parchment.

We stopped in Beanswallows and had a Broomaide 2000 sports drink.  This weather is so unseasonable... and concerning.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Keeping out the draft

Was late getting back to the the Tower last evening.  My muggle friend Neville has been knitting on a scarf and naturally, when we knit together I use the muggle method.  A lot of witches turn up their nose at this slow and inefficient technique.  Truth be told, I like the feel of wool through my fingers and find it very satisfying.  This morning everyone's abuzz about Minerva's new wooly socks!  Ravenclaw Tower is cold and drafty, so fingerless gloves, slippers and cowls come in quite handy.

Before I came to school, I made these "artist's gloves".  They take a precious little yarn and are perfect to indulge in luxury fibers like the natural silk and cashmere blend I used.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Unexpected visitors

Just wanted to check in.  I was up and in the kitchen this morning by 5:30 am.  Ottis our free house-elf, and I made scones, cookies and started a big pot of soup all by 9:00 o'clock!  Beanswallows has a "no food by magic" policy.  Mom says the magic is the love we stir in by hand.  And folks do line up!  Fortunately, she has no problem with a little dishwashing charm.  My foundling brother, Yohan and his Lady Megalinda came into Hogsmead for a little shopping and sightseeing.  Ottis covered for me while Meg and I ducked out to our local yarn store.  She bought a couple of lovely hanks while I chatted with some of the sit-n-knit regulars.

Mrs Giggory and Grompton stopped by for some mulled cider and cockroach clusters.  That little small fry was so cute with chocolate smeared across his face.  Megalinda keep slipping him sweets every time Mrs. Greggory left the room - he will probably we awake half the night.

Beanswallows is closed on Sunday, so hopefully tomorrow my scarf will grow by a couple of strips.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tired and Happy at Hogwarts

This year is going to be the best! I made my first friend at Hogwart’s.

Last night I meet the coolest girl in the Ravenclaw Common Room. Her name is Lavender and she’s a first year too. It had been a really long day and I was just hanging out by the fireplace doing a little knitting and a lot of fire gazing when she came over to ask about the knitting. Come to find out, she had needles and yarn in her trunk.  Lavender had been knitting in her room but agreed it would be nice to stretch out by the fire with a cup of tea and have some company.

Lavender said she heard from her cousin Petunia that Hagrid saves and spins the hair that comes off that big drooling dog of his, Fluffy. Wonder what he does with the yarn? Who would want a big, scratchy dog hair jumper?

Classes are a LOT harder than I thought. The reading list for this term is OUTRAGEOUS. To keep my grades up there won’t be time to do anything fun. Hey I just got an idea, maybe we could spell our textbooks to read our lessons aloud while we knit!

I’m going home on weekends to help at the Coffeehouse and if we can get permission, Lavender’s going to come over some weekend. She seems a clever sort and has done a fair bit of traveling; I think she might have family that lives really far away.

So with new friends, lots of school work and weekends at home I’ve got to juggle.

Oh,yeah. I passed Helga in the Great Hall and we grumbled at each other. If she leaves me alone, I’ll leave her alone. If I can just get through this first term without getting thrown out...

PS  Her ears look just fine.....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

We all have a past

Frankly, I wasn't sure they were going to accept my application.  I got myself into a little scrape at my last school.  Nothing sinister, mind you, just an imaginative, under-challenged young witch with too much time on her hands.  I say if you act like an ass you shouldn't mind looking like an ass.

And those colorful footprint running up and down the stairways?  I had nothing to do with that.  In fact I noticed that under Cassandra Grumlepant's robes her feet were blue and Ophilia Pussyfoot's were orange!   They spelled their feet!

I've known those two since Primary School and they were always causing trouble and letting other people take the blame.  If it hadn't been for the S.M.A.R.T.S. (Superb Marks And Really Talented Student) designation, I might not have made it into Hogwarts.  

Cassandra and Ophelia saw the whole asinine incident and knew Helga had started it, but those two goodie-two-shoes never said a word!  I got a week's suspension and missed dragon flying camp.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know.  If you've heard rumors about me they were greatly exaggerated; most of that stuff I can explain.  And watch out for those too-good-to-be-true Gryffindors.  What they're really good at is not getting caught!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year and already so much to be thankful for....

A very generous spirit must be a Hufflepuff characteristic because Miss Mandy Finch-Fletchley graciously offered instructions for making the HSKS4 logo a hot link.   And how exciting that so many are joining the ranks!  

Frankly, I'm not sure I can wait.  We will have to come up with a way to keep from getting into mischief.  I threatened Headmistress Wartwobble with sneezing dust in her face powder when the sign-up didn't appear at midnight eastern standard time and that was before the real waiting began!

I've been wanted to try lace and an Invisibility Shawl might be just the thing.  It would keep my hands busy and when the project was done...who knows what mischief I could manage!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Down in southern Hogsmead Village, we have a tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New years day to bring good fortune; some folks say greens on NYD bring prosperity. Last year I made this dish that combined the two and it was delicious.

Hoppin' John with a Twist

2 cups dried black-eyed peas
1 pound ham hocks (optional, to make this vegan I add 1 teaspoon chipotle for the smoke flavor)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups water or chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
10 oz. bag of frozen chopped greens (I like kale, but collards work too)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparing dried beans by sorting through them for mis-formed beans, pebbles & other debris. Place beans in a large soup pot, cover with cold water and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat, leave covered for 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse.

Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, bacon or ham hock, onion, and red pepper. Add water or chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender.

Remove ham hock and cut meat into small pieces. Return meat and bone to pot. Stir in rice and greens, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with your families favorite hot sauce (and maybe some cornbread if they've been good to you!)

Makes 8 servings.