Tea, Toast, and a Spot of Magic

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This past Saturday at 9:30 a.m., I joined the Zeitgeist. That is when the postman put my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in my hot little hands. Ever since, I’ve been hard-pressed to do more than boil water and toast bread in the kitchen because, well, I’ve got 784 pages of pure reading pleasure to attend to.

I was a little late hopping on the Harry Potter bandwagon—it wasn’t until this past January that J.K. Rowling’s books really grabbed me, and the only HP movies I’d seen were on airplanes, but then, was I ever hooked!

For me, the only food to eat when I’m on a reading jag with a British novel, whether it be by Jane Austen or J.K. Rowling, is toast with lots of butter and a pot of strong tea. For breakfast. And lunch. And often dinner. Whole-grain toast, that is (better crunch, better flavor), perfectly softened, room-temperature butter (easier to spread), and English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea. Right now, the combination completes the Harry Potter enchantment. As I sip and nosh and smear pages with butter and crumbs, I’m whisked back to the long summer afternoons I spent reading in my bedroom as a teenager. Toast was one of the few foods I knew how to make back then—and once it’s buttered up and gobbed over with jam, it can be eaten with one hand leaving the other free for a book. Tea made me feel like an English heroine and lasted a lot longer than the one Diet Coke I was allowed each day. Now, I use the magical combination to disapparate (to use a Harry Potterism) from my adult life for hours—or until it’s time to get up, brew another pot, toast a few more slices of bread, and turn to the next chapter.

What do you think of the new Harry Potter? What’s your favorite food to eat when reading a good book? Post your comments here.

Mary Margaret Chappell, food editor