Of the three Harry Potter books I’ve read, the Prisoner of Azkaban is my new favorite. There’s so much backstory here and I feel like I’m starting to get a really good grip on all of the characters.
I just wanted to hug Harry so much with his usual summer fiasco with the Dursleys. I was proud that he really, REALLY stood up for himself with Aunt Marge (casting the Trunchbull from Matilda to play her in the movie was GENIUS). Going out on his own took guts and some serious courage and I’m glad that even though he took a somewhat dangerous risk, he finally got a little time to live a normal life at The Leaky Cauldron.
This was my first time really meeting and learning about the Dementors and man are they creepy. I discovered I had never actually seen this HP movie and have only seen the Dementors on the ride at Universal. The effect they had on Harry was quite intense and made me so sad for him and his unhappy beginnings. Reading about the Dementor’s Kiss literally gave me the chills…and made me want a breath mint.
This was also my first time learning about the Marauder’s Map. I literally smiled so big when we discovered just who Moony, Wormtail, Padfood, and Prongs are. I can’t even imagine how happy that made Harry feel to know he was holding on to something his father helped create.
I think the big end scene at the Shrieking Shack was simply fantastic. Reading the interaction between Harry and Sirius was so interesting and by the end, quite touching. It started with Harry having so much anger and hatred towards Sirius. He was clouded by rage just thinking that he was his parent’s best friend and betrayed them. As a parent, I think this affected me much differently than it would’ve if I had read this series as a teen or even while in college. When the truth was told, I was profoundly moved because I could tell that Sirius cares for Harry and loved James and Lily. My heart nearly exploded when he offered for Harry to stay with him – as I know he wants to show him love and protection and to help him get to know his parents a little, even if it’s through the past.
Although I think Lupin was my favorite character from this book (with Sirius coming in close behind him), Hermione was, once again, absolutely amazing. Not only did she give us Crookshanks, but she’s growing so much. She’s speaking up for herself beyond just answering a question correctly and she’s realizing that just because she can do a lot at once, doesn’t necessarily mean she should. When she punched Malfoy in the face I couldn’t help but say HELL YES! I’d also never even heard of the Time Turner so it was so cool to see it in action. I’m truly enjoying watching the characters grow and change throughout the series, and I’m so proud of all of them (well, except Malfoy for obvious reasons).
Homemade Alcoholic Butterbeer Recipe
For this book, I decided to go for a homemade alcoholic butterbeer recipe. The scene in the Three Broomsticks was a bit of a major plot point and while it happened, the trio were drinking butterbeer. I’ve heard that it can have a slightly intoxicating effect, so I imagine if JKR intended for it to have alcohol, it’d be very little. However, the thought of a slightly sweet, creamy beer sounded heavenly, so here’s my take on it.
This is really better with homemade butterscotch. You can buy it in the store and skip most of these steps, but if you want it truly homemade here’s what you need:
- 2 tbsp UNSALTED butter
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Can of cream beer (I went with Wexford Irish Style Cream Ale, but if you find some sort of vanilla ale or something similar I think it would work just the same)
For the butterscotch, melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar on medium-low heat. Let this cook for about 4 minutes without stirring too often. Then whisk in the heavy cream. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the butterscotch into a bowl and mix in the vanilla. Once it’s cooled down you can start to make the butterbeer. Pour the beer into a pot on medium heat. Whisk in 3-4 tbsp. of the butterscotch and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Pour it into a glass, top with a little whipped cream and drizzled butterscotch on top and you have a delicious, slightly alcoholic butterbeer. This is perfect for a chilly night when you want to unwind…maybe even while reading a good book 🙂
What was your favorite part of Prisoner of Azkaban?