In an Attempt to Emulate the Trio, I Forage My Sparse Pantry for a Week

July is National Baked Bean Month. (I wasn’t able to discover the holiday’s origin, but I imagine it exists because baked beans conjure up images of grilling, barbecuing, and summer heat.)

Accordingly, because most people take some sort of beans when they go camping, I figured WWTD? That is, “What Would the Trio Do?”

In Deathly Hallows, Hermione, Ron, and Harry go on the run after infiltrating the Ministry of Magic. The three heroes struggle to find and make food, which makes sense, considering they’re teenagers who didn’t take any home economics classes.

In celebration, I thought it’d be fun to — somewhat — live like the trio as they fumbled to make something edible out of forest mushrooms and river fish.



The Terms

  • Take a look at the insides of my pantry and fridge.
  • Make five meals with only existing ingredients.
  • Rate the meals (on a scale of 1–5) for difficulty in foraging of ingredients, ease of cooking, and tastiness.


Meal 1

So for my very first meal, I cheated a little bit. My mom had leftovers from dinner the night before, and I got to eat them for lunch the next day. In “Godric’s Hollow,” Hermione bought spaghetti bolognese and tinned pears for her and Harry to eat. Since the leftover chicken was in an aluminum takeout tin, I decided to call a spade a spade and eat it for lunch.


Leftover broasted chicken and some greens from work


  • Difficulty in Foraging of Ingredients: 0
  • Ease of Cooking: 5
  • Tastiness: 4


Meal 2

This was one of those “it’s a stretch” kind of meals. In Chapter 14, “The Thief,” Hermione collects wild mushrooms and stews them until they’re rubbery. She stews them in a billycan, which, turns out, is a lightweight cooking pot that’s supposed to be cooked over a campfire.

I had a DIY inari roll kit in the fridge and some microwaveable rice in the pantry. This was tasty, super easy to make, AND finally made those two ingredients go away. (They’d been living in my pantry and fridge for a few months now.)


Clockwise, from left: pickled asparagus, pickled green beans, inari sushi roll kit, microwaveable rice


  • Difficulty in Foraging of Ingredients: 1
  • Ease of Cooking: 5
  • Tastiness: 3


Meal 3

One of the better meals that the trio eats while running away from the Death Eaters and any Voldemort sympathizers is scrambled eggs on toast (“The Goblin’s Revenge”).

Things I had in the fridge to make a version of this: eggs, pickles, mustard, and onions.

So immediately, I wanted to make Tiffani Thiessen’s pickle potato salad.

Then I realized I have no mayonnaise in the apartment.

Or bread. But I did have potatoes!


Potatoes, eggs, mustard, sweet pickles


  • Difficulty in Foraging of Ingredients: 3
  • Ease of Cooking: 5
  • Tastiness: 3


Meal 4

In “The Goblin’s Revenge,” the boys are aghast at the “lumps of charred gray fish” (Deathly Hallows) that Hermione serves them. Hermione, working in not-ideal circumstances, charred the pike that Harry and Ron caught.

In that vein, I decided to make Korean bean paste stew with onion, potato, carrot, and a tin of canned tuna. This was probably one of the best meals I had during this challenge.


Clockwise, from the top: soft tofu, gochujang paste, fermented bean paste, canned tuna, carrot, potato, onion


  • Difficulty in Foraging of Ingredients: 2
  • Ease of Cooking: 3
  • Tastiness: 5


Meal 5 (Snack)

Okay, so to be completely frank, this last meal isn’t so much a meal as it is a drink.

It’s tea.

Why? Because the only things left in my pantry are cans of tuna, bean-less canned chili, hot sauce, and dried pasta.

But anyway. Hermione makes a lot of tea for the group when they’re on the run (Deathly Hallows, “The Thief” and “The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore”).


Twinings-brand Irish breakfast tea and a cup of milk the down-the-street bakery gave me


  • Difficulty in Foraging of Ingredients: 1
  • Ease of Cooking: 5
  • Tastiness: 5


Final Thoughts

Admittedly, I didn’t adhere to this challenge as closely as I should have. The meals I made deviated wildly from the source material. Why? Because I am supremely lazy and my fridge and pantry have even far less food in them than I’d anticipated.



What kinds of meals would you have made had you taken on this challenge?


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