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An Introduction to Kitchen & Cottage Witchery

Witch and witchcraft are buzzwords lately that have us old(er) witches rolling our third eyes. Like anything, learning a new skill takes practice, work, dedication, and humility…. Witchcraft is no different. I have been practicing the “craft” for over a decade and I know that I still have a tremendous amount to learn. That said, if you want to incorporate magick into your daily life through spells, rituals, rites, recipes…etc…I have a few tips. I think that it is important to note that there are many subsets of witchcraft and some folks like to title themselves as one thing in particular. For instance, I consider myself a Kitchen Witch (and Hedgewitch) because my magick is primarily done in my home/hearth/kitchen. I love fermenting things, concocting herbal remedies, and I believe that the foods we eat can heal us and that they’ve got a magick all of their own…but I digress. I look at witchery as a mix of art and science. It’s not some quaint thing to be trivialized in department store gift boxes. Magick …

The Ax You Carry

Early summer in Texas. I travel the winding pathways of this ripening year: through fallen petals, overgrown archways and green grass fields browning under a relentless sun, through leaves on trees that seem to open and fall between one heartbeat and the next. I have hung up my winter hat, cloaked in leathered skin, knees snagged by brambles, boots caked in mud, my steps embarrassingly unsteady, moving slowly through the quiet landscape of an anxious albeit healing mind. It is not a paved trail. The pathway narrows and rises, dips back, veers forward, then back again. My destination lies somewhere ahead: I can smell the fire of a welcoming hearth, feel the pleasing breeze between the humid air, see the golden glow through the glass of my window guiding me toward something stable, something certain. The warm summer nights delivering me strength of mind, body, and spirit. The voice inside tells me I am getting there. I am getting there. I have put this journey on hold for too long, dismissing it with distractions, working …

Time in a Bottle…

It’s hard to pick up writing again. For me, journaling is not an old friend who  (though years may have passed) you can sit and sip coffee with like no time has turned at all. No, writing remembers…. So, I apologize if this is the other side of eloquent. I have been working pretty non-stop for about a year, with but a few breaks in between, and though I am grateful, I can’t help but feel worn. This January we moved to Houston and have just gotten the chance to settle in to our little apartment with our equally little family. I am savoring all of these moments. These moments of early morning coffee, of the light casting an effervescent glow on the hardwood floors, of the smell of mint and rosemary perfuming the kitchen, of dinners eaten around the coffee table (because we haven’t gotten around to finding one for the kitchen just yet), of midday walks, and of late night conversations talking about everything, saying nothing. These moments of just living. And breathing. …

A Simple Silence

How to Be a Poet (to remind myself) BY WENDELL BERRY Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill—more of each than you have—inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity… Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.  

Pickle Soup (Zupa Orgorkowa)

A lovely, light, spring or summer soup. *Note: It is important to use brined cucumbers (sour cucumbers) as opposed to the sweet, vinegar based ones you find in the grocery store. You can easily make your own using this recipe. Ingredients 20 g (3/4 oz) Butter 300 g (10 1/2 oz) Polski Ogorkie (those brined dill cucumbers) thinly sliced, or grated (reserve the pickle juice to add to broth.) 2-3 Potatoes (russets or yukons work great,) peeled, diced 1-2 Carrots, peeled, diced 1 liter (35fl oz/4C) Soup stock (I use chicken stock or bone broth…. but you can easily make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by substituting for veg. & using sunflower oil instead of butter). 60 ml (2fl oz / 1/4 cup) cream (for pouring) Fresh, chopped dill Instructions  Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat, after foam separates add in sliced cucumbers. Reduce heat,  stir and wait until softened. Remove cucumbers and reserve. Add potatoes, carrots, and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook veg until soft. Add pickles and cook for another …

Ogórki Małosolne

These Polish-style, slightly salted cucumbers are a bit different to regular pickled cucumbers, the vinegar based ones you find in stores or make at home. They don’t use vinegar at all and contain less salt in the brine therefore they ferment faster and have to be eaten within weeks. These are also the ones that are used for cucumbers soups (zupa orgorkowa) These pickles do no require vinegar as the preservative method, but instead, use a salted water solution (brine) allowing for a natural fermentation process. I’ve talked to several Polish women, my mother-in-aw included, who claim these are much healthier than vinegar based pickled cucumbers (though I’m not a nutritionist, so I can make no such claims.) These salted cucumbers are a traditional Polish dish but other countries have similar marinated cucumbers recipes: Danish syltede agurker, Estonian soolakurgid or German salz-dill Gurken just to mention few. INGREDIENTS – Garden cucumbers / pickling cucumbers – About 4 liters of boiled water – One TB Kosher salt (per jar you want to fill) I usually do …

Rainy Day Recipes: Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a savory eggplant dip that is as simple to make as it is delicious to eat. If you’re a fan of hummus I urge you to give this dish a try! Ingredients  1 large eggplant  (I make large portions of this dip to eat throughout the week, feel free to double or triple the recipe if you so wish!) 3 gloves of garlic 2-3 TB of tahini (Make your own, it’s super simple!) Sea sale/ Kosher salt (TT) Lemon juice (TT) Instructions  Cut eggplant in half and score. Don’t waste your time dicing the eggplant as it will be much easier to remove the skin if the eggplant is left in bigger pieces. Salt and lay skin side down on sheet tray. Drizzle a oil over eggplant (I generally put the garlic on the sheet tray along with the eggplant and a couple of Serrano peppers… the peppers aren’t necessary, I just like the kick) Let the eggplant roast in the oven (350 degrees) until soft. Take sheet tray out of the …

Rainy Day Recipes: Kimchi

Ingredients VEG. 1 Napa cabbage, around 1000g (2.2lbs) 2 bunches of green onions, washed with bulb removed 1/4 medium size daikon, julienned (or whatever is your preference) 2 medium carrots, julienned (or whatev.) 6 garlic cloves, peeled 1 meduim piece of ginger, peeled 2 aisian pears, peeled OTHER 1/3 cup kosher salt 4 tb Korean chili powder (ground chili flakes or sambal can also work) 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1-2 tablespoon Korean salted shrimp (you can also buy shrimp in chili flakes for an extra kick) 1 cup water 1-1.5 tablespoons sugar Instructions Clean cabbage and remove any browned leaves and quarter it. From here you can cut it into strips or larger pieces. Salt the pieces of cabbage evenly, mixing with your hands so that all pieces are lightly coated with salt. Let this sit overnight (generally for eight hours). You’ll wake up to find the leaves softened and wilted. Now rinse the cabbage (I like filling up my sink and soaking it) and squeeze out the excess water (you don’t want super salty …

Drishti

I’ve been absent from writing for quite a while now and each one of my posts seems to read more like an accuse or apology…. though I’m not sure exactly to whom, maybe myself, maybe you. I’ve finally finished with my undergraduate degree, I never actually thought it would take me this long. When I was younger life to me was just linear and (I imagined) if I ever came to a roadblock life would just halt… there would be no option to tread a different path. It still scares me that we only have one life. There’s too much to do, too many things to see, and too many types of people to be and meet. It’s always been frightening to me to just “pick one” of anything, maybe that’s why I am so utterly eclectic…. I’ve been so many different things (job-wise) , lived so many different places, and had so many different influences in this little life of mine. Now I’m looking for jobs in my area of study and it seems so …