Kitchen Cupboard Magic

Kitchen Cupboard Magic
Adapted from Witch in the Kitchen, by Cait Johnson (Inner Traditions,
2001).

We don’t usually think of sea salt and basil and apples as magical,
but our more earth-centered ancestors knew they were.

Here, then, is a list of some traditional herb correspondences;
choose one or more according to your desire. You can add a handful to your
washing-water next time you mop the floor:

Apples: Food of the Goddess, love. Add a few pieces of fresh or dried
apple to your water (but not too much or you’ll end up with sticky
surfaces!)

Basil: Love, fidelity, wealth, protection. A nice all-purpose herb
with a luscious summery scent.

Chamomile: Serenity and calm; purification. Smells like a blend of
apples and new-mown hay. While you’re at it, make yourself a cup of tea to
drink after you’ve finished cleaning; it’s very relaxing.

Cinnamon: Happy home, safety, healing, protection. The primal
home-and-hearth spice. Use pieces of cinnamon stick for your brew
(the powdered kind will turn into a gelatinous glop in the bucket).

Clove: Purification; promotes love and spirituality. Try it with
cinnamon–delicious !

Eucalyptus: Health, protection. Warm and fresh, actually kills germs.

Evergreen: Health, purification, vitality. A few sprigs of pine,
cedar, or juniper growing nearby, a few sprigs placed in boiling water will add
green freshness to your housecleaning brew.

Lavender: Love, friendship, peace, happiness, protection. Such a
sweet, relaxing, and calm-inducing scent–and it’s also an antidepressant.

Lemon peel: Purification. It’s no accident that so many cleaning
products are lemon-scented; lemon smells fresh and uplifting and cleanses
negativity.

Marjoram: Love, protection, antidepressant. You can sprinkle a little
of this dried herb in the corners of every room to promote love and
safety.

Peppermint: Purification, healing, soothing. A wonderfully relaxing
and refreshing scent.

Rosemary: Cleansing and protection; clears negativity; encourages
clear thinking.

Sage: Purification, wisdom. It’s no coincidence that the word
for “wise one” is the same as the herb’s name. A traditional ingredient of many
Native American smudge bundles, a strong sage tea will help clear your home
of negativity.

Sea salt: Traditional for purification and protection. If you’ve been
feeling vulnerable or weird and you only have time to add one
ingredient to your wash-water, this could be it.

Vanilla: love, happiness. A piece of the bean or a few drops of
extract will make your home smell and feel delicious.

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Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Wassail was traditionally a hot drink made of ale, sherry, sugar, and spices, with pieces of toast and roasted apples floating in it. It is the legendary drink served on the Feast of the Three Kings with an oversized, decorated sweet yeast bread. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon toast waes haeil, or “be whole.” On Christmas or Twelfth Night, revelers would carry a large bowl from door to door, asking for it to be filled, a custom known as wassailing. There are now many versions of wassail, and the palate for hot strong beer is limited, so it has evolved into a spiked juice toddy. The antique French Api apple was probably the apple of choice of the day. It is now called a Lady apple; look for it at Christmas, but any apple will do.

Ingredients:

2 quarts unfiltered apple juice or apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

27 whole cloves

15 allspice berries

4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks

5 small firm cooking apples of your choice

1/2 cup water

1 medium orange

2 cups Calvados

Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice, and brown sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Place 12 of the cloves, the allspice berries, and the cinnamon sticks in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to make a bag. Add to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Stud each apple with 3 of the remaining cloves and place in an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Add the water and bake until the apples are just a bit tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

After the juices have stewed for 4 to 5 hours, add the apples to the slow cooker. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel in wide strips, making sure to avoid the white pith, and add the peels to the slow cooker.

Remove the spice bag and stir in the Calvados. Serve hot (leave the slow cooker on to keep the cocktail warm).

The Herbs Of The Sabbats

The Herbs Of The Sabbats

To be used as decorations on the altar, round the circle, in the home.

Samhain:
Chrysanthemum, wormwood, apples, pears, hazel, thistle, pomegranates, all
grains, harvested fruits and nuts, the pumpkin, corn.

Yule:
Holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, pine. Place offerings of
apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons and whole cinnamon sticks on the Yule tree.

Imbolc:
Snowdrop, rowan, the first flowers of the year.

Eostara:
Daffodil, woodruff, violet, gorse, olive, peony, iris, narcissus, all spring
flowers.

Beltane:
Hawthorn, honeysuckle, St. John’s wort, woodruff, all flowers.

Midsummer:
Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern,
elder, wild thyme, daisy, carnation.

Lughnasadh:
All grains, grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crabapples, pears.

Mabon:
Hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, oak sprigs, autumn leaves, wheat stalks, cypress
cones, pine cones, harvest gleanings.