As we near Samhain, I wanted to share a few images I’ve found about the upcoming holiday. They give great info about what it means, which deities it represents, so on and so forth. As this day grows closer, be mindful of your actions, intentions and words. The veil is thinning and our ancestors, both good and evil, are starting to walk among us. Blessed be brothers and sisters!
Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a fun and interesting week in my little corner of the world. I started this blog and Twitter account and the welcome I’ve received has been amazing.
As a solitary witch who is still mostly in the broom closet, I only realized my path a year ago after a bit of soul searching. I never even heard the term “kitchen witch” until this past summer, but I immediately knew it was what I am. All my life I’ve been crafting recipes that have done what I needed. If I was sick, I could heal myself seemingly overnight regardless of the illness if I whipped up a pot of soup or pasta with lots of fresh garlic. Holidays are stressful for everyone but place a dessert I made or have a cup of coffee I brewed with a little sprinkle of salt in the pot and everyone quit squabbling for a bit. I’ve been making magic in the kitchen all my life and never knew it. Household chores never bothered me as I see them as a way to make the house and its inhabitants happy and relaxed. Now that I practice witchcraft, I find more peace in my every day life. When there seems to be negativity between roommates, a simple prayer, a line of black salt at the door and home cooked meal changes everyone’s attitudes, even the animals’.
I don’t follow Wicca, simply because I have been creating my own path. I mostly follow their creed and am one who will do anything before considering harming another. However, I pray to many different gods and goddesses, not just the Lord and Lady. Outside of the internet, I refer to give sabbats by their common names, Samhain is Halloween, Yule the winter solstice, so on and so forth as a way to keep my practices closeted but still let people know I’m celebrating something and that day is important to me. I do not have an alter and feel I do not need one. My book of shadows looks more like a recipe book dotted with remedies and gardening tips than one of spells and rituals. In fact, when I am asked for a spell, ritual or recipe to make something like black salt, I don’t offer them up, mostly because I don’t have anything set in stone. Every batch of any charm I make is different because my mood, intent and desired outcome are different. I can’t tell you that this exact concoction will work for you because I do not know you, your intent or even your skill level. I only know mine.
While I sometimes wish I had a local witch I could talk to, I know a coven is not for me. Too many energies are overwhelming at times and the idea of passing a series of tests to be accepted reminds me too much of my childhood spent in a strict Christian household. In fact, if my father found out about my path, he would have a heart attack then would immediately think I’ve been possessed by the devil. The first time I had a card reading done, he started telling me the devil speaks to card readers to give them their answers. I’m sad that he feels that way, but it’s his right and it’s my right to pray he will one day accept me when I feel the time is right to tell him.
I am at least welcomed as myself online. Online, I can talk with other witches, pagans and wiccans about my practices and get guidance when I need it or offer suggestions to those in need. I may be a solitary but now I have people to connect with, to grow with. When energies get too intense or negative (as is bound to happen online where people feel they can say anything, no matter how hurtful or damaging it can be), I can leave, go back to being just me, my familiar who loves being with me in the kitchen when she isn’t chasing the dogs around or staring at birds, and my craft.
I hope everyone is doing well on this sunny, warm Friday and I hope you all continue to enjoy my recipes and general information. Blessed be brothers and sisters!
This post comes from Sacred Mists An Online Wiccan College on Facebook. Please be sure to check them out and give them a like!
Samhain Soul Cakes
Soul cakes are traditionally made on Samhain (two days before All Soul’s Day). These are mildly sweet, with hint of spice and topped with currants in the shape of a cross.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup dried cranberries or currants
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (or milk alternative)
Pre-heat oven to 375F.
Make sure that butter is in room temperature. Cut butter into cubes so that it will be easy to work with. Using a hand or a stand mixer, cream the butter in large bowl until fluffy.
Add sugar and mix until blended.
Add in egg yolks and beat until incorporated.
Sift the flour into another bowl with the pumpkin pie spice and then add about 1/2 cup at a time to the wet mixture. Beat well after each addition until fully blended.
Add milk a bit at a time to make a soft dough.
Roll the dough out and cut out little cakes with a biscuit cutter. Set them on baking sheet. You can space them closely, they do not spread.
Mark each cake with a cross and decorate the marks with dried cranberries or currants.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack and the store in an airtight tin for up to 5 days
A few months ago I realized that wonderful drink from the gods was not so wonderful on my sensitive system. Yes, my beloved coffee was causing more pain than joy so I sought out a replacement. Since caffeine* was not an issue, I looked into roasted cacao nibs. Cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa from which we get chocolate. I had a bag of raw nibs and after a quick look online, I found a recipe that lead to me ditching coffee for good. Now I currently do not have a french press and I’m told that it’s the “only way” to make this brew. Screw that. I use my regular old coffee pot and it does the trick. I will warn you though, if you use a reusable filter, clean it while it’s hot. Once the ground cacao cools, it’s a bitch to get off your filter!
Roasted Cacao Nibs
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread an even layer of raw cacao nibs on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (FYI, your kitchen will smell like chocolate cake. If you live with others, you may be forced to bake them a cake later as an apology for “tricking them into thinking you were baking a cake.” Or maybe that’s just my family…) Once they are done, cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Grind your nibs in a coffee grinder. Pulse the grinder as the heat will melt down the nibs. Either brew for 10 minutes in a french press, or if you are like me, add to the coffee pot (select a strong brew setting if possible) and brew. I tend to use 4 oz of water to 2 tablespoons of ground nibs but I’ve made up to 8 oz with it. It’s all personal preference. After that, fix it just like you would a cup of java the same size. You can add flavored syrups but I find flavored creamers too overpowering in this (maybe pressed nibs will work better for them, but I honestly don’t know). Sip & enjoy!
*Now some sites and companies claim that cacao is caffeine free however, I have also read that there is caffeine in them. If you are sensitive to caffeine, don’t drink this past 2 PM. For me, I can down a cup and go right to bed but I could do that with coffee as well.
Until next time, blessed be!