Bkwyrm reviews A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook by Patricia Telexco from the Bkwyrm archives.
I ran across this book a few years ago, picked it up, and never really looked at it. I was rather surprised to find that this is, in addition to being a really interesting read, a great cookbook. The introduction explains that the home, and specifically the hearthside (kitchen), are a creative haven for the Pagan or Wiccan spiritual path. Ms. Telesco’s intention is to provide home-and-hearth Pagans with something they can really use – a magical cookbook. There are three sections to this book. The first is “The Magical Pantry Companion”, which explains the whys and wherefores of “culinary wizardry”. The second section, and most substantive, is the recipes. You’ll find everything you could possibly imagine in this section. Appetizers, breads, drinks, desserts, meat, poultry, seafood, pasta, salads, veggies, and tofu all have a place in the magical kitchen. The recipes provide a brief bit of information on where the particular foodstuff or recipe originated, and certain symbolisms of the items used in the ingredients. The directions are clear and straightforward, as any cookbook would be. After the instructions, though, the author provides the magical associations for the finished dish, as well as the celebrations that dish is most likely to be served at. There are some really interesting recipes in here, that call for some slightly unusual ingredients. No, not bat toes or lizards eyes, but things like marigolds and rose petals. Ms. Telesco tells us in the introduction that she feels edible flowers can be an important part of a magical meal. The final section of the book is eight chapters containing various information a kitchen witch might need. There is a table of Kitchen Gods, Goddesses, and Representations, information on what was considered food for the gods, the magical correlation of ingredients, a small guide to preparing for celebrations, a brief essay on using kitchen tools as magical implements, a table of some common associations, a pantry resource listing (in case you can’t get a certain ingredient), and the usual measures, conversions, and substitutions you’ll find in any cookbook. There is a rather impressive bibliography containing books on food, on magic, on the magical aspects of food, etc. Finally, an index provides easy access to all the information and recipes in the book. This is an excellent book for those just trying their hand at being a “kitchen witch”, but also might be of interest to those who have already established their own magical spaces in the kitchen. I’ve tried a few of the recipes in this book myself, and was pleasantly surprised at how nicely everything turned out. An interesting read, but a more useful tool to have in your kitchen.