What is a kitchen witch? There are a variety of answers to that, but the most common is that a kitchen witch is someone who uses the kitchen and cooking as their primary focus of magic.
Many also set up a small altar in the kitchen. (When I find the image I want, I will have one to Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth, on, over, or near the stove, which is the modern-day equivalent of the hearth.)
I don’t know if I am strictly a kitchen witch, but I do use kitchen magic a great deal: from my own “traditional” meals at Sabbats to daily cooking to making something special.
And, as with many things on my path, I got my start long before I had heard of any form of Paganism, and back when “magic” was just something in fairy tales and fantasy novels.
I was in high school, and was tasked with making a meatloaf for supper. Normally I didn’t mind cooking, but for some reason lost in the halls of time I really didn’t want to do it that night and was feeling somewhat resentful.
I asked my (paternal) grandfather why his meatloaf always tasted better than mine: after all, he was the one that I had learned from.
He said he didn’t know, but he would watch me make it and see what I was doing that was different than the way he did it.
Ground beef in a bowl, salt and pepper added, eggs added, I started tearing bread into chunks and dropping them into the bowl, all under his watchful eye.
“It’s the way you’re tearing the bread,” he said, reaching out and taking it from me. Strong gentle fingers broke the bread into pieces. “You have to do it with love.”
And in those words is the key to kitchen magic – to any magic, really: intent.
Many years later those words still guide me in my cooking and I am aware of when I am not cooking in a spirit of love and nourishment, but doing it with an attitude of resentment.
I try to remain focused when cooking. (It’s not always possible, but I try.)
I stir widdershins to banish illness if cooking something when I’m sick (or for someone else who is sick), and deosil to draw in health and prosperity.
Of course, the direction you move the spoon isn’t all there is to it: there is also the focus, intent, and visualization – illness leaving, or abundance and health coming in – imbuing the food with magic.
And, truly, it is the intent that makes the magic…
“You have to do it with love.”