Like I said in my last review, autumn is here. The witchy vibes are closing in and all I wanted to do is stir a cauldron and brew a potion — I mean soup — all day. Enter Kitchen Witchery.
In “Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients,” Laurel Woodward weaves culinary expertise with magical practices. At its core, the book is a celebration of food, respect for the cook in the family, and food’s innate power to nourish and assist us in our witchy endeavors.
Woodward starts by laying down the basics of witchcraft, diving into the essence of setting intentions, meditation techniques, and timing the magick for optimal results. For readers who are new to the craft, this book will provide an easy-to-understand introduction.
The heart of the book is its expansive exploration of kitchen ingredients. Woodward doesn’t just offer recipes; she delves deep into the history and uses of ingredients like wheats, flours, nuts, oils, vinegars, sweeteners, and more. This section draws connections between the mundane and the magical, between what’s in our pantry and its uses in witchcraft.
The recipes are where the book truly shines. From the delectable Pumpkin Pancakes and gluten-free biscuits to the mouth-watering walnut and raspberry cookies and the divine chocolate zucchini loaf, there’s something for every palate and purpose. Spells such as the “Sweet Potato Love Me Spell” and “Sprouting Intention Spell” not only offer tantalizing treats but also guide the reader in the incorporation of magic into everyday cooking. The “Soul Cakes” is a personal favorite, carrying both historical significance and modern-day charm.
However, the book is not without its flaws. A particular section on glyphosate turns into a lengthy rant, which feels slightly out of place. While Woodward’s intentions in highlighting the importance of ingredient quality are commendable, her citation of a study linking glyphosate to autism is misleading. (Researchers and public health officials are skeptical of this claim due to lack of consistency in studies, confounding factors, and lack of biological plausibility.) Such a misrepresentation can detract from the credibility of the book, especially for discerning readers.
Despite this, “Kitchen Witchery” is a testament to the magic that resides in the mundane — our kitchens. Whether you’re seeking spells for friendship, love, or landing that dream job, or simply want to understand the rich history of the ingredients you use daily, this book has something for you.