Magic happens for sure in all aspects of life if only you believe in the spirit of the razzle and the dazzle holding the sparks to spell the charms of luck. And for sure, magic happens in homes as well. That entity of love, belonginess and laughter where you experience such emotions that have you feeling grateful and great, happy and humbled, cosy and comfortable, pretty and peaceful all at once is indeed the abode for the magic wand to unleash its potential for the happenings of the surreal to unfold. Mesmerising hence in the boundless expanse of its expectation in the unexpected, this play of what sparks all excitement and curiosity and anticipation in each one of us is the lure of the enchanted that all things bestowed with life is magically granted access to.
But the magic that has managed to hold us in awe this time around is a very peculiar, but nevertheless potent spell of what innately drives us. We speak of the magic that the drooling mention of food already brings one to dwell at, but it is not the fare of the culinary per se that we choose to delve in at this point in time. There sure is no undoing the sprinkles of magic that is what makes ordinary dishes come across as delicious and everyday preparations span out as feasts worthy of placing at the banquet table. But it also is the premises from which such lip smacking stuff of gastronomic pleasure makes their way out of, dripping in the treacle of decadence, aromatic in the wafting irresistibility of their aroma, arousing hunger at the slightest sight of their indulgence, establishing therefore the authority of the kitchen as the numero uno realm where magic plays out in most potency. And keeping this magic brewing in the many pots and pans, along the secret line of ingredients carefully stashed away in cabinets and drawers, and permeating of course the touch of those who concoct up stews of magic and bubbling cauldrons of soups or deliver pretty tutti frutti bakes in all their conjuring charm of what appears as tiny hued trinkets and so on and so forth in all love and pride and happiness they guard with all their lives, is a certain peculiar existence as well, native to a certain few traditions but reminiscent indeed of all essence of the magical servings of what life in and beyond the kitchen boils down to in universality.
If there is magic happening in the kitchen at all times, there sure should be an agent of magic making all this potpourrific beauty possible in such surreal accounts of occurrence. And agent indeed this one is, forever associated with magic and sorcery and the like, often in unimpressive characteristics and less in the favourable, but ditching all attributes of the bads when it comes to asserting the magic cooking in every kitchen in the world. You may not be really well acquainted with her, or might even be unwilling to accept her existence, nay her reign as the supreme entity dawning the magic of taste upon all food of immense deliciousness, but she meanders there for sure, perhaps along the narrow alley of the chimney in your modern day modular kitchen or lingers there in all good natured curiosity above the smoky hearth of your smoky cookhouse.
So what is this exotic sounding, eccentric almost ‘personality’ so interested in the magical most expanse of your house that has raked up our curiosity and by that virtue managed to rattle also your interest in such rather unconventional mannerism of her bearing? She is a witch, the kitchen witch of course, making her broombuckling journey all the way from afar Scandinavia which explains perhaps the notion of magic attached to this particular folkloric presence. Known also as a cottage witch, the belief of her presence might be metaphorical but no less physical is the awareness of her being that manifests as a poppet very much resembling the stereotypical old lady that all witches are purported to be. Emerging probably also from Germany, but inhabiting indeed in all certainty some old customs of north Europe, is this tradition of the good witch believed to bring in good charm into your kitchen and blessing your food and life with all the sprinkles of magic to have you feeding on oodles of luck and love all through your feasting rendezvous in the world.
Of course the kitchen witch as you would know her is a doll that you hang somewhere in and around your kitchen for her to spin her web of magic there. Harbouring of the charms of good luck and the greater charm of good cooking is this witchily adorable figure, poking indeed her really long nose into all your cooking business so that your pots don’t boil over and your sauces don’t spill out, and also ensures that you don’t have to cry over split milk nor fuss over your foods getting burnt or your cakes sinking to depression in the oven. More importantly though, the kitchen witch looks over indeed every aspect of your kitchen exploits to prevent disasters and make your food all the more nutritious and delicious and wonderful, so that this most magical of all places in the house continues to serve platefuls of love and happiness and warmth in just the right proportions to make a home out of it all.
In countering the naughty nuisances of the bad witch who conspires with her powers to ensure that all your meticulous effort in cooking comes undone is the genial kitchen witch who is indeed the kitchen help you of course would be more than happy to be assisted by. Hung by Norwegian folks in their kitchens since times long back, kitchen witches have also been part of the tradition across the country of England whirling her magic along the many a tales cooked up on stoves and hearths that which finds interesting expression also through mediums of the poesy and prose in folklore. In fact, the first written documentation of these creatures of fantasy possessing powers of immense magic actually corroborates to an England of the Tudor times. Bequeathed in a 1599 will was this particular whimsical being of good natured charm who had to her own the kitchen cupboard of a certain John Crudgington, from Newton, Worfield, Shropshire.
Like with many legends and elements emerging from the folklore, kitchen witches are believed to also dawn good luck upon anyone you gift them to. Yielding of course a broom because indeed which witch comes unarmored without that whimsical piece of her travel agent are kitchen witches generally favoured in their gifting eminence over their buying trail as per traditions. And with such tremendous power at her disposal, not only to prevent kitchen mishaps but also to elevate your teas and coffee from mere beverages to being almost elixirs in and of themselves and coaxing your spices to unleash indeed their most potent aroma and flavour for servings worth of sumptuous smacking every time you set out to explore the treacherous terrains of cooking and master it to perfection, making it all your own.
Traditional representations of the kitchen witch however shows her not as a hat donning figure as we all imagine practicers of witchery to be. Instead it is a handkerchief that is tied around the head of this friendly faced being attired with a long dress and of course a broomstick, or perhaps even a wooden spoon by her hand to denote truly the domain of which she is the overseer. Beyond her role of ensuring that all proceedings characterising the action in the kitchen is well taken care of, the cottage witch is also significant in the power she yields in what is traditionally believed to be the spiritual center of the house. Guarding therefore the entire household in all good spirit and wellness is this apparently flying witch designed to hang there somewhere up in your kitchen, blessing you with the dual charms of fortunes and food. It therefore is common for kitchen witches to often sport a note around their necks that speaks praises of this magically intriguing figurine of folklore and revers indeed her significance.
The magic unleashed by the kitchen witch in all her might might be a matter of debate at least as contentious as the region of her origin. But the charm associated with these embodiers of what indeed is the irresistible whirl of magic makes very much for an irrepressible entity for anyone to fancy having hovering above their hearth. All of us sure could do with an extra pair of hands when it comes to handling the chores of the kitchen and when that generous pour of helping entails instead from the mystical hands of a really good natured witch, we sure are destined to deliver such dishes of the culinary that can make us ‘susceptible’ to be perceived as magicians ourselves! And even if we are such hopeless disasters in the kitchen anyway that even the witch herself cannot save us from those slobby dumps of unappetising feed splashing in abandon all across our plates, and sadly also along the platters of those unfortunate enough to be at our mercy, we sure could allow this adorable old lady of whimsical basis some space in our abode of the cooking fails to serve at least the purpose of quirky decor. For indeed, in all her uniquety the kitchen witch herself stems from a potion of myriad flavours blended into one!