Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Kitchen Witch

Artist Jo Moulton

There is something about the aura of a magical kitchen. You can feel its energy as you enter. It is warm and inviting and gives a feeling of comfort and solace. I remember my grandmothers kitchen in this way. Although to my knowledge she never considered it magical, at least not in the sense most would, it was a place of pleasant memories and wonderful dishes that had been prepared out of love for those she cared for. I believe most of us can recall such memories, whether it be from our grandmothers, moms, or others who have touched us throughout our lives.

To the person who considers herself a kitchen witch, the kitchen is a sacred place. In earlier times the kitchen was considered an honored place of the home. It was the first area of a home to be built as it held the hearth or home fire. The hearth fire was seldom allowed to die out as it symbolized the heart of the home. Most of us are not fortunate enough to have a true fire built hearth in out kitchens. In today's world this is somewhat impractical so we settle for a gas or electric stove. Yet still it represents the same. Although for those who have used both, (gas or electric) the use of a gas stove is preferred. There is something about the sight of the actual flame burning as opposed to an element turning red and distributing heat.

The mood of the kitchen is also evident. As you glance around an assortment of items may be seem. Such things as candles, mortar & pestle, fresh herbs and/or flowers and so on. To some who are not aware it may not even be obvious of the difference of ones kitchen compared to their own, however the difference and definitely the attitude is there. Depending on the activity, the area can be a sacred circle in which magic is truly executed.

Cooking has long been a passion of mine. There is something about taking the time and energy to gather and combine items in a matter to create something delightful for others. A true lover of the kitchen knows exactly what I am speaking of. Growing your own items to be used, cleaning and preparing it as needed, then the actual cooking and serving the dish you have prepared. In each act it is as if one injects a piece of themselves. Thus when given to others it is as if you are presenting yourself. The memory of my grandmothers fresh baked plum pudding, my Aunt Inez home made chicken and noodles, or the way my mother could make a potato take wonderful no matter how she prepared it, leads me to believe that there is a little kitchen witch in all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not.



Lisa said...

I am learning the joy of having fresh herbs, straight from the garden, in our kitchen but I know that the magic of our kitchen is wielded by my amazing husband who considers cooking a "prayer." He takes it very seriously and his food is always, always amazing and nourishing. In the words of my teenagers when presented with his food, "holy shit!" LOL I've never had the knack for cooking, though I do love baking. I am so happy that I have found this man who knows the magic of the kitchen. It has made this wonderful room more than a room. It is a nourishing sanctuary where he transforms common materials into something that feeds our bodies and souls. Thank you for your beautiful blog.