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The kitchen Witch Book

CovenDivine Spirits ► The kitchen Witch Book
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The kitchen Witch Book
Post # 1

The Kitchen Witch
Glossary of Cooking Herbs
& Spices
Seasoned Greetings!
As I write this, I’m remembering back to a time long ago when I survived on a diet of
nothing but rice and lentils. For weeks. Mind you, I like rice and lentil stew and still eat it often,
but when I make it now it’s a meal to be proud of, one that perfumes the house with rich, savory
steam and sets taste buds tingling. In those lean days, it wasn’t a “stew.” It was just… rice and
lentils, with naught to enliven it but a sprinkle of salt. How I longed for even a pinch of pepper
then. I could well appreciate how valuable spices once were, why traders often trekked
dangerous routes to procure them. And I understood why every kitchen garden once devoted part
of its precious earth to aromatic herbs. Food with little flavor—or just the same flavors
repeated—may keep us alive, but it makes for a darned dull existence.
Sure we can escape mealtime tedium by varying the foods we eat, but we can excite
things even more by varying how we season those foods, and one needn’t be a master chef to do
that. It requires no cooking skill at all to sprinkle in an herb or a spice. All one needs is a little
daring and a little knowledge of what works with what. That last is where this glossary will help.
Among the fifty herbs and spices presented here, you’ll find old standards like pepper and
cinnamon along with not-so-standards, such as hyssop and violets.
Today we have more seasonings more readily available than ever before. It seems a
shame not to take advantage of such wealth. Especially when we consider that herbs and spices
are not just for flavor. As a matter of fact, given the health benefits so many of them possess, any
additional ability to enhance a food’s taste should be viewed as a mere fringe-benefit.
That’s why in this glossary I’ve listed not only the basic culinary information for each
herb and spice, but also any medicinal properties it may have, making this a two-in-one
reference. Well, actually, a three-in-one, because wherever possible, I’ve included something of
a plant’s traditional magical properties as well. Since herbal magic predates herbal medicine, and
the latter most likely grew out of the first, seeing them side-by-side provides added insight and
helps round out the picture. It’s interesting to note how in more than a few instances the cooking,
health, and mystical applications of an herb compliment and dovetail with each other.
You’ll also find here helpful hints for dealing with herbs, several unique recipes to try, an
extra glossary of medicinal effects terms, and a fun scattering of herbal trivia and lore (you
know, the sort of facts you don’t really need to know, but they come in so handy for amazing
your friends).
So let’s hop to it now and start spicing things up!
Mimi Riser
* * *
PS: A couple of cautions before we begin…
First, never, ever use any herb unless you’re sure you know exactly what it is. This is
especially true for herbs harvested from the wild. Some poisonous plants can easily be mistaken
for safe ones, and even if identified correctly, there’s the danger that the plant/s might have been
exposed to something toxic, such as pesticides, pets, industrial waste, or exhaust fumes. Your
safest bet with herbs is to either grow them yourself, or buy them from a reputable dealer. Many
herbs and spices can be found at your local grocer. Others are available from health food stores
or mail order.
Secondly, be aware that any plant substance, whether it’s used internally or externally,
could possibly cause an allergic reaction in a person who was sensitive to it. Exercise common
sense. When using an herb for the first time, it’s best to begin small. Just try a little of it, until
you determine how well you like it and how well it likes you. Also, keep in mind that the same
herb/spice might work differently on different people. How effective any herbal substance is
depends at least partly on the individual metabolism of the person using it—their age, weight,
environment, their general diet and lifestyle, and the overall state of their health (including any
medications, prescription or otherwise, they may be taking).
* * * * *

ALLSPICE (Pimenta officinalis): Ground from the under-ripe berry of a tropical
evergreen myrtle tree native to the West Indies and Central America. Tastes something like a
blend of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Used in cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, fruit dishes,
pickling liquids, syrups, stews, pot roasts, red cabbage, and sweet potatoes. In magic, allspice is
used to attract money and luck, and also to promote healing. [Medicinal properties: Aromatic,
Carminative, Digestive, Stimulant.]
ANISE SEED (Pimpinella anisum): Licorice-like flavor. Used in cookies, cakes, breads,
sweet rolls, fish sauces, and herbal teas. The fresh leaves (which also taste like licorice) can be
used in salads or as a garnish. Magically, anise is used for protection, purification, and to restore
youth. [Medicinal properties: Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Digestive,
Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic.]
BALM or Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Refreshing lemony flavor and aroma. Used
in egg dishes, chicken, fish, teas, fruit or wine punch, salads, and certain desserts. In magical
lore, lemon balm has a long tradition of use in love spells, for healing, and to ensure success.
[Medicinal properties: Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Carminative,
Diaphoretic, Digestive, Emmenagogue, Sedative, Stomachic, Tonic. Some sources say it can
slow the thyroid gland.]
* * *
“Lemon Balm Ice Cream”
1 & 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup fresh crushed lemon balm (or 3 teaspoons dried)
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 & 1/4 cups heavy cream
Directions: In a small pan, bring milk and lemon balm just to the boiling point. Remove
from heat, cover, and let steep for thirty to forty minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg
yolks and sugar until pale and frothy. Strain the now flavored and cooled milk into the egg-sugar
mixture. Return to stove and stir over low heat until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of
a spoon (about fifteen minutes). Pour into a shallow freezer dish, let cool; then cover and freeze
until it begins to set. Whip cream until stiff and fold into the semi-frozen blend. Continue
freezing an additional two hours; beat once; then freeze until firm.
* * *
BASIL (Ocimum basilicum): A dominant herb; its flavor intensifies with cooking. Tastes
somewhat like a combination of mint and cloves, and it has a lovely fragrance. Basil is great in
most tomato dishes (it seems to sweeten them). It’s also used in egg and cheese dishes, meats,
chicken, fish, sausage, soups, salads, dressings, and to liven up bland vegetables. Magically, it is
used to attract love and wealth, for protection, and to exorcise evil. In Eastern Europe, it was
believed that a man would fall in love with any woman from whose hand he accepted a sprig of
basil. [Medicinal properties: Antidepressant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Appetizer, Carminative,
Digestive, Galactagogue, Stomachic.] .
BAY LEAF (Laurus noblis): A strong herb. Aromatic, slightly bitter flavor. Used with
meats, game, fish, poultry, stuffing, soups, sauces, marinades, eggplant, potatoes and such.
Magically, bay is used for protection, healing, purification, strength, and to heighten psychic
powers. In ancient times, the priestesses of Apollo chewed bay leaves and inhaled their fumes to
induce a prophetic state. According to tradition, a bay leaf held in the mouth wards off bad luck
(or at least bad breath). For a simple “wishing spell,” write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn the
leaf to make your wish come true. [Medicinal Properties: Carminative, Digestive, Laxative,
CARAWAY SEED (Carum carvi): A very distinctive, aromatic and rather pungent
flavor. Used in breads and rolls, cheeses, cabbage dishes (including sauerkraut and coleslaw),
soups, stews, goulashes, and salads. (Note: Add to stews during the last half hour of cooking,
because long simmering can make it taste bitter.) European folklore stated that any item
containing a bit of caraway was immune to theft. This belief also gave it value as a love-potion
(i.e. if you fed your lover caraway, they could not be stolen away from you), and, when baked
into bread, cake, or cookies, the seeds were said to induce lust. They are also said to strengthen
the memory and to be a safeguard against all manner of evil entities and general negativity (for
this purpose you don’t actually have to eat them; just carrying caraway is considered to be a
magical protection). [Medicinal properties: Antispasmodic, Appetizer, Carminative, Digestive,
Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Galactagogue, Stomachic. A decoction made from equal parts
anise, caraway, and fennel seeds is said to be a good intestinal purifier.]
CARDAMOM (Elettaria cardamomum): Slightly gingerish flavor. The whole seedpod
can be added to hot punches, spiced wines, marinades, pickling liquids, or coffee (use one to two
pods per cup). The ground seeds are added to bread, pastries, cookies, fruit salads, Hispanic and
East Indian dishes. In magic, it’s used for love and lust. For a simple “lust potion,” add the
ground seeds to warm wine, or bake them into an apple pie for a delicious aphrodisiac dessert.
[Medicinal properties: Appetizer, Carminative, Stimulant, Stomachic.]
CAYENNE PEPPER (Capsicum frutescens): Spicy, hot flavor. Comes from the dried
ripe pods of a small tropical shrub of the capsicum family. When ground, this red pepper is
combined with yeast and flour and baked into a hard cake, which is then ground into the finished
spice. Chili powder is a blend of several different varieties of capsicum with the addition of other
seasonings, such as coriander, cumin, and oregano. Used in many ethnic dishes and to perk up
bland foods. Magically, red pepper is used in “love powders” (either to heat up an existing
relationship, or to help one find a spicy love), and also for breaking hexes. If you feel you’ve
been jinxed, one simple spell recommends sprinkling cayenne outside around your house to lift
the curse. [Medicinal Properties: Appetizer, Digestive, Irritant, Sialagogue, Stimulant, Tonic.]
CELERY SEED (Apium graveolens): Distinctive, somewhat sharp yet fresh flavor. Used
in salads, dressings, soups, stews, casseroles, dips, and herb breads. In magical lore, celery seeds
are thought to aid mental concentration and increase psychic powers. When eaten along with the
stalk, they’re said to induce lust. [Medicinal properties: Carminative, Sedative.]
* * *
Measurement conversion:
One eighth of a teaspoon of powdered herb equals…
One half a teaspoon of coarsely chopped dried herb, which equals…
One tablespoon of fresh chopped herb.
* * *

CHERVIL (Anthriscus cerefolium): Delicate flavor with a slight hint of anise. One of
those herbs that is considered best when used fresh. Used in soups, salads, sauces, omelets,
soufflés, chicken, veal, fish, and shellfish dishes. [Medicinal Properties: Digestive, Diuretic,
Expectorant, Stimulant. An infusion of chervil is sometimes used to lower blood pressure.]
CHIVES (Allium schoenoprasum): Mild oniony flavor. Another one that’s considered
best used fresh and added to dishes right before serving (chives can’t take much cooking). Good
in salads, on baked potatoes, in omelets and sauces. [Medicinal Properties: Appetizer, Digestive.]
CHOCOLATE (Theobroma cacao): The High Queen of all the flavorings! How did the
rest of the world ever survive before Cortez brought it back from South America in the sixteenth
century? Its Latin name, Theobroma, literally means “Food of the Gods.” It comes from the
seeds (known as cocoa beans) of a tropical evergreen tree native to Central and South America.
Cocoa beans were so precious to the Aztecs, they used them as a form of currency. Four beans
could buy you a wild turkey. A good slave, however, might set you back as many as a hundred
beans. Although it is not generally considered a medicinal spice, chocolate does have therapeutic
value. Because it contains theobromine, it ranks as a stimulant. And modern research has
discovered what most of us have known all along, that chocolate has a soothing effect on
troubled minds. As for its uses…we all know this one, right? You don’t really need me to list
chocolate’s many delectable applications. Excuse me now, but I have to go find a Hershey bar….
CINNAMON (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): A spicy, sweet-hot flavor. Comes from the
dried inner bark of the branches of a small tropical evergreen laurel tree. The bark is peeled off
and, as the pieces dry, they curl up into quills—i.e., Cinnamon Sticks! Used in spiced punches,
teas, candies, all sorts of sweet baked goods, fruit and cereal dishes, and pickling liquids. Also,
certain Eastern and Middle Eastern dishes, where it’s used as a hot spice without any sweetening.
(For a delicious ethic-type flavor, cook rice, onions and peas together with a little olive oil, salt,
and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon powder.) In magic, it’s used for spirituality, success,
protection, to aid healing, attract money, stimulate psychic powers, and for love and lust.
[Medicinal properties: Carminative, Diaphoretic, Digestive. Cinnamon also has a tonic effect and
is a wonderfully warming and energizing spice. (For a quick pick-me-up, try a pinch of
cinnamon in a cup of tea.)]
CLOVES (Syzygium aromaticum or Caryophyllus aromaticus): Spicy sweet-hot flavor, a
bit stronger and sharper than cinnamon. Cloves are the dried, unopened flower buds of the
beautiful, tropical evergreen clove tree. Same seasoning uses as cinnamon. Magically, cloves are
used for protection, to clear away negative energies, and to attract love and money. [Medicinal
properties: Anodyne, Antiemetic, Antiseptic. Clove tea can relieve nausea and help stop
vomiting (add one pinch of the powder to a cup of boiling water).]
* * *
What’s the difference between an herb and a spice?
First things first… Botanically speaking, an herb is a non-woody plant that dies down to
the ground after flowering. However, from a more general standpoint, the term “herb” applies to
any plant or plant part that is used for medicinal purposes, nutrition, seasoning, cosmetics,
dyeing, and so forth. In culinary use specifically, “herb” refers to those aerial parts of the plant
(leaves, flowers, and sometimes stems). Spices—which in the general sense could also be called
herbs, because they’re plant parts, after all—come from hard plant matter (seeds, roots, bark,
etc.). Herbs may be used either fresh or dried, whereas spices are almost always dried. Ginger
root is a spice that is sometimes used fresh, but that’s one of the exceptions. Likewise, saffron
comes from flowers, yet it’s usually referred to as a spice. And, just to keep things truly
interesting, sometimes both an herb and a spice will come from the very same plant, but be given
totally different names (for an example, see below).
* * *
CORRIANDER & CILANTRO (Coriandrum sativum): Two names for the price of one!
If you’re talking about the seeds, it’s coriander, while the leaves are known as cilantro. Why?
I’m not sure. Maybe it was done just to confuse people and keep us on our toes (grin). Anyway,
the dried seeds have a rather sweet taste, somewhat reminiscent of lemon peel and sage. The
leaves, which are also known as “Chinese parsley” (just to confuse things further), are slightly
bitter. Both are medicinal. The leaves are used in meat and poultry dishes, soups, salads, and in
much Mediterranean, Latin American, Spanish, and Oriental cooking. The whole seeds are used
in hot spiced drinks, marinades, and pickling liquids. The ground seed can be added to breads,
pastries, puddings, cream sauces, fruit sauces, chili sauce, curries, and other exotic, spicy foods.
In magic, the seeds are used in love and healing spells. [Medicinal Properties: Antioxidant,
Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Digestive.]
CUMIN SEED (Cuminum cyminum): Similar to caraway, but lighter in color, with a
stronger, less refined flavor. Used in cheeses, sauerkraut and cabbage dishes, barbeque and
spaghetti sauces, chili and curry powders, and to liven up bland foods such as scrambled eggs
and potatoes. In magic lore, the seeds are considered to have the same anti-theft property as
caraway seeds (i.e., anything containing a bit of cumin can’t be stolen). It’s also burned with
frankincense for protection, scattered on the floor (sometimes with salt) to banish evil, and used
in love and lust spells. Some believe that carrying cumin seed helps promote peace of mind.
CURRY POWDER: There does happen to be an actual plant called Curry, but that’s not
what we’re dealing with here. Curry, as a seasoning, is an exciting, exotic blend of various and
assorted spices, which may include (but are not limited to) cardamom, cayenne, cloves,
coriander, cumin, dill, fenugreek, ginger, mace, pepper, and turmeric. Depending upon the
ingredients and their proportions (which are extremely individual and the blending is sometimes
ranked as a veritable art form), curry powder can range from “safe for children” to “quick, grab
the fire hose!” hot. It is used extensively in East Indian cooking, but is quite marvelous in many
other dishes as well. Try it in rice and potato recipes, soups, stews, sauces, salad dressings, and
even scrambled eggs. A great seasoning to experiment with. No kitchen should be without it!
DILL (Anethum graveolens): Both the seeds and the leaves are used, with the leaves
sometimes referred to as “dill weed” to distinguish them (a more sensible solution than calling
them cilantro, anyway). Dill’s pungent, characteristic flavor comes through in both forms, but is
a little subtler in the leaves. Used in cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt dips, sauces, soups,
salads, eggs, cheese, pickles, sauerkraut, poultry, and fish. (Whip up a wonderful summertime
salad dressing in seconds by stirring fresh dill weed into buttermilk.) In magic, dill is hung by the
door or carried in a sachet for protection, and is also used in money and love/lust spells. Some
claim that smelling dill will cure hiccoughs. [Medicinal properties: Antibacterial, Antispasmodic,
Calmative, Carminative, Diuretic, Galactagogue, Stomachic.]
FENNEL (Foeniculum vulgare): A cooling spice. Tastes something like anise and
peppermint combined. The seeds (whole or ground) are added to breads and other baked goods,
cooked grains, herbal teas, and sometimes curry powder. The fresh leaves are used in salads,
soups, sauces and the like. Fennel is especially good with fish. It aids the digestion of oily fish
(such as mackerel) and, when added to the poaching liquid, helps keep poached fish firm.
Magically, fennel is used for purification, protection, and healing. It is hung in windows and
doors to ward off evil energies, or the seeds are carried for the same purpose. Growing it around
the home is also said to offer protection, and sometimes it’s added to purification sachets. In the
annals of folklore, a piece of fennel worn in the left shoe was said to prevent wood ticks from
biting one’s legs. [Medicinal properties: Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Digestive,
Diuretic, Expectorant, Galactagogue, Stimulant, Stomachic, and possible estrogenic effects
(therefore, use with caution during pregnancy).]
* * *
“A Recipe For to Make One Slender”
From The Good Housewife’s Jewel, published in 1585:
“Take fennel and seethe it in water, a very good quantity, and wring out the juice thereof, when it
is sod, and drink it first and last, and it shall swage either him or her.”
* * *
FENUGREEK SEED (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Interesting, somewhat earthy flavor.
Sort of spicy-bitter. Fenugreek’s use dates back at least to ancient Egyptian times. As a
seasoning, it is used in soups, stews, teas, and curry powder. Magically, it’s used in money
spells. [Medicinal properties: Carminative, Digestive, Expectorant, Mucilaginous, Restorative,
Tonic, uterine stimulant (should be avoided during pregnancy).]
GARLIC (Allium sativum): Potent aroma and taste. People usually either love it or hate it,
but few are indifferent to it. Can be used in almost anything except sweet dishes. Think soups,
stews, casseroles, salads, sauces, dressings, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, veggies, breads, etc., etc.
Mediterranean cooking would be lost without it. In medieval times, garlic was worn to guard
against the plague, and today it is still used in healing spells. Magically, it has long been
considered a highly protective herb, and is sometimes carried to attract good luck as well.
[Medicinal properties: Anthelmintic, Antihistamine, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Carminative,
Cholagogue, Digestive, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Vasodilator, reduces cholesterol, and is reputed to
be selectively antipathogenic.]
GINGER ROOT (Zingiber officinale): Stimulating hot, tangy flavor. One of the oldest
and most popular of medicinal and culinary spices, with an equally long tradition of use in
magic. Wonderful in cakes, cookies, pies, sweet breads, sausages, curries, stews, sauces, salad
dressings, teas, spiced drinks, and many Oriental dishes. Magically, ginger is used in love spells,
to attract money, ensure success, and just generally boost the power of a mystical endeavor.
[Medicinal properties: Adjuvant, Appetizer, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Expectorant, Rubefacient,
Vasodilator, and circulation-stimulant. Ginger is also thought to be helpful in relieving motionsickness.]
* * *
“Colonial Gingerbread”
(Reputed to be George Washington’s mother’s recipe. It’s said she served this to Lafayette when
he visited her in 1784.)
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/4 tsp. each: cinnamon, mace, & nutmeg
1 cup molasses
4 tbsp. brandy
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cream of tarter
juice and grated rind of one lemon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup raisins (soaked overnight and drained)
Directions: Cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in warm milk. Combine spices
and add to mixture. Blend in all other ingredients. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 inch pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately thirty to forty minutes.
* * *

HORSERADISH (Armoracia lapathifolia): A powerful, hot and spicy condiment. The
freshly grated root mixed with vinegar or lemon juice makes a potent but delightful sauce for
roast beef and other meats. Mix it with ketchup, and you have the traditional cocktail sauce for
seafood. In magic, the dried root, grated or ground, and sprinkled about one’s home (in corners,
on doorsills, and upon outside steps), is said to banish all negative forces. [Medicinal properties:
Diuretic, Rubefacient, Stomachic.]
HYSSOP (Hyssopus officinalis): Bitter, somewhat minty flavor. Used in fruit cocktails,
salads, soups, stews, meat, poultry, and rich, fatty fish. In magic work, hyssop is one of the most
widely used purification herbs—added to baths and sachets, brewed as a cleansing tea to sprinkle
on people and objects, and hung in the home to purge the area of negative vibes. [Medicinal
properties: Astringent, Carminative, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic.]
JUNIPER BERRIES (Juniperus communis): Ever try gin? If so, you have a good idea
what juniper tastes like, as the berries are gin’s main flavoring ingredient. Besides gin, juniper
berries are used in marinades, sauerkraut, cabbage and bean dishes, and to season wild game.
[Medicinal properties: Antiseptic, Carminative, Diuretic, Rubefacient, Stomachic, Tonic.]

MACE (Nutmeg tree—Myristica fragrans): This is another of those two-names-for-theprice-
of-one bargains. Mace is the lacy, dried outer covering of the seed of the tropical nutmeg
tree, while the inner kernel of the seed is, of course, the spice nutmeg. Flavor wise, mace is
similar to nutmeg, but stronger, with a bit more of a kick. It is used in many sweet baked goods,
stewed fruit, puddings, and other desserts. Sometimes it’s combined with bay leaf, cloves, and
onions for seasoning savory dishes. As for its magical applications, mace is burned to heighten
psychic ability, and carried to increase intellectual prowess. [Medicinal properties: Antiinflammatory,
Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Digestive, and Stimulant.]
MARIGOLD (Calendula officinalis): Sometimes called “poor man’s saffron.” Marigold
blossoms have a delicate, rather insipid taste, but they impart a lovely golden hue to foods,
similar to saffron’s, thus making marigold an inexpensive substitute for that beautiful but pricey
spice. Use it in seafood, soups, stews, puddings, rice, omelets, and teas. The dried petals can be
softened in milk and added to cake, cookie, or bread batters. The fresh, young leaves are good in
salads. As a magical charm, garlands of marigolds are strung by the door to stop evil from
entering the house, and scattered under the bed to protect the sleeper and bestow prophetic
dreams. Adding marigolds to your bath water, it is said, will help you gain the respect and
admiration of all you meet. [Medicinal properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic,
Antispasmodic, Aperient, Astringent, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, and Vulnerary. Also rich in
Vitamin C.]
* * *

Storing Herbs:
Those quaint little spice racks made to be hung upon a sunny kitchen wall may look
adorable, but they’re the worst possible place to store your seasonings. Even the more potent
herbs can lose their value quickly if exposed to too much light and air. If you want them to last,
dried herbs and spices should be kept in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. Take them out
only when ready to use them, and reseal the unused portions as soon as possible. With intelligent
handling they’ll retain their vitality for months. Fresh cut herbs should be stored in the
refrigerator and used within a day or two of harvesting.
* * *
MARJORAM (Marjorana hortensis): Strong, sweet, sage-like flavor. Used with meats
and poultry, in salad dressings, sauces, soups, cooked vegetables, and beans. It makes rich
dishes, such as pork, duck and goose, seem less heavy. In magic, marjoram is used for
protection, love, happiness, health and wealth. [Medicinal properties: Calmative, Digestive.]
MINT (Mentha species): There are hundreds of transitional forms of mint, but only about
fifteen true species—the most popular ones for seasoning being peppermint, spearmint,
pineapple, apple, and the orange mints. These all have somewhat different flavors but generally
share the same medicinal and magical effects. In cooking, they’re used with lamb and veal, in
teas, fruit dishes and drinks, sauces, salads, all sorts of sweets, peas, cream cheese, and certain
Middle Eastern dishes. In magic work, mints are mainly used for protection, healing, and
prosperity. [Medicinal properties: Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Digestive, Diuretic,
gentle Nervine, and Stimulant.]
MUSTARD (Brassica nigra & B. hirta): One of our most widely used condiments, with a
flavor ranging from “mellow yellow” to “spicy brown,” to the “wow, that’s hot!” mustard
sometimes served with Chinese food. But regardless of color or taste, all mustard sauces are
made by blending dry, powdered black or white mustard seed with a liquid such as water,
vinegar, or wine. The black mustard really isn’t black, of course (it’s brown), but we won’t dwell
on that because, just to keep things fair, the white mustard isn’t white (it’s yellow to tan). As
with mints, however, medicinally and magically, they’re viewed pretty much the same. Mustard
sauce is popular on all manner of sandwiches and in dips, and is a standard ingredient in many
potato and egg salad recipes. It’s a classic with ham and roast beef, and goes well with oily
canned fish, such as sardines, too. I often add it to tuna salad (yum). The dry mustard powder is
sometimes used in savory dishes, while the whole seeds are sometimes added to sausages, salads,
cooked vegetables, and pickling brine. The fresh, young leaves of the white mustard can be
steamed as a vegetable or eaten raw in salads, and are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and
C. Magically, mustard seed is used for protection. “Tis said that burying it under the doorstep
will keep supernatural creatures away, and that carrying it wrapped up in a red cloth guards
against colds and increases one mental powers. [Medicinal properties: Appetizer, Digestive,
Expectorant, Rubefacient, Stimulant.]

NASTURTIUM (Tropaeolum majus): Both the fresh leaves and the flowers have a
lovely, peppery flavor (similar to watercress), and can be added to salads, or chopped and
combined with cream cheese or butter for canapés and sandwiches. The unripe seedpods are
sometimes pickled and used as a substitute for capers. [Medicinal properties: Antiseptic,
* * *
“Flower-Power Salad”
2 cups fresh, young dandelion leaves
2 cups combined young leaves from any two or more of the following: chickweed, chicory,
nasturtium, plantain, violet, or yarrow
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup canned crushed pineapple
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4tsp. pepper
Violet blossoms, nasturtiums, or rose petals for garnish (and, yes, they’re all edible; just
remember to remove the calyxes and stems if using whole blossoms)
Directions: Carefully wash all the greens and flowers, and pat or spin dry. Tear the greens
into bite-size pieces and toss together in a large salad bowl. Add walnuts and pineapple, and toss
again; then mix in the mayonnaise and pepper. Decorate each serving with the flowers. Serves
approximately four.
* * *
NUTMEG (Myristica fragrans): As we learned several entries back (see Mace), this is
the dried inner kernel of a tropical evergreen tree. Very spicy and aromatic. Some feel it tastes
best when freshly grated, which is easily done with a peppermill. (For an interesting taste blend,
you can grate nutmegs with peppercorns.) Nutmeg’s cooking uses and medicinal properties are
basically the same as with mace. Its magical properties, however, are different. Whereas mace is
used magically to increase psychic and mental powers, nutmegs are used for luck, health, wealth,
and fidelity. They have a long tradition of being carried as a general good luck charm, have also
been carried

Re: The kitchen Witch Book
Post # 2
Sorry the apostraphies (sp?) and quotation marks became question marks.

Re: The kitchen Witch Boo
Post # 3
I know, thats what I don't like about the site. LOL

Re: The kitchen Witch Book
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 4
This is awesome!
I love reading anything about herbs and their magickal and healing uses so i found this article a treasure cove =)
Thank you very much for this we all appreciate it!

Re: The kitchen Witch Boo
Post # 5
Nice post, i didnt know that some spices had magickal uses :]

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