• Reviews

    Deck Review – Kitchen Magick: A Recipe Deck for Witches by Carla Torrents Murcia

    Deck Review Kitchen Magick: A Recipe Deck for Witches by Carla Torrents Publisher: David & Charles 52 Cards Release Date: June 27, 2023       This a very pretty set of cards with lovely pictures. The little pamphlet inside gave a nice, simple explanation of the wheel of the year and a nice measurement conversion chart. They are not without their problems however. The print is very small. I had to wear readers and use a magnifying glass to read the recipes. On some of the cards, the background colours and the text is too similar in shade and that makes it even harder to read. The cards are…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Snowberry   Snowberry, or Symphoricarpos, is the name for 15 or so shrubs that boast gorgeous white berries. The plant is part of the honeysuckle family, and is also known as waxberry or the beautifully evocative name, ghostberry.     The inspiration to write about this plant came from my 13-year-old, who sent me this cute WhatsApp message on his way home (pictured). It’s lovely to be the “go-to” person for plant info, and nice to be able to give some fast advice on a potentially toxic plant! The interesting thing about snowberries is that, while they can be toxic, they’re also used medicinally in some…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from The Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Petunias   Petunias: Both a beautiful garden flower and a star of the RNA-focused scientific community. Way back in the 1990s, scientists tried to create deep purple petunias by inserting the gene associated with this colour. Instead, the flowers just came out white! Further studies into this led to big discoveries concerning RNA interference and gene silencing, for which scientists Andrew Fire and Craig Mello received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. But it all started with the petunias. Petunia is not a single species, but a genus of flowers that contains around 35 distinct species. They’re all in the Solanaceae family, which also includes…

  • Reviews

    Book Review – The Unofficial Wednesday Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Deliciously Macabre TV Show by Iphigenia Jones

    Book Review The Unofficial Wednesday Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Deliciously Macabre TV Show by Iphigenia Jones Publisher: Ulysses Press 144 Pages Release Date: August 29, 2023         My inner child is Wednesday Addams. So when I was offered the chance to review The Unofficial Wednesday Addams Cookbook, how could I refuse? First, the book is in purple and black; those are so my colours. It is entertainingly written. It is not too cutesy, but kitschy enough to be cool. It’s almost too much to hope that the recipes are any good… The recipes are fantastic. They are presented in a simple, straight forward manner (so easy,…

  • Crafting Articles

    In the Kitchen with Skarlett

    Slow Cooker Chili for Mabon   With Mabon upons us, thoughts turn to goat’s horn bearing fruit, grain and other harvesty goodness. No..I did not eat the funny mushrooms. I am referring to the Cornucopia also called the horn of plenty. It is a symbol of abundance and good fortune. It is commonly pictured as a large horn-shaped basket overflowing with the fruits of the harvest such as grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Small wonder it is adorning American tables at Thanksgiving and various other harvest related celebrations. A possible origin for the cornucopia was in ancient Greece. When Zeus was a baby, his mother hid him away from Cronus…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Anemones   Whenever you hear the word “anemone” you’ll either imagine a gorgeous yet shy sea creature or a beautiful flower found both in the wild and in gardens all over the world. Of course, here in the Apothecary, we’re excited about the flowers! There are well over a hundred species of anemone, including Anemone blanda and Anemone nemorosa, both often referred to as wood anemones or the more evocative name, windflowers. Anemones are in the same family as buttercups (Ranunculaceae) and grow from bulbs or rhizomes, usually coming back year after year. In Europe, anemones are keepers of living history, in a way, as large…

  • Crafting Articles

    The Kitchen Witch

    “Doctored-Up” Pizza Whenever my mother was in a hurry and wanted to cut corners in the kitchen, instead of making her own marinara (for instance), she would open a couple jars of Ragu and add a can of crushed tomatoes, chopped onions, mushrooms, herbs and spices, red wine, homemade meatballs or cooked Italian sausage. By the time it was ready for the table, you never knew that this sauce had started out as an ordinary jar of Ragu. My mother called this “doctoring up” the sauce. She did this to all kinds of store-bought items. She was Sandra Lee long before Food Network. I think this is definitely a kind…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Columbine   The columbine, or Aquilegia, is a striking flower, with hooked spurs that resemble either eagle’s talons or the heads of doves gathered together. It’s in the same family as buttercups (Ranunculaceae), which while isn’t obvious in the shape of the flowers, becomes more apparent when you look at the hairy stems and the lobed leaf shapes. There are up to 70 species of columbines that we know about, with colours ranging from bright blue to deep red. Also known as Granny’s Bonnet, these fantastic flowers carry a wealth of folklore and magical associations.   The Kitchen Garden Columbine are one of those plants that…

  • Monthly Columns,  Spells & Rituals

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: The Beech Tree   The common beech, or Fagus sylvatica, is a majestically large deciduous tree, native to North America and Europe, and a vital part of the ecosystem thanks to being home and food to many forms of wildlife. There are other beech species, all in the Fagus genus, with some native to Asia, including Fagus japonica, the Japanese blue beech, and Fagus engleriana, the Engler or Chinese beech. In the U.K. where I live, we often see “Copper Beeches”, which have distinct, purple-bronze leaves and look like they’re straight out of a fantasy tale. Interestingly, this isn’t a different species, but a carefully cultivated…

  • Crafting Articles

    The Kitchen Witch

    Using Leftovers ~ Fried Rice We all have leftovers. I have lived with people – men, mostly – who have refused to eat leftovers. But I come from a family who don’t waste anything at all – not food, not clothes, not anything at all – and I am the same way. And honestly – if you throw away food – you’re throwing away money. That’s how I look at it. And I do not like to waste money. Of course – some people think I waste a lot of money – buying books the way I do – but we all have our addictions! I have a three-day rule…