Tag: cooking

Intuition, Empathy, and Synesthesia In Cooking

Hello, fine friends! Welcome back to the blog! Today I have some cool things to discuss – intuition, empathy, my synesthesia, and how they relate to my path of life and the route I want to take with my craft.

I realized awhile back that I follow my intuition a lot while I’m cooking, sometimes more than I follow the recipe! For example, sometimes a dish is in progress and I taste it. I figure out from the flavor that it needs something like garlic, so I add what’s almost always the right amount of garlic.

It’s kind of weird, but it makes for delicious food. Another weird thing is that every dish I make has its own personality. Some foods are more finicky and needy than others, but I’m almost always able to empathize with them in a way. I realized this as I was cooking a scramble last night. I somehow intuitively know what to do to make it taste good.

Intuition at it finest!
The scramble!

Intuition In The Kitchen

I’m a better cook than baker and tea maker, but I enjoy doing all three. This could perhaps be because I don’t have a ton of practice with the tea yet and I don’t have the best audience for baked goods. My husband and housemates are a tough crowd for cookies and the like, but they are far more receptive when I cook dinner.

I am strongly intuitive as a general rule, and that can be frustrating when things don’t come as easily to me as breathing. I have a tendency to quit on activities when the going gets rough or it starts to get difficult. This is a dumb thing to do, I’m aware. It’s one of my spiritual assignments for that reason. Cooking, however, is one of the most meditative activities I can do regardless of how it turns out. There’s something special and almost artistic about cooking a big meal. So where does empathy come in?

Empathy and Cooking, What??

I’m an empath, many people have said. I feel what others are feeling. That can be very good or very bad, depending on the strength of the emotion that isn’t mine. Listening to people talk about things that have happened to them affects me the most. It’s like someone sticks me inside of the memory and I can’t get out, even after the discussion is over. I also struggle with picking up most social cues and have trained myself to function socially by going into situations assuming that everyone feels negatively towards me. That is kind of a backwards way of doing things, but it’s worked in a twisted sort of way for years. Empathy is my saving grace in social situations because I can pick up when something is off with people and act accordingly.

With food, however, it’s a combination of empathy, intuition, and even synesthesia, to some extent. If I’m able to understand what I’m cooking, I can understand what it wants, so to speak, just like I can with a person. The flavors take on shapes, too, which is very helpful. A lot of witchcraft resources talk about casting spells or setting intentions while you cook, but I often forget to do that. For me, the act of cooking is magical. I feel connected to what I make spiritually, whether it takes two hours or ten minutes to make. It’s one of my favorite activities.

Putting Everything Together

How do these gifts relate to my craft? The short answer is, they’re everything to me. All of them are blessings and curses. When they unite in cooking, however, they are great allies to have. Flavors get translated the same way as music does in my mind – in structure, shape, and color. This is incredibly helpful because it helps determine what flavors I like and how well they match. Intuition tells me where to go and empathy tells me what to do while I’m getting there.

I think it’s so important to have empathy and intuition when working with anything magical. You don’t have to be casting grandiose spells, in my opinion. You can if you want to, but I don’t think it’s mandatory. I like what Marie Kondo has to say. To paraphrase: if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Intuition and empathy in my craft are, however, indispensable.

Thank you for reading! Stay cool!
-E

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What’s Cooking? A Look Into My Kitchen

Hello, all! I have been very busy today and yesterday. I went to an herb store yesterday evening and the lady who runs it was super cool! She found all the herbs on my list and I walked out of there a happy customer. She even had vervain and agrimony! I was very impressed. She also had valerian root. Valerian root is a jerk to blend with. I blended it with jasmine, chamomile, lemon peel, lemongrass, and honeysuckle, and still the valerian was a jerk and overpowered everything. It did do its job and knock me out cold for the night, though. Kudos to valerian root. I wondered what I would do with all of these neat supplies today. I also went grocery shopping yesterday, so it’s been a busy day cooking and brewing tea. What exactly is cooking today? Let’s take a look!

Codfish For Lunch

What's cooking? Cod is...or was.

This beautiful mess is a Mediterranean codfish dish (say that 10 times fast!!) that contains asparagus, a whole leek, a whole onion, about a cup of olives, two tomatoes, olive OIL, a whole stick of butter, and more. My husband liked it and asked for a refill. He doesn’t normally eat a lot of food in one sitting in general, so asking for a refill is something very rare. It’s a high compliment! He also didn’t add additional salt, which blew my mind. He refers to himself as the Salt Lord, so seeing the Salt Lord eat a thing and not need more salt…dang. I’m impressed with myself. I really am good at cooking!

It was very easy to make and I didn’t hurt myself making it. Opening the asparagus can was a little tricky. Thank goodness my husband is here today or else I would not have been able to open it. Once the blasted can was open, everything else went smoothly. 

It took about 20 minutes to bake the dish and it was worth every minute. I was super hungry while I waited for it to bake, but I stayed strong and didn’t give in to my hunger. It was worth it!

It tasted super fresh and was delightful. The onion slices were too big, though, which threw off the balance a little bit. They did, however, absorb a lot of the butter and olive juice. It was  super nice and was probably that poor onion’s saving grace here. It was a big hit!

Taste the Herbs: Today’s Tea Making

Before all of the cod shenanigans, I made two slightly different pots of tea. A friend of mine loves hibiscus in her tea but is allergic to citrus. I took it as a challenge to make her some hibiscus tea without citrus. The blend I ended up liking the most contained hibiscus, cinnamon, lemongrass, allspice, and a tiny bit of peppermint. The first round was slightly more tart with a cinnamon finish and the second one had more pepperminty roundness, probably because I added more peppermint. My synesthesia loved it. 

I’m super pleased with how all of these turned out. Here’s a picture of the blend so far:

She should get her blend tonight or tomorrow. I’m excited to see what she thinks!

Stay tuned for more!

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How Do I Cope With Setbacks?

Hey! As a kitchen witch, I do a lot of work in the kitchen. I was taught by my parents and my grandmother Mimi that food helps me. Food also helps others. I turn to food for comfort a lot, especially since I’ve been having a lot of setbacks and playing waiting game after waiting game. Food helps me cope with setbacks I encounter.

To me, a setback is where you have a goal and you’re trying to achieve it, but something sets you back and you have to either wait, find a new path, or both. I have some special ways to help myself and others cope with setbacks in healthy ways, some involving food, some not. Let’s get started!

1.) Find a new way to look at the setback.

First, I want to talk about looking at the setback in a new, different way. I’m not saying to look it as an entirely positive way, but instead to look at it from a different angle. Re-evaluate where you are. Let me tell you about one of the most major setbacks I’ve experienced recently. My husband and I found out that we likely won’t be able to get a house we really wanted. It might take longer since I’ve had a few plans fall through, as well. That’s forced us to look at our goal in a different way.

What do we want to do now? How can we modify our goal to adapt to the setback? I’ve been job hunting and working here on OID to start. I know it’s a long game and a long road ahead of us. I’m not hunting for get-rich-quick schemes because I know it’s a long game, but am instead (trying to) be patient. By re-evaluating our goal, I’ve been able to realize that all is not lost because results were not immediate.

2.) Track your experiences.

This tip comes from this post on Nerd Knows Life. She writes about how tracking one’s own experiences can lead to inspiration in the future. I’d like to add that tracking your experiences can help you cope with a setback. I kept a journal for many years and it is very interesting to see how much I changed from a giggly, boy crazy 12-year-old to being crazy about my husband (whom you can read about in this post) to infinity and beyond. It is also interesting to see how I failed, how I coped with this failure, and how I ultimately succeeded.

It might help you to write down your experiences if that’s your thing. I have built an enormous body of work in poetry and music that also serves as a rough chronicle of my life and story. I focus more on the setbacks themselves in the music with more of both in the poems. My poem set “Futility + Joy” talks a lot about finding only despair in the first part and finding joy in the second part. It’s things like that that give me hope when I’m faced with a setback.

3.) Don’t panic.

This one is important, for I am a firm believer in getting what we need when we need it. As a result, I believe that setbacks aren’t here to make me panic, they’re here to make me learn. That helps me cope with these setbacks when they come. When I want to panic, I talk about what’s going on with my husband and people I can trust. They provide comfort and insight when I am sad about something. Because of this, I feel better. I also refer to the first point and try to look at things in a different way.

So let’s talk about short term solutions if you do find yourself panicking or sad.

How do I cope with setbacks in the short term?

1.) Practice self care.

We talked a few days ago about self care. I like to keep busy, you might like to chill out and do things that make you happy.

2. Make yourself laugh!

An example of something that matches my sense of humor from Tumblr.

Laughter is one of the best things I can get when I’m feeling sad, angry, or stressed. Browsing YouTube is always awesome. I also love browsing Tumblr occasionally because there are some funny things on there from time to time. Tumblr posts are great because a lot of them are off-the-wall. I have a Tumblr blog spanning over half a decade that’s filled with stuff like that. Find what makes you laugh and visit it often.

3. Relax.

How Do I Cope With Setbacks?
The mandolin I’m getting soon.

What do you like to do to relax? I love to play my instruments and write. In fact, the very act of blogging relaxes me. It took a long time to find out what works to help me relax, but once I found what helps, I learned how to use it. Running and painting also help. Painting is a huge help because it’s tactile and not something I often do. A lot of times painting is pure venting for me.

Last but not least, I love to cook and try new foods and teas! What helps you deal with setbacks?

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Anniversary!

Hello, all!

Today was a good day. 

It’s my wedding anniversary! We’ve been married a year as of today. It’s been a crazy year. I left Texas a year ago tomorrow for Alaska, where I live currently. It’s been a very steep learning curve, but we’ve made it through so far. On my old blog I talked about my mental health and how it’s changed in the past year. It’s safe to say that it’s changed for the better. I’m very proud of me, of him, and of us.

If I were able to converse with all of my past selves from any given year, I would single out me from 6 October 2011 and 6 October 2016. Assuming what I say holds no true bearing on the future, I would tell that girl who is a ball of nervous energy:

Hey. Your dad IS gonna die after all. But you will turn out okay. Don’t give up hope, don’t despair. Remember that squeaky kid you have a crush on in your Geography class? Yeah, you’re gonna marry him. Yes, you’re lovable. YES, you’re worthy. And NO, you’re not crazy. You’re just fine. I know that you hate yourself. Stop that if you can. It’s not all your fault. Nothing about this is all your fault. 

And to me in 2016, I would say,

Hey, just a little while longer. I know you’ve had the hardest time of your life. You’re about to enter a new season, but it’s not the end, no matter how much you might want it to be. The hard times will ease up on you and you will find love. No, you aren’t unworthy. No, you aren’t unlovable, and you aren’t crazy. You have some stuff to figure out. That’s all. 

A big part of what I want this blog to be about is finding out more about who I am. I did heaps of self discovery this year. I learned that I’m not who people said I was growing up. I don’t have to listen to people’s opinions of me, nor am I an aggregate of what everyone thinks of me. I am me, and that person is who I make them to be. I did a lot of deconstructing as well as constructing – breaking down beliefs I had held about myself and about the world, shaking them out, and examining them. 

I found that I don’t fit in with a mainstream belief set. I come from a Mormon background and even after leaving, I still felt a lot of pressure to be very Christian. I strongly believe in Jesus’ message, but do I hold to all mainstream Christian beliefs? No. Hardly. I got in touch with my spirit guides and started reading cards and that was when things really started to change. The various things I had been taught as a kid and teen didn’t fit. I found more truth in a history textbook and Fahrenheit 451 than I did in the Bible, and that’s when I knew that it was time for a change. In this deconstruction process, I found witchcraft via friends of mine. Upon looking into it further, I found that I understood and connected to a lot of it. I did further research and fell in love with kitchen witchcraft. I’d been reaching for the vocabulary to describe my ambitions with herbs and food. There they were!

My husband is also magical. I need to do a lot better about listening to him because he has more years packed into his soul than any person our age should. He often tells me things, I shrug them off, I learn about them elsewhere, and then he gets irritated that it took me so long to come around.  It’s bad. I feel bad. He’s a computer wiz and loves to cook, too. That brings us to the present. I’m Eris, baby kitchen witch, and my husband and I made a delicious chicken Marsala for dinner tonight. We used  this recipe , doubling the batch and using about three cups more Marsala than the recipe called for, along with a lot of Italian seasoning and just a dash of Old Bay. We also baked a red velvet abomination of a cake. I consumed other wine and ended up crying because I had broken pieces off the cake while frosting it and it no longer looked okay. I was very sad, but it ended up being silly because while there was too much frosting on the cake, everything else was yummy. 

Thank you for reading! Stay cool!

Eris

Hello!

I’m Eris. Welcome to my blog!

I’m what the kids call a crazy kitchen witch. I love to cook, share recipes, and talk about spiritual things. I am very new to the term “witch”, so bear with me as I figure stuff out! Everyone practices differently, so I’m trying to find what suits me. I’m leaning towards herbal and food magic. You’ll find me on my computer blogging, talking to my friends, in the kitchen making food or tea, or doing my thing on Pinterest! I’m building a witchy compendium of goodness there and I’m quite pleased with it. Follow me!

I’m blogging buddies with Tori at The Less than Perfect Life and we both cook and do awesome stuff with herbs, so you’ll be hearing from and about her, too! She’s awesome.

Watch this space and stay cool!

-Eris

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