For TikTok’s Kitchen Witches, It’s Been a Year of Magical Cooking

close Lizzie Markham‘s “Daiquiri with black raspberry for When Emotions Are Running High “you need white rum for strength and connectedness, simple syrup for sweetness, chambord for enjoyment and joy, lime juice for a mood boost and a pinch of edible glitter” just because it is beautiful. Shake off the bad vibes in a shaker can, then pour the shimmering contents into a glass. As Markham recalls with a wink, this cocktail is not meant to be enjoyed: “The faster you drink, the faster you feel better.”

Markham who has more than amassed 87,000 TikTok followers has been part of a new wave of social media kitchen witches since December: spiritually thinking cooks who combine mysticism and wellness with recipe content. Although magical cooking has been around since recorded history, the pandemic has inspired a renaissance of these age-old traditions and reached avid home cooks.

The culinary rituals of kitchen witchcraft range from multi-ingredient recipe spells to practical applications that address specific pandemics. Do you have an excess of shallots that you panic ordered online? Native Heath @Madge_LaRue believes these pocket-sized Alliums are powerful healing properties and suggests to its 124,000 followers to fry them and keep them for later use in salads, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Or maybe you want to increase your creativity after months of zoom fatigue. Keon Dillon (@millennialsoulfood) recommends Brew dandelion tea to clear it up emotional block. Dillon has been a kitchen witch for 15 years; Through their Instagram reels, they immerse themselves in the history and practices of Hoodoo – also known as magic or roots– a centuries-old African American spiritual tradition created by enslaved people.

“Food is important to hoodoo and magic,” says Dillon. “Almost all of the ingredients have metaphysical and culinary properties.” They recommend using thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and other botanicals for wealth, purification, and clarity.

There is no one-size-fits-all methodology today when it comes to spiritual cooking. Practitioners like LaRue, Markham, and Dillon draw on a wide variety of resources to explore their own brand of mystical nutritional practices. Some combine the globally and historically different teachings of herbalism with incantations or other rituals to enhance the metaphysical experience. Home cooks engaged in food spirituality are encouraged to delve into their own ancestral history for inspiration. Hoodoo, the spiritual philosophies of Chinese folk medicine, and paganism (which stems from European customs) each come from different cultural traditions. Doing your own research is essential to better understand – and around – the complex racial and cultural origins of these practices Avoid appropriation or participate in a closed spiritual tradition.

Although food-based spirituality can be varied, almost any spiritual cook will tell you that the power of practice lies in paying attention to what you are consuming. Whether or not you believe a garden herb can bring prosperity to your life, the positive effects of intentionality are undeniable. Mental health experts also cite mindfulness as a means to manage stress and lead a healthier lifestyle.

“Spelling with food and just paying attention to your intentions are the same things,” she says Adrian Chang of the food journal My Kitsune Café. “One is simply more aesthetically mysterious than the other.” Chang has been experimenting with spirituality in his kitchen for a number of years, but he’s not surprised that interest has increased during the pandemic. “It is no coincidence that everyone in the world is currently going through this type of soul search, whether it be sourdough baking or just to get back to basics and rediscover our purpose,” says Chang. “People want to be more present in their lives.”

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