Halloween is just a couple short weeks away! It’s my favorite time of the year. Not only is the weather changing and we have cooler temps, but the creativity in my family is at its height. We are deep in decorations for the Halloween party on the 24th. We make many of them by hand and we like to add to it each year. In the next couple days, the decorations will be done and I will have to move on to the foods. This year, we are going absolutely spellbinding with witches and wizards! Since that is what is on my mind, I thought it would be fun to make the column about witches this week.
There are many types of witches and I have no room to discuss them all here. I picked just a few to talk about. The first is a traditional witch. These often practice the craft of their ancestors. They are often practitioners with spells and knowledge passed down through the years. Traditional witches tend to know more about the history of the land and customs of their general area. They aren’t stuck in the past though and often use their knowledge with a blend of modern conveniences.
Kitchen witch is a fairly new term for an old practice. The kitchen is the heart of every home and, as such, the perfect place to perform magic. Even cooking takes on magical tones for these women. There are often fresh herbs in jars and pots, and magical practices are incorporated into recipes and cooking. Cooking from scratch is a must and it ensures love goes into the preparation for family and friends. Often, spells and potions are created in the kitchen as well.
Ceremonial witches use incantations and rituals to perform their magic. While they may use some potions or herbs or other props like candles in the ritual their power mainly comes from doing things in the right order with the right words being said. They speak the magic into creation often invoking spirits in the process. They are often secretive and some don’t even identify as witches.
The eclectic witch is basically what it states. She is a witch who doesn’t fit into any other category. They tend to be a blend of some or all of the other types according to what they want to practice. She takes the common truths as seen from all the different paths and acknowledges them as equally valid and blends them together into a single craft.
This week, I made a few witchy nibbles at home. Gets the kids involved and make it a fun afternoon event. Make your grocery list and meet me in the kitchen for witchy good food!
1 8oz tube crescent rolls
You can choose to fill the bottom part of the hat if desired. I didn’t for this column, but some easy options are sun dried tomatoes, cheese, chocolate chips or even fruit bites.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Unroll tube of crescent dough and separate dough into eight triangles. If they stretch too much, use knife to separate. You want them to maintain their shape. Carefully roll wide end a couple times to make brim of hat. Curve top if desired to shape hat. Place 2 in. apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cheese Stick Broomsticks
5 string cheese
10 Pretzel sticks
10 fresh chives
Cut string cheese into thirds. I thought half was too much and quarters too small. Use knife to fray the bottom half of each cut piece. Insert pretzel stick into top and tie with piece of chive. So easy and so fun!
Almond butter or nut butter of choice
How many of each you need will depend on how much you want to make. Fill celery sticks with almond butter and place whole almond on one end of each. You can make a bloody finger with a little bit of red food coloring if desired. So fun!
This is a regular recipe. I dyed the ingredients to give it a more Halloween look.
4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup baby carrots
2 stalks celery plus their leaves, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tsps. garlic, minced
2 tsps. chives, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, divided
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
⅔ cup buttermilk
4 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken
Extra salt and pepper, as desired
Purple food coloring
Sauté carrots, celery and onions in 2 tablespoons of butter in large pot over medium high heat until softened and beginning to brown (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add chives and thyme. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Turn heat down to simmer and add 1 cup heavy cream. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together remaining 1 cup of flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in remaining butter, melted, until flour mixture is crumbly looking. Add buttermilk, dyed with purple food coloring, and egg and stir until JUST combined. Do NOT over mix. Add spoonfuls of dumpling mixture to the simmering pot- I recommend using a small cookie scoop for this. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, or until dumplings are fluffy and cooked.
Note: I boiled my chicken in water dyed with food coloring. I dyed 2 breasts with black and 2 with a red/orange mix. The outside of chicken dyes well. The inside doesn’t absorb much. The black I left alone as I liked the way it looked. The red I dumped back into the red water after I shredded it so it would absorb more of the color. If your chicken still has moisture in it from this dyed water, your broth may end up changing color slightly.
Recipe adapted from bowlofdelicious.com.