New Year's Eating (and Drinking)
Celebrating the kitchen witch in all of us.
Hello, wonderful witches!
I’m excited to announce that I’ve officially passed 1,000 subscribers! I’m so happy that you’re all along for this magic-fueled ride. Welcome to you new subscribers, as well! You’re all amazing, new and long-time.
Most of my time recently is taken up by planning for our wedding in March. The biggest hurdle so far has been catering. (No, we still don’t have one booked. [EDIT: We JUST booked one since I first wrote this! Hooray!!]) I think it’s stressing me out a bit too much, as I’ve been having horrendous nightmares every night for the past couple weeks. Think good thoughts for me, friends. I’m sure it will turn out fine, but I’m exhausted!
Also, I have BIG NEWS! I’ve signed a book contract with Ulysses Press to write probably one of the coolest books I could think of: “The Retrograde Guidebook.” It’ll be out in early 2024, so if you’re itching to know what every retrograde means, how it affects you, and what you can do to take control over the energy… you don’t have too long to wait! I’m actively interviewing astrologers who can discuss retrogrades with me for the book; hit me up if you are one and hopefully we can chat.
For this issue, I want to take some time to highlight the work of my Substack friends. These are my favorite kitchen-witch-esque posts I’ve seen in the past couple weeks from newsletters I subscribe to — plus a review of an awesome new cocktail-focused mystical deck.
Book(s)/Decks of Shadows
The author of “The Cauldron,” Lindsay Merbaum, recently released a super cool new cocktail deck called The Wheel. The deck honors each sabbat with a selection of original cocktail recipes; they all incorporate the traditions and ingredients of their patron holiday.
I know I can make these drinks based on the sabbats themselves, but I like to use it by pulling a drink out like an oracle card and seeing what surprise I get to make. The one I just pulled (literally, right now), is a Lughnasadh drink called the Dapper Gentleman. It combines bourbon, rum, spiced pear liqueur, walnut liqueur, tobacco bitters, and a cherry — I’ll let you know how it is when I make it later this week!
I also just have to point out that these cards feel so nice to hold. The texture is smooth and substantial; I can tell they’ll hold up through the inevitable spills I’m going to get all over them. Grab your deck here — you can also order a zodiac-themed deck that I’m pretty excited about!
Witchy Reads for the New Year
Over at “Come como Kiki,” readers get to experience life in Spain through an American’s eyes, including Spanish traditions, cooking techniques, and recipes. This New Year’s issue focused on why, in Spain, you eat twelve grapes at midnight.
Excerpt: But why twelve grapes, and why grapes at all? The most popular theory is that one year in the early 1900s there was an exceptionally abundant harvest of grapes, and in order to sell more fruit the growers decided to rebrand the grapes as symbols of luck. They packaged them in groups of twelve and labeled them “uvas de la suerte” (lucky grapes)—one lucky grape for each of the twelve months of the coming year.
“The Cauldron” is one of my newer subscriptions but already a favorite of mine for the insightful look into witchcraft and culture. An issue I loved recently looked at Yule and all the history and traditions surrounding the holiday.
Excerpt: The ancient Sámi believed that during the Yule period, spirits associated with the dead would appear, traveling in a sort of caravan of sleds pulled by mice and lemmings. (FYI Lemmings look like super cute arctic guinea pigs.) To quote archaeologist Neil Price, “Riding through the sky, the Julefolk would move around habitations at night, drawn by the sound of children playing. Appearing in the form of small humanoid figures, the spirits would then attempt to bear the children away on their mice-drawn sleds.”
You’ll need a paid subscription to “Diary of a Serial Hostess” to read this next one, but I adored the recipe inside for Nutty Cheese Bites, something I very much intend to make with the surplus of all types of nuts in our household right now.
Excerpt: Warm soups are soul food. Especially the ones with few ingredients…. that boil and bubble for a few minutes, creating goodness and happiness all around. Starting a meal with soup elevates the meal to dinner party status, however basic and rustic it may be. They can always be dressed up with lovely garnishes like roe, caviar, or foie. I adore pureed lentil soup served with garlic croutons and fresh foie. Now that is good for the soul!
In the next issue…
The next newsletter will have… well, I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out together!
See you then!