Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

Preserves, Abundance, and Competence (Kitchen Magic)

Hey folks.

So. The past month has been a total roller-coaster. In the process, I’ve made a new friend (and talked divination, deities, and emotions with her, no less), but I’ve also come smack up against most of my worst fears and wobbles and all of my Really Crappy Coping/Survival Mechanisms (you know, the ones that never work but were the best you had available due to being in horrible situations for most of your formative years? Yeah, those ones).

And now I find myself in recovery mode. The storm – this one, at least – has passed, I’m feeling better and safer than I have in pretty much a month, and now I’m trying to get myself back on track.

It’s also early autumn and I’m looking at my garden and prepping for the (probably) final harvest (two months early, in a way, but whatever).

And I’m realizing that there is some correspondence-style kitchen magic I do while I’m at it.

See, I want to make preserves. (I always want to make preserves — I want to make more preserves than I ever actually succeed in making OR have room to store. It’s just the way I am).

I want to make sweet-and-sour pickled radishes ft nasturtium leaves, red wine vinegar, and honey (and, possibly, a bit of grape leaf as well).

I want to make wild grape jelly and, possibly (since I failed to make it last year), crab apple jelly (and/or rose hip jelly) as well.

I want to make a tea-mix of dried rose hips and dried peppermint leaves that I can just scoop out of a jar and into the boiling water in order to make one of the more refreshing iced teas I’ve ever come up with (and to see how it does as a cold-remedy over winter, given the ingredients).

I want to make green tomato relish with heaps of basil added in, and maybe some cilantro and nasturtium as well.

And I realized, today, that what I will get from this, besides food for my larder, besides gifts for my family/phamily, besides items to barter… is magical.

Right now, I badly need to rebuild the sense of abundance in my life, and my own sense of confidence and competence as well. And doing this, making food that last, preserving a little bit of summer through skill and (small A) alchemy… gives me these things.

This may or may not qualify as Magic in your books. But it puts me in mind of the “thinking in things” that magic needs in order to function.

Meliad the Birch Maiden