Kate West

Witches Kitchen

Recipes, Spells, Lotions & Potions and General Craft Advice 
Contributions Welcomed!

There is nothing in the Craft (or life) which says you have to do things the complicated way, or make life harder than it already is.  As we each go through our life and Craft experience we all come across little hints and tips which go to make things easier.  The purpose of this page is to share some of those ideas, hints and tips which make it easier to progress and get on with the important stuff.  Let's face it the less time we spend worrying about the inessentials the more time we have for our Craft, our families and ourselves.  It's not just about the Craft, nor indeed about the Kitchen despite the title, although like the kitchen, I hope that it will be the cauldron from which new brews of life may spring.
Your thoughts and ideas are welcomed here, so long as they are safe, ethical and user friendly!  So share your thoughts and ways of making life simpler. Please use the 'Contribute to the Witches Kitchen link to submit your gems of wisdom

Blessed Be.

The portable Altar

Mentioned in several of Kate's books, this is a way of carrying the wherewithall to create a small Altar should you wish to.
A feather - to represent air.  A crystal - fire.  A sea shell - water.  A pebble - earth.  An eggcup - your chalice.
You do not need anything to replace an Athame, the forefinger of your strong hand will suffice.
If you wish, you may also include a tea-lite as a candle.
Tie these together in a small scarf, silk square or handkerchief of a colour you deem acceptable.

Removing spilled wax from furniture

If you have a mobile phone and use top-up cards save one of the plasticised ones, or use an old credit card or similar to scrape wax from furniture without ruining the surface.  Of course you can reduce the number of spills by:  Placing candles on or in sensible containers.  Ensuring that before relighting any candle you trim the excess wick.  Remembering to pinch or snuff candles out rather than blowing.

Removing Wax from Carpets

There's nothing worse than spilt wax on furnishings (as I once found out when I tipped purple wax all over my boyfriends beige carpet!) The best way to get it out is to use paper (the thick brown stuff is best) and an iron. With the iron on a low heat and a thick wadge of paper in between the hot plate and the furnishing you can soak up the wax as it melts. It seems to get the worst of it out, although that poor beige carpet still looks like it has a faint bruise!!
From: Samantha

Planning to have a fire outdoors

You need to be both environmentally and physically safe.  Remember to contain fire within a cauldron or fire pit.  Take a large container of water with you for extinguishing and/or keep the earth from the bottom of the pit to cover the embers.  Do not leave until the fire is completely out.  If dancing around a large fire with a small number of people use cords to join people so they can maintain a safe distance from the flames!

The Rite of Wine and Cakes

If performing in a small group, let the chalice return to the Altar before setting the cakes underway.  If a large group let the chalice get halfway before starting on the cakes.
Advise celebrants to do the kissing before eating the cakes, to avoid pebble-dashing their unsuspecting neighbour with crumbs!
Those who cannot, for any reason, have cakes can usually eat a slice of apple, but make sure you tell everyone who it's reserved for .
Try to open any wine at least 2 hours before Ritual, and let it breathe well.  Really rough red wine can be 'improved' by taking a small glass full and warming in the microwave, add a teaspoon of sugar and return to the bottle.  Grape juice can be added to poor wine to improve it and makes a good non-alcoholic wine.

Low on washing-up liquid?

Put the liquid on your sponge or cloth rather than into the water, even diluted to the point of no return it'll do the job.

Thoughts on making Food more magical

I find that when cooking, the food becomes so much more special, and more deeply appreciated, if when making it you take the time to think about each ingredient. Where did it come from? What uses does it have? Smell it and taste it on its own - know it. Then as I add each ingredient, I am thankful for it, and say a little something to the earth as a blessing.
The same goes for herb teas. When taking a herbal tea, try holding the mug/cup between your hands and thinking about the herb being used - where did this herb grow, think about the kind of herb it is, colour and form. Smell the aroma - it is sweet, hot, cool, refreshing, calming? Then as you sip, feel it absorbed into your every cell and pore. This is plant medicine, a gift from the earth. Doing this with food and teas is especially good for sabbats, esbats and rituals, or just everyday magic.
From: Elsa
How to clean Silver
To clean silver, whether it be a ring, a spoon or a bracelet, wrap the piece loose in aluminium foil and make some holes. Add salt to a glass of water, until the salt does not melt away any more as you stir. Put the foil packet into the salt water, leave for up to 12 hours.
Be careful, as this way, also the wanted black "patina" of certain pieces will disappear entirely!
From: Christine


If you:

Pour 300ml of boiling water
into a jug containing a sliced lemon and a table
spoon of honey.

Then add either:

Sage or Thyme or Ginger

Then cool and strain and take a 20ml spoonful 3 times a day.

From: Mark Petherbridge


I suffer from severe headaches and through trial and error, have come up with an herbal that I not only swear to, but the many others who have used it do as well.
Only three things are required:  a few ounces of vodka, peppermint leaves and chamomile.
Peppermint and chamomile are both excellent for headache and inducing sleep and the vodka is a wonderful carrier (not to drink, however)
Heat the vodka to barely boiling (it evaporates rather quickly). Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl or cup.  To this, add a teaball containing equal parts of the two herbs and let this steep until cool (even better to let sit and soak overnight).  Press the remaining liquid from the teaball and store this liqueur in an atomizer or spritz bottle. 
Use to spray bed linens or spritz onto the tips of your fingers and massage into the temples and/or forehead.  The effects of the herbs start to work on the pain almost immediately
From: Siamose