Kitchen Magic


It’s been a while since I’ve done any baking. It’s just one of those things that I once had time for, but now rarely get to do, and I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve been neglecting the Small Gods of the kitchen for too long.

We had a friend over for dinner on Saturday and I made pizza dough, which failed to rise. To be fair, the yeast I used was seven years old, and my thermometer wasn’t calibrated and I was plenty out of practice. The water could have been too hot. The room could have been too cold. I might have kneaded it too much. Who knows: the bottom line is that it turned out to be a rather thin crust pizza.

Earlier, I’d tried to light some candles, but somehow I couldn’t get the matches to strike.

“Can you get these to work?” I asked the Curmudgeonly Lion who promptly struck the match with ease. So it was just me, then. Luckily, it was the Curmudgeonly Lion who decided to be in charge of lighting the fire in the firepit after dinner so that we could sit outside and chat. Much of the wood was wet so we alternated between watching the flames and dodging the smoke, but overall it was a cozy gathering. We talked about folklore and superstitions: La Llorona vs Jennie Greenteeth, cucui and poltergeist- and of the small household spirits that sometimes seem to wander the home causing trouble when the house is unhappy.

I began to wonder if the house was unhappy. Every so often it will seem to go through a mood: all the house plants will die and the milk will turn sour. Or the matches won’t light and the pizza dough won’t rise. Or the plumbing will leak and the water heater will fail.

I’ve never been one to go around burning sage and talking to the spirits, but I’m beginning to think it might be worth a try. I’ve always wanted a home that people would consider a Warm Hearth. A welcoming, down to earth, gathering place. Someplace safe and friendly. But this requires some cultivation and I clearly have some work I need to do to make it happen: beginning with this business of clearing out the clutter.

So that’s my planfor now: clear a little clutter every day and try to welcome the small benevolent spirits back inside.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 14, 2019.

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