Here, Enchantments brings you excerpts from Gail Bussi’s Enchanted Kitchen (perfect for gifting, too!), including a Winter Solstice Blessing, a Brandy Butter recipe, decorating ideas, and more.
As the season for rest and reprieve comes upon us, what better way to celebrate Yule than a little practical kitchen magic? In her book Enchanted Kitchen, author Gail Bussi offers seasonal tips and rituals to enliven the holidays and brighten up those long winter nights. The book also includes more than seventy-five seasonal recipes for each month, so it's perfect for gifting, too. Here are a few gems to help make your Winter Solstice extra special this year, while honoring the change of season and sacred stillness.
Enhance Your Home With Essential Oils
“Essential oils and scented candles can echo this warmth by using fragrances such as myrrh, frankincense, juniper, sweet orange, and sandalwood. Citrus fruits can be hung as pomanders or simply piled in wooden bowls; chili peppers and cranberries, too, lend a bright warmth to the winter kitchen and can be added to wreaths and other decorations.”
Blessing for December 21st, the Night of Yule
“Earth, you have given us both light and
Darkness. On this night we give thanks
For the return of the sun and for the
Blessings of warmth and growth. The old
Yer has passed away; the new year is
Here. May we all be blessed with light,
With warmth, with grace. And so it is.”
Gift Homemade Recipe Cards
“If you have any treasured old handwritten recipes, copy and laminate a few of them as very special Yuletide cards or simply keep them as page markers in your very favorite cookbooks.”
Try a Traditional Yuletide Recipe
“Brandy butter, a traditional Yuletide recipe from Britain, is usually served with hot Christmas pudding, but in my opinion just about any excuse will do! Mix 1 stick of softened butter with enough confectioners' sugar to make a soft and creamy mixture, then stir in about 2 tablespoons of brandy. Keep in the refrigerator and use with desserts or cake as a sauce or topping.”
Bring the beauty of outdoors table-side
“Decorate your kitchen with sprigs of rosemary and pine tied with red ribbons, symbols of immorality and blessings; these make a lovely natural place setting, too. For abundance and prosperity, create a simple kitchen wreath with holly leaves and berries, juniper, small pine cones, and a few cinnamon sticks, trimmed with a gold or green ribbon.”
From Enchanted Kitchen by Gail Bussi. © 2022 by Gail Bussi. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., www.Llewellyn.com. To purchase the book directly from the publisher, click here or head to the Enchantments shop in New York City.
Read on to find out why this handy little manual will serve as a great companion throughout the Wheel of the Year.
It’s the time of the year when it seems like you blink once and Yule celebrations are already in full swing. If you’re the type to plan ahead and cross off your shopping lists early, check out Llewellyn’s new Sabbats Almanac (available in the Enchantments shop or online) as a gift for all the witches, magic workers, and Pagans in your life.
More than ever we need to add ritual in our lives and take time to honor the cycles of the year. For those of us who practice earth-based rituals, a good almanac is an essential thing to have around on the shelf, but it’s hard to choose just one. Llewellyn publishes some of the best almanacs around, from the yearly Magical Almanac to the popular Witches’ Datebook and Witches’ Companion. But this year, we’re especially loving the new Sabbats Almanac. Use it throughout the Wheel of the Year to source recipes, rituals, and spells for each holiday, from the Witches’ New Year that is Samhain and back around to the Fall Equinox that is Mabon.
The 2023 edition features a great mix of writers from a variety of traditions and includes folklore, cooking recipes, craft ideas, and extended rituals for each celebration. There’s also a notes section at the end of each Sabbat chapter for you to add in your own rituals, seasonal intentions, and musings. The various essays include brief descriptions of each holiday and ritual tips, whether it’s working with corresponding foods, oils, trees, stones, or symbolic elements. Each section also has prayers and invocations associated with more structured rituals, whether you’re a solo practitioner or working in a coven.
For more on our favorites, check out our new Plant Magic Series, featuring some of the best books in botanical and herbal magic.