Hoodoo Reblast

Advice I probably should have taken.
For the last three weeks I've been nursing the flu. And, when I say the flu, I mean the actual 2013 epidemic influenza. I won't gross you out with all the details but suffice it to say that I haven't been "making" much of anything except excessive phlegm.

I have, in fact, been watching an inordinate amount of television and sleeping and sleeping and sleeping...

So, today, for the first time in three weeks, I'm feeling pretty human - which is good because tomorrow I leave for four and a half days in New Orleans. I'm getting away from this bitter cold and my sick bed and going to drink Hurricanes and eat etouffee.

The trip to NOLA is predicated on going to the Krewe of Barkus parade on Saturday. The Krewe of Barkus' participants are dogs (escorted by their human companions) and is an officially registered krewe in its eleventh year of parading. It's a proper Mardi Gras parade with a King and Queen and an annual theme. This year it's "Tails & Tiaras: Here Comes Honey Bow Wow". All I can tell you is that I'm seriously sad that I'm not taking my dogs and participating... I will, however, be wallowing in all the wonderfully dressed-up puppies and Mardi Gras energy.

In honor of my trip to New Orleans, I thought I'd re-post a recipe that Cassandra and I developed last year for the Hoodoo Foods: Rootwork Recipe Roundup cookbook. Make this fabulous stew and let the ingredients work their magic!

See you all next week - hopefully with some great pictures and stories!

- Alex

Magical Beans

As our regular readers know, Cassandra and I rather love spooky stuff like Halloween, Ghost Hunters, Catholocism, and psychics, just to name a few.

As a kid, I was already indoctrinated into the idea of the paranormal through the teachings of the church. Virgin birth, coming back after you've died, "knowing all" from some throne in the sky.... Then, as a young, disenfranchised teen, I acquired a "next to the cash register" book called Everyday Witchcraft. It was a pocket-sized paper-back with a black cat on the cover and it contained a short history of witchcraft, definitions, and a bunch of spells. While I can't speak to the authenticity of any of it and will admit that I never actually had the guts to really try the spells, there was always something comforting about the idea that I could control my world with these simple conjures. Witchcraft also puts all the power at the hands of women so...you know... that was pretty appealing too.

Everyday Witchcraft
Not my original book

Recently, Cassandra and I had the opportunity to speak with Miss Cat Yronwode of the Lucky Mojo Curio Company. Lucky Mojo sells all the bells and whistles you need to do magic. The site describes itself as follows:
Lucky Mojo is both an online magic shop and a real magic store that you can visit. We carry a full line of hand-made spiritual supplies, including occult oils, incense, powders, candles, herbs, mojo bags, spiritual soaps, books, and spell kits for those who cast magic spells, love spells, money spells, and protection spells in the African-American hoodoo, Pagan magick, and other Witchcraft traditions. We also import and distribute folkloric magical, occult, herbal, and spiritual supplies
from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for those who work in Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish religious and magical traditions. We sell retail and wholesale, both on the internet and at our old-timey, small-town occult shop.

We love Lucky Mojo for many reasons, not the least of which is the gorgeous use of retro graphics on the site. We are also very enamored of Miss Cat for her generosity of spirit and her amazing business brain. To get a great sense of Miss Cat and her milieu, please listen to her podcast The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour - I promise you'll be entertained.

In our conversation with Miss Cat the other day, she suggested that Cassandra and I participate in the Rootwork Recipe Roundup. It's best to explain this by quoting from the site:
All recipes submitted to the annual Rootwork Recipe Round-Up are collected into a small "church cook book" format publication prepared by the The Ladies' Auxiliary of Missionary Independent Spiritual Church.
The recipe must contain ingredients that, through their magical ascriptions, will address some condition. For example, basil is meant to promote a happy home and family, lemongrass is a cleansing herb, and fennel is used to "keep the law away."

I started looking at the food ascriptions and realized that I have one recipe in my regular rotation that, with a couple of minor tweaks, would basically contain all ingredients for luck and protection. So, without further ado, I'd like to present you with our entry into the Hoodoo Foods! Rootwork Recipe Roundup. Seeing as it's a church cookbook, we couldn't help but go with a one-pot dish... Enjoy!

- Alex, The Enchanter

One Pot Protection
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans (or dry beans soaked overnight*) [good luck]
  • 1 small, sweet onion diced  [protection and energy]
  • 2 (or more) cloves of garlic diced  [protection from evil]
  • ½ a bunch of collard greens, stems removed, cleaned, coarsely chopped or cut into strips [luck with money]
  • 3 (or more) tablespoons of mild yellow mustard [protection]
  • A few drops of honey or a pinch of high-quality sugar
  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot
  • Horseradish to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for approximately one minute stirring constantly. Add the chopped collards and cook, stirring constantly, until greens are wilted and slightly soft. Add the mustard, sugar, and horseradish and stir to cover the collards completely. Continue cooking until the mustard has “caramelized” on the collards – approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the beans and stir well to combine.* Cook until the beans have heated through. Serve hot with a nice piece of bread.

This recipe has the added protection of being low-fat, low-sodium, and great for lowering your cholesterol!

*If you choose to use dry beans that have soaked, you may need to add some additional moisture to the pot. A little veggie stock or simply water would probably suffice.

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