Kitchen Culture – Do You Have a Kitchen Witch?

A Kitchen Witch is a puppet or homemade doll resembling a witch displayed in home kitchens.  A Kitchen Witch provides good luck and wards off bad spirits!

Did she come from Norway or Germany?  There is some debate over the exact country in which the kitchen witch originated, some claiming Norway and others Germany, but consensus points to it stemming from older European customs.

The kitchen witch is supposed to depict a “good” witch who inspires productivity and safety in a kitchen, but also counteracts any ill-will directed to the home. It is considered good luck to give a kitchen witch to a friend or family member.   For those unfamiliar with the kitchen witch, a note will sometimes be hung around the witch’s neck stating something similar to:

For centuries, people have hung this good witch in their kitchen. They believe she has the power to keep roasts from burning, pots from boiling over, and sauces from spilling.

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About chefmarybergin

Mary Bergin Mary’s star studded career began with Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff in 1982 at the original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood, California. Her innovative desserts have been enjoyed and praised by customers, Hollywood stars, food magazines and fellow chefs. The James Beard Foundation invited Mary to create her imaginative food and desserts for over 1,500 guests at the 15th Annual James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Reception Honoring Julia Child on May 2, 2005 at Manhattan’s Marriot Marquis Hotel. Mary was a frequent guest chef on Julia Child’s Baking with Julia PBS television series and a contributor to the cookbook, Baking with Julia. Mary became Spago’s Executive Pastry Chef in 1987 where she was responsible for pastries in the restaurant as well as training new chefs for the numerous Puck/Lazaroff restaurants. In 1992, Mary moved to Las Vegas to open the new Spago Restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesars on the Las Vegas Strip as well as Chinois Restaurant two years later. Her recipes are included in Wolfgang Puck’s cookbook, Adventures in the Kitchen. She has also served as the National Spokesperson for the American Dairy Association on their “Just Say Cheese” and “Butter is Back” advertising campaigns. Mary helped open Tomasso Trattoria in Southborough, Massachusetts and was the Executive Sous Chef/Pastry Chef of this very authentic Tuscan restaurant. After being opened just eight months, the restaurant was voted “Best of the New” restaurants in Boston by Boston Magazine Mary’s recipes and desserts have been featured in Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, TV Guide’s Celebrity Dish, The New York Times, Chef Magazine (she was on the cover of the very first magazine), Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. She has been a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America, The Television Food Network, In Food Today with David Rosengarten AM Los Angeles and a host of other acclaimed television shows. Mary has prepared food and desserts for two presidents, and is well versed in specialty diet and ethnic cuisines. Mary has written two cookbooks with her long-time friend, Judy Gethers, Spago Desserts and Spago Chocolate. Spago Chocolate was chosen as the “Best Cookbook of the Year” in 1999 by Food and Wine Magazine’s Best of the Best Cookbook. Mary ran the Culinary Program at Sur La Table in Santa Rosa for the past 5 years and taught most of the cooking classes. Chef Bergin has launched her own business, Culinary Therapy™ with Chef Mary Bergin, giving individual one-on-one instruction. She also teaches her Professional Pastry Course and Advan
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