Just days away from All Hallow’s Eve, it seems most appropriate to write about magic. The 20th century Englishman, poet and philosopher Aleister Crowley first coined the term magick as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will”. This may very well be my favorite definition of the word: magick as science and art. I find it to be extremely empowering, accessible and practical: all qualities I strive to encourage in the kitchen.
In many ways, plant based cooking requires a re-education and a re-imagining of what a meal can be. Largely due to what most of us have been taught about protein and where to get it, we were raised to see a meal as something built around a serving of animal protein. It makes me smile to see the tide changing in this regard. As more nutritional data and science makes it’s way into the mainstream, many parts of the world are beginning to see the health benefits of eating a more plant based diet not only for our own bodies but for the planet at large.
So, then, the kitchen becomes a playground of learning, a place for curiosity, discovery and adventure...a place for magic. And what better place for magic then where we prepare food that can nourish, strengthen and heal us along with Mama Earth on so many levels. This is real power. A power that we cultivate from a simple willingness to play with unfamiliar ingredients and new techniques. Creating delicious plant based meals that are nutritionally whole and complete can be a learning curve where we might stumble along the way, but therein lies the magic! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with an idea or a recipe in the kitchen that was inspired by a mistake. My wish for you is to step into your kitchen with the intention of finding and making magic, to spark curiosity and foster creativity.
Crowley’s definition perfectly describes the process of cooking: it is an art, a science where we take the raw materials of food ingredients and “cause change to occur” through our desire to do so. We create and bring forth into existence something that wasn’t there before we exerted our will upon it...and then poof! just like that it’s gobbled up and disappears. What’s more magical than that?