True stories with a twist!

KITCHEN WHAT ???

The first time I heard of one I had an immediate visual image of a creature causing catastrophes in the kitchen, trouble around the oven, and ruin in the refrigerator.

It conjured up visions of a catastrophe causing creature, a troublemaking tyrant or a botched up being with supernatural powers. These creatures are known to stir cauldrons of trouble

and mend mistakes together into a quilt of coercion. I did not want any part of one of them, and couldn’t understand why anyone would invite one into his or her home, kitchen, or  universe.

But I was wrong. My entire association was wrong.

I speak of the “Kitchen Witch,” a fable in several cultures. The Kitchen Witch is supposed to protect the kitchen and whoever works therein. Helpers are included, so those inclined to lend a hand scraping,

washing or drying fall under her protection too. (It’s a good selling point for encouraging help in the kitchen.)

This version of the “Kitchen Witch” is Norwegian. The housewives of Norway believe that having this spirit in their homes will keep away the burning, scorching and spilling that homes without her protection will suffer.

In the Amish country of Pennsylvania I came across this version of the “Kitchen Witch.” It is prevalent in many gift shops and is a top seller. She has captured many hearts and great desires to be free of kitchen chores. Here is a typical version of how she is portrayed.

She doesn’t look very comforting to me, and I hope I never have to call upon her help to neutralize, sanitize or otherwise clear my kitchen of tomfoolery, even though she may mean well.

I don’t have a kitchen witch, but I do have something special in my kitchen. It is a Shona statue sculpted by Kenya’s foremost woman sculptor, Colleen Madamombe. Here is a picture of the statue I call “Colleen,”  after

the artist who created her. The Shona Tribe lives in Zimbabwe, where they originated the sculptured work from natural indigenous stone. Each piece is carved and polished by hand.The Shona people have three themes they portray in stone: Family, Animals and Spirits.

Colleen is aways smiling, is smooth to the touch, and invites being touched. Her expression is so joyful that she inspires me to smile whenever I glance her way.

With Colleen in my kitchen I work through chores, hoping to maintain a warm, positive smile like she has on her face.
But it’s easy for HER to smile and look content; she doesn’t have to peel, scrub, sauté, or clean up. I’m happy that Somebody is always so cheerful and happy in the kitchen.
Do you think you have to be made of stone to go through all the motions every day and feel happy about it?

Comments on: "KITCHEN WHAT ???" (13)

  1. Ronnie: Your kitchen “witch” or Shona goddess looks like me on my bloated days ! 🙂 Who knew there was a sculpture out there with my “Big Mama” essence. I’ll have to be on the look-out for one of those for my kitchen. Thanks for the fun educational kitchen update.

  2. Ha! Yes Colleen doesn’t have to do any chores, but then again she never gets to eat anything either 😦 I would have a kitchen witch in my kitchen if it would stop my smoke detector from going off so often! 🙂

  3. Several things: One: I used to have a kitchen witch – for years she flew in my kitchen! My husband is Finnish, so there’s that – these witches are traditional in many Scandinavian homes. Two: Colleen is exquisite! Beautiful. What a treasure! Three: I freakishly love taking care of my home. BUT my husband most always preps for me when it comes to cooking. Though sometimes I do it myself, it is nice to have that kind of help so I can simply be creative! Four: sweet post.

  4. Blood-Ink-Diary said:

    As always, Ronnie, what a great post! I admire your talent for writing with humour!! Cheers.
    p.s. we are both visiting each other’s blog at the same time. Mercy! Cheers.

  5. I have something similar in my kitchen. It’s called hamburger helper. 🙂

  6. A kitchen witch, John would say ONE is enough! Ronnie have your cards come yet? Mama is still pregnant! The mail must be slow. The postage was 1.50 by the way. My address is on the envelope. Well let me know when they come so i can keep a close watch for arrivals! c

  7. Thank you for the story. The Nowergian version sounds more like a fairy rather than a witch, I love to have a being, witch or whatever, that can help me peel and clean up, I will do the cooking myself 😉

  8. Hi,
    How very interesting, I have never heard of the “kitchen witch” before, I don’t know if I would like one in my kitchen, but I do love your statue, very unusual looking, I so love that smile she has and the open arms as a very nice welcome. 🙂

  9. Love the history lesson of the kitchen witch and I prefer your version and her more pleasant appearance. As for her smile, I think she’s just happy that she’s not the one doing all the work.

  10. love this post 🙂

  11. Maybe she smiles because of the havoc she’s planning on after she gets thru with the cooking, cleaning, scrubbing, cleaning up, etc. 🙂

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