Kitchen Witches: A Norwegian Tradition

Kitchen Witches are said to be a Norwegian custom, inherited from early settlers. A kitchen witch, sometimes called a cottage witch or a “Scandinavian” kitchen witch doll, or poppet, resembles a stereotypical witch displayed in residential kitchens as a good luck charm and to ward off bad spirits. They are even said to prevent pots from boiling over and sauces from spilling.

There is some debate over the exact country in which the kitchen witch originated, some claiming Norway and others Germany, but they can be found in many European countries.

This witch is a good witch, said to make the kitchen a spot of warmth and happiness. Gentle, whimsical and loving, she created such magic that the mischief of the bad witch, who curdled milk and would not allow cakes or bread to rise, had no power.

The kitchen witch inspires productivity and safety in a kitchen, but also counteracts any ill-will directed to the home. So that those unfamiliar with the kitchen witch can understand its meaning, sometimes a note will be hung around the witch’s neck stating something similar to:

“The Legendary Secret of Goof-Proof Cooking: The Famous Kitchen Witch”

For centuries, Norwegians have hung this good witch in their kitchen. When you hang a Kitchen Witch, legend indicates that cakes and breads will rise, rice, beans and toast will not burn, pots never boil dry and there will never be too much salt when baking, boiling or stewing. The spices you mix will be perfect, as well as the tea and coffee you serve.

It is considered good luck to give a kitchen witch to a friend or family member. Who couldn’t use a little good luck. You can find these wonderful kitchen witches from Nordic Dreams at Ingebretsen’s as well as Swedish Easter witches!