Food as Medzin/Medicine
The realm of Food as Medzin/Medicine and as offerings to the spirits is wide open for helping us live more spiritual lives. Food can serve as offerings to the spirits and can be prepared and eaten to clear our bodies of negative energies and to invite positive energies in. As cooks, we have the ability to influence everything and everyone in the household through the food that we prepare by being mindful of the ingredients we use, as well as our intent, our words, and the process of creating the meal. Our bodies are our temples; with food we can affect positive physical, mental and spiritual change from the inside out and betwixt and between.
This article serves as an introduction to recipes with a medicinal and spiritual nature in the context of African and Indigenous based spiritual practices. I have included a couple of recipes for fun from popular culture (which have no ties whatsoever to religion). Read on for an exceptionally tasty and exotic Voodoo recipes adventure!
Benne cakes are a food from West Africa. Benne means sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are eaten for good luck. This treat is still eaten in some parts of the American South.
You will need:
- oil to grease cookie sheet
- 1 cup finely packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Mix together the brown sugar and butter, and beat until they are creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Enjoy!
Source: The Story of Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
Voodoo Sex Coffee
The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew.
- Dark Roast Louisiana Coffee & Chicory
- 1 Oz. Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Oz. Dark Rum
To 1 large cup dark roast Louisiana coffee & chicory, add 1 oz. boiled milk & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. After pouring coffee, milk and cinnamon into a cup, add 1 oz. dark rum. Sprinkle Cinnamon on top of coffee and serve.
Saint Joseph Palermo Bread
A traditional recipe for your St. Joseph’s Day Altar.
- 5 lbs plain Gold Medal flour
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 2 packages yeast
- I tablespoon of sugar
- 4 cups of warm water
- 3 tablespoons shortening
Mix flour and salt and make a well in the middle of the flour. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of water, yeast, and sugar. Pour this mixture along with the 3 remaining cups of warm water into the flour. Work with your hands to make a soft dough. Add shortening and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl or pan and cover with a cloth. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then work it again for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the dough rise for 2 hours. Knead it again for 5 minutes and let it rise again for 2 more hours. Clip and form into breads and buns. Let stand for 2 more hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
Excerpted from the Hoodoo Almanac 2012 by Denise Alvarado, Carolina Dean and Alyne Pustanio
Hoodoo Almanac 2014 & 2015
Hoodoo Uncrossing Chicken
Here is a recipe for preventing and reversing crossed conditions (removing hexes). Serves 4-6 people.
- 3 lbs chicken
- 4 brazil nuts, ground
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (exorcise evil entities, send the devil running)
- 2 tsp coriander ground (invite love, passion & fidelity)
- 1 tsp galangal (influence the powers in your favor, brings luck and good health)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (ward off evil and negativity)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground (for purification and protection)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (for blessings)
- 2 onions chopped (repel unwanted energies)
- 3 cups coconut milk (open roads)
- 2 in cassia bark (heat up the effects)
- 1 lemon grass stalk or 1 tsp powder (ward off evil, remove jinxes)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (break up negative energies and entities that have attached themselves to you and your home)
- salt (blessings)
Joint chicken and cut across bone into serving pieces. Thank the spirit of the chicken for providing you and your family with nourishment. Mix nuts, chili, coriander, galangal, garlic and turmeric to a paste with a little olive oil and rub over the chicken. Pray for the removal of stagnant, negative energies and invite positive light and blessings into your life. Leave for a few hours. Heat the remaining oil in pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden. Gradually add the coconut milk, stirring gently while bringing to a boil to prevent curdling. Focus on the removal of obstacles and opening roads to success while doing this. Add lemon grass and cassia and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Pray for the quick removal of negative energies when adding these ingredients. Stir in lemon juice and add salt to taste. These final ingredients are to detach any negative energy stuck to you and to bless and purify your life and family. Serve with plain rice and hoe cakes or cornbread after praying Psalm 37.
Voudou Fried Eggplant
(To Attract a New Love)
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Egg - Beaten
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Bottle of Peanut Oil
- 1 Cup Flour with 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Pecans
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Bread Crumbs with Cooked Oats
- Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Powdered Couch Grass
Peel and cut Eggplant in 1-inch strips. Powder them in flour mixed with garlic powder and couch grass. Pass them through egg and then shake the strips in breadcrumbs, oats and chopped pecans. Deep fry in Peanut Oil at 375 degrees, turning often until golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of fresh lettuce. Dine by the light of 2 pink candles.
Jamaican Callaloo Soup
- 2 pounds fresh crab meat
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 scallions, including the green tops, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 branches fresh thyme, crumbled, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 pound fresh spinach or callaloo greens, cleaned with stems removed
- 1 pound okra, topped, tailed, and cut into rounds
- 7 cups water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 scotch bonnet-type chili, Pricked with a fork
- Juice of 3 limes
METHOD / DIRECTIONS:
Brown the crab meat in the oil with the scallions, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, and the crumbled thyme.
In a stockpot, brown the diced bacon. Wilt the spinach in the rendered bacon fat. Add the okra, cover with the water, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. When done, add the crab meat, remaining garlic, and chili that has been pricked with a fork. Continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done, add the lime juice, whisk it through thoroughly, and serve hot.
Tasty Conjure Vinegar
Take one pint of molasses, put it in a jug with one gallon of warm water, not boiling, let it stand for two months, and you will have good vinegar to use as a base for Four Thieves, salad dressing, or any household use (traditional).
Black-Eyed Peas (Vigna unguiclata subsp. unguiculata)
The black-eyed pea is a type of bean used for prosperity and general good luck in New Orleans Hoodoo. They can be found in any New Orleans style mojo bag even in the little mojo bags that are typically tied to the arms of Voodoo dolls marketed to the tourist trade. Black-eyed peas are usually placed in threes in mojo bags, and combined with High John root, a silver dime and a pinch of five finger grass as an excellent gambling and money-drawing mojo.
New Year's Day Prosperity Ritual
All over the South people eat a meal of collard greens, cornbread, and black-eyed peas to ensure their prosperity and protection in the coming year. Symbolically, the greens are said to represent green 'paper money'; the corn, being yellow, represents gold or coins; and the black-eyed peas, each possessing an eye, is said to protect you from negativity and bad luck (especially in the form of the evil eye).
Interestingly, a silver dime is often placed in the black-eyed peas, and the person who by chance is served the dime is said to be especially lucky that year, and he or she will keep the dime as a lucky token throughout the year.
On a personal note, growing up in the South our grandmother's often told us that 'what you do on New Year's Day, you'll be doing all year,' therefore we were never to wash clothes, do housework, or anything else we wouldn’t want to be doing on a daily basis.
Hoppin' John for Good Luck
On New Year’s Day many people make the dish called Hoppin' John along with collard greens to insure prosperity and abundance for the New Year. Because black-eyed peas swell when soaked in water, they represent abundance, magically speaking. Reportedly a favorite of Marie Laveau’s, Hoppin' John is a traditional Southern food prepared on New Year’s Day for it’s luck drawing qualities. The name Hoppin' John is thought to refer to the Southern folk hero, High John the Conqueror.
- 1 lb. Black-Eyed Peas
- 8 slices Bacon, cut into fourths
- 1 1/2 cups Onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery, finely chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon Maison Louisianne Creole Spice Blend
- 1/8 teaspoon Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon Rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 cups raw Rice
Soak black-eyed peas overnight in water. Fry bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Add 1 1/2 cups onions, and cook until the onions are transparent. Add 2 1/2 quarts water, bring to boil. Add garlic cloves, Maison Louisianne Creole Spice Blend, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Drain peas and add the boiling mixture. Barely simmer mixture, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hour. Add 2 cups raw rice. Serve with crisp French bread. Enjoy!
Libations: Love and Sex
oz. raspberry liqueur
2 oz. cranberry juice
2 oz. orange juice
Shake everything with ice; strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
spellbindingsis on March 24, 2012:
love the recipes!!!
anonymous on December 19, 2007:
I am looking to get my girls back with me in the home and for people to stop saing the lies about me.
Sensitive Fern on March 16, 2007:
I think perhaps you are not just the voodoomama, but the lensmama as well! Great site! Again!