What do you see when asked to picture a witch: green skin? Warts? An old hag?
I see an ageless woman living alone in a picturesque cottage in the woods. Her hearth is lit, her walls are covered in books and jars of spell ingredients, and her table is set with spooky delights. She is a healer, a dabbler, a scientist; she is feared but respected, for there are few women like her.
Since Halloween is right around the corner, I used the classical character of a witch as the inspiration for this autumnal tea. I strayed away from the comical and cackling stereotype, however, and chose to highlight the creepier arcane witches instead.
What's a witch's cabin without a few spider webs in the eaves? This beauty here is a blueberry pie with a simple web-lattice top crust accompanied by a pie dough spider. I hand-cut the crust, but there are multiple ways you could achieve this look. If you own a large number of round cookie cutters, you could easily create much thinner and more numerous circular strands, then simply intersect them with the vertical ones. The pie dough spider was also formed free-hand, using the leftover dough from the top crust. I made the head, body, and legs all separately then smushed them together, brushed on an egg wash, poked holes for the eyes, and baked.
A witch needs all sorts of tinctures, tonics, elixirs, and extracts in order to supply villagers with the sundry potions they need. These bottles were all saved from the recycling bin and their previous labels removed. Most of them were once olive oil bottles, but one was balsamic vinegar and another was from vanilla extract. Any interesting bottle will do. You can use any manner of liquid to fill the inside: olive oil, food-colored water, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, whatever gives you the color and texture you are going for.
All of the bottle labels and food cards were handmade, using coffee-stained paper and india ink. True paper would have been hard for a witch to procure, so I made them look as though they were the scrappy bits, too valuable to throw away and just the right size to be pasted onto a potion.
One of the focal points of the tea table was the gingerbread house. I designed it to resemble the outside of the house that the tea was taking place inside of. The roof was shredded wheat with dragon's beard moss, the grass was matcha coconut, the path was coffee grounds, and the fence was black licorice. And of course there had to be a little black cat sitting inside the window.
Please click through the gallery to see more of the unique decorations and food served at this witchy and weird party.
I hope this BeWitching tea party has inspired you in delightfully eerie ways. If you have any questions about what I served or how I styled it, please let me know in the comments!