Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat!: Witches Brew Ingredients!

Hi! Welcome to Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat! The first blog hop was a Bookie Brunch special event for Halloween, and it was a lot of fun, so we're just continuing the tradition.

On each blog stop from now through Halloween, a blogger or vlogger will have a handpicked Halloween treat to share with you - it might be a video clip, or a feature about great spooky films, a playlist of great, creepy songs, a recipe for treats, or a gallery of witches.

It might be anything! But it's sure to be something fun, so feel free to drop by each day from October 23-31, to pick up some cute treats to put you in the Halloween mood. All the treats will be added into the linky at the end of this post, so feel free to browse.

My treat for you is: 

Round about the caldron go; 
    In the poison'd entrails throw.— 
    Toad, that under cold stone, 
    Days and nights has thirty-one; 
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got, 
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! 
         Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 
  Fillet of a fenny snake, 
    In the caldron boil and bake; 
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, 
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,— 
    For a charm of powerful trouble, 
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 
         Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and cauldron  bubble. 
     Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; 
    Witches' mummy; maw and gulf 
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark; 
    Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark; 
    Liver of blaspheming Jew; 
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew 
    Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse; 
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips; 
    Finger of birth-strangled babe 
    Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,— 
    Make the gruel thick and slab: 
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, 
    For the ingredients of our cauldron. 
       Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. 
        Cool it with a baboon's blood, 
    Then the charm is firm and good

The ingredients for a 'Witch's Brew'

So in Shakespeare's Macbeth the witches make a magical brew using some pretty strange ingredients. I decided to put up the whole poem since while most people can quote the first few lines you very rarely hear the whole thing. Even though some of the ingredients are meant to be literal and kinda creepy it's still a great part of the famous play.

As for the non-literal ingredients. Witches used to name the ingredients in their potions based on physical appearances of the herbs that they actually were. So my treat for you is to let you know what some of these plants actually are! I'm going to show you some pics of the plants just for fun try to guess which ones are which just from the picture. (I'm only doing four since there are lots of ingredients and lots more blogs to check out!)

Can you guess what this one is??

It's Eye of Newt, actually mustard seed.  Some of those really do look like little eyeballs huh?

I don't think this one's as obvious. I guess if you turn the pic so the leaf is facing down it looks sorta like the ingredient....

It's Tongue of Dog or the leaves of the hounds tongue plant.

I think this one looks a lot more like what it is being compared to. A hint? The main difference I see between the plant and it's brew name? No fork at the end.

So have you guessed it yet?  It's Adder's Fork, which is the adders tongue plant.

Now the fourth one is kinda tricky.  I can't quite figure out it it was describing the flower or the leaves of this plant.  Which one do you think it is?

It's the Toe of Frog!  (Otherwise known as the Bulbous Buttercup)

I hope you enjoyed my treat! Be sure to check out all the other awesome blogs in the linky below!

About Bookie Brunch: Bookie Brunch was a weekly book discussion founded by Sasha Soren, the author of Random MagicBrowse archive


  1. Awesome! loved learning what some of the ingredients really are. Have a Happy Halloween!

    1. I know right? Thanks for stopping by! Happy Halloween!

  2. Very cool! I always wondered what those weird ingredients were.

    1. Some of them were REALLY strange! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great post! Nice to find out what those strange ingredients actually are.

  4. Thanks for sharing the ingredients to this brew - very cool to see what they actually look like. :)