Tarot in the Kitchen: Fermenting with the High Priestess


Blending food and Tarot, this blog series takes a look at each Major Arcana and asks the question “what would this card be like in the kitchen and what food would they make?”

mystic meg tarot
Mystic Meg Tarot

The High Priestess is mysterious, powerful and wise. In the kitchen she gravitates toward making things that not just any joe schmo could make.

Like fermented foods!

Fermentation has a fascinating, internal process – also known as rotting – that transforms ordinary food like cabbage into complex and sophisticated condiments like sauerkraut and kimchi.

Intuition, dreams, the unconscious – these are the realms of the High Priestess and she guides you on making this trip down into your underworld, to meet with your inner knowing.

And just as the human psyche has much bubbling and brewing underneath it, fermentation is a process during which food just appears to sit there and do nothing, yet wild microbes and bacteria are doing all kinds of crazy shit!

Can’t you just imagine the High Priestess’s kitchen? It would be filled with bottles of herbal tinctures and jars of fermenting foods – secret recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

So here is my absolute favorite fermented foods recipe:

Fermented Lemons!

5-7 organic lemons
2.5 Tbsp sea salt (either coarse or fine – but if you use fine, you can use a bit less)

1. Halve 5 lemons and juice them, pouring juice in a medium sized mason jar or large sized jam jar. Add 1 Tbsp of salt to lemon juice and stir to dissolve.

2. Cut each lemon halve into four pieces. Place some of the lemon bits into the jar and add some more salt, then add more pieces and more salt until all the lemon bits are in the jar and there’s no salt left. Place a heavy rock or paper weight in the jar to press the lemons below the liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid to do this, juice the other two lemons and add that.

3. loosely screw the lid on – you don’t want it airtight though! Sit it on your counter and let it ferment for about 3-4 weeks. Mold may grow on the top, but don’t get all squeamish – just skim it off and get on with life.

4. After 3 or 4 weeks, taste a bit of lemon. It should taste like lemon preserves but without the sweetness. Like candied lemons that are salty instead of sweet. If they still taste more like raw lemons and not magical enough, let them sit a few more days. But if they are satisfactory to you, transfer them to the fridge where they will probably keep for a very long time.

But what the f*ck am I going to do with fermented lemons? I hear you whine. Put them in tabbouleh salads, pasta salads, moroccan Tagines or even tomato-based pasta sauces and soups! I sometimes put a bit of fermented lemon on goat cheese and crackers or skewer a bit of lemon along with a green olive and dunk it in my kombucha or Ceasar. The sky’s the limit!

Oh, and if you have sugar cravings, just a bit of fermented lemon will kill it. You’re welcome 😉

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