Macbeth Witches Brew

saffron and onion

April 23rd is Shakespeare’s birthday and it has been proclaimed as Talk Like Shakespeare Day. In honour of this joyous spring day, below is a little concoction to calm your catastrophe.

Macbeth Witches Brew
Serves: 4 (1 king and 3 witches)
  • ½ pound, poison'd entrails
  • 1 toad (leave under cold stone for 31 days before preparing)
  • 2 quarts, swelter’d venom (obtained while snake is sleeping)
  • 1 fillet of fenny snake (different snake)
  • 1 box (6 oz.), eye of newt
  • 3 tbsp Witch’s Allspice (contains toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog)
  • Adder’s fork (blind-worm’s sting, lizard’s leg, owlet’s wing)
  • 1 witch’s mummy (thawed)
  • 1 maw
  • 1 gulf of salt-sea shark (ravin’d)
  • 1 hemlock root (3obtained by digging in the dark)
  • 2 cups, assorted body parts
  • 1 white tiger’s chaudron, finely chopped
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 4 cups baboon's blood (chilled)
  1. In a large cauldron over an open fire, toss in poison’d entrails, toad, and venom. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Mix in fenny snake and Witch’s Allspice. Stir.
  3. Careful; charm is now of powerful trouble. Continue to boil and bubble.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, continue to boil and bubble.
  5. Stir until the gruel is thick and slab. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes (or until eye of newt is tender), stirring frenetically.
  6. Cool with baboon’s blood. Serve with a festive sprig of parsley.

saffron with onion and cream

“I am terrible drunk.” Wash this witchy dish down with plenty of red red wine. Pour into a large goblet and allow the servant to try it first. If death does not occur, shove servant aside and drink until merry.

Movie night suggestion: Kurosawa’s Kumonosu-ju aka, Throne of Blood (1957). Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a war-hardened general egged on by his overly ambitious wife works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider’s Web Castle. A strong cinematic adaption, Kurosawa perfected Shakespeare’s story in this apocalyptic vision of the Sengoku period.

Film notes: In Japan, the title of “Throne of Blood” is “kumonosu-ju” which translates into “Castle of the Spider’s Web.”

The castle set was built on the volcanic slopes of Mt. Fuji.

Real arrows are fired into Mifune at the end of the film. They were hollowed out and run along wires to ensure they hit their target.

When the witch runs into the forest she can be seen wearing sneakers.

US Marines based in Japan  at the time helped build the castle. Originally, Kurosawa was going to build a facade castle for the film, but it was impractical, so full-on castle sections were built.

Three Shigenki theater actors begged Kurosawa to play in the film. Isao Kimura, Seiji Miyaguchi and Nobuo Nakamura appear as Samurai ghosts in the second witch scene.