In Which I Reveal That I’ve Apparently Been Fooling You For the Past 7 or 8 Years

Sometimes it just takes a little irritation to make the day better.

Here’s what I mean.

Yesterday morning I woke up in some kind of harsh blue mood, thinking mean thoughts about myself and feeling like, to quote a Bonnie Raitt song, “nothin’ I try to do ever turns out right.”

I worked my way through that and went on with the day…wrote a post…did some laundry…finished the top of a pillow I’ve been appliquéing by hand…worked on a couple experimental sewing projects…did some more laundry…picked up the kids at school…worked with Julia on her vocabulary words…got dinner started.

While dinner was in the oven, I went into the music/computer room to check email and play free cell and otherwise kill time until the pizza crust was ready to top.

I always get happy when I check my email and see that someone has posted a comment on this website.  Always.  Except when I see that it’s human-generated spam, which is annoying but sometimes funny because some of them read like poorly translated take-out menus.

And except when I read something such as this:

"barefoot" kitchen witch? please don’t try to fool anyone by using the Barefoot name, that belongs to someone already!

The commenter had signed in as Punky, in case you’re wondering, and Punky’s comment is on the “Details” section of this site. 

Anyway, Punky’s thoughtful contribution went straight to my heart. 

To my very soul. 

Or, perhaps, given the subject, perhaps the comment went to my soles

You know, the “barefoot” ones.

Now, first of all, Punky, my website has had the name Barefoot Kitchen Witch since I started blogging, about seven or eight years ago.  I thought long and hard about the name, because I wanted it to reflect who I am (or feel I am) at my most basic.

So, contrary to your sweetly worded accusation, I’m not trying to fool anyone.  In fact, I have no idea WHAT you mean by that.  How would I be fooling people with that name?

Well…now that I think about it…there is this.


Yes.  There you have it:  Damning photographic evidence that I have, in fact, been fooling you all along.

My feet are not bare all the time.

Perhaps the name should have been the Barefoot-Most-of-the-Time Kitchen Witch. 

I’ll think on that, Punky, and get back to you if I should decide to rename this here sneaky and shifty website.

But then, of course, there’s the next part of that sentence.  I’ll type it again because I love it so.

“…by using the Barefoot name…”


I wasn’t aware that using the word “barefoot” was synonymous with deception and subterfuge.  Or that “the Barefoot name” had been reserved for only one person in the world or on the internet.

I just did a search on the word “barefoot” and here are a few of the things that came up…

Barefoot Wine and Bubbly

Barefoot Technologies Corporation

Barefoot – a website and hand made hand woven clothing

Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten’s website

Barefoot Coffee Roasters

and lots of others – Barefoot Books, Barefoot Saddles, Barefoot Flooring, Barefoot Appraisal, Barefoot Training, Barefoot Running, Barefoot Productions, Barefoot Church, lots of variations on Barefoot Kitchen, and, of course, eventually, me.

Now, I’m going way out on a limb here, but I THINK that the “Barefoot name” to which Punky refers is Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa.  Makes sense, right?  All that food and cooking and stuff?


As I pointed out in my reply to Punky, the Barefoot Contessa was a gourmet food shop that Ina Garten PURCHASED in the late 70’s. 

And I have since discovered that the store was actually named after the 1954 movie, The Barefoot Contessa, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner.

Guess what, Punky?

NO ONE owns the word “Barefoot.”

It’s an adjective.  Sometimes an adverb.

And it’s out there for everyone to use.

Now, if I’d called this site “The Barefoot Contessa Kitchen Witch,” then your indignation would be righteous.

I didn’t, though, because I’m not her.

I’m me.

Barefoot Kitchen Witch.

So your indignation is misplaced.

Perhaps you need a creative outlet of your own. 

A blog, maybe.

And you can call it any old thing you like.

And I promise that I won’t suddenly appear there, out of the blue, just to make some snide comment, just to be…mean?  Rude?  Indignant?  Annoying?


There.  I feel better.

15 thoughts on “In Which I Reveal That I’ve Apparently Been Fooling You For the Past 7 or 8 Years

  1. Haha. Some people just seem to have too much time on their hands, b****ing about that kind of silly stuff. I usually find that there are so much better things to spend my little spare time on.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, no matter what the name or the name’s origin.

  2. See that comment would have made me laugh because it is obviously written by a simpleton. Love your blog with or without shoes.

  3. Oh I needed a giggle today!! People are so silly. I guess according to this “Punky” I should be offended since I’m a Barefoot Books Ambassador?
    *fakes horror* You stole my business name! How dare you! *ends fake horror and falls over laughing*

    Hrm.. but it makes me wonder about the name “Punky”. Wasn’t that used already? As in “Punky Brewster”? So isn’t she using a name that belongs to someone else?

    And when you really think about it, aren’t we all using names that have belonged to someone before us? (Ok, that’s a bit too deep for me this early in the morning. I need another cup of coffee!)

  4. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, Barefoot Witch! I’m often amazed at what the anonymity of the internet brings out in some people. And, I guess if the use of “barefoot” is the only thing Punky can complain about, you’re not doing too badly! What a graceful way to deal with him/her–good post.

  5. I like your web site. It is great.
    Some people have nothing better to do but make snide remarks.
    Get a life Punky and find something more useful to do.

    Keep going Jayne- love you and your comments to flunky Punky.

  6. So this Punky is Soleil Moon Frye? Wait, no? But, but . . . that name is associated with an adorable 80’s sitcom moppet! How can anyone else even consider using it?

    Kind of hilarious, when you think about it.

  7. I’m sorry that trolls have found their way to your site but I agree with Veronica that these kind of comments only prove that you’ve made it!

    Another reason I’m glad my blog is private…not that I’d get your wealth of readership anyway. All the above comments should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Punky is in a sad minority in their criticism of you and your blog name. 😉

  8. Yee-haw!!!!!
    Let it out!!!!!!
    Actually, I have several of Ina Garten’s books. Yet I never drew a line between her nickname and yours. How weird is that?
    But yes, Barefoot Contessa is the movie, not the cook, even though I love them both dearly.

  9. I think there are some cranky people lurking on the internet with too much time on their hands. I enjoy your blog and never made the connection until just now :).

  10. I’m glad that you’re being the bigger person here. Some people are very full of themselves cloaked in the anonymity of the Internet. I’m always amazed how bold people can be online but are probably nowhere near that daring in real life.

  11. You know what I do when I see comments like that? I hit delete. It makes me feel like everything is right in the world.

    Keep being wonderful you and don’t stress the idiots.

  12. Give em’ hell, Jayne! I love your website and wish I were your neighbor, even if you are full of subterfuge and shifty use of a common public word. PS did she not see your barefoot banner?

  13. Like many of the responders above, I too am laughing at “Punky”. I actually am appreciative of the name of your blog/website. In a day and age, with so many different things to remember, it’s nice to know I won’t forget the place where I find amazing recipes, and humorous antidotes. I am glad you shared this posters complaint with your audience, and shared your response. Thank you reminding myself and possibly others, we may tend to focus on really ridiculous things. Happy Holidays

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