What are bay leaves even for?

I drop a bay leaf into many dishes that I make. Because that is the way my mother did it, and her mother before her.

I do not know what benefit it provides. I just know that you add exactly one, and you must be careful not to eat it.

This smacks of witchcraft. As though you are attempting to ward off elves so they don’t steal your food or put a shoe in it or something. Because traditional elves are dicks, and they are constantly doing dick things like that.