My kitchen is my home, my home is my world. My world is defined by loving the people in my kitchen and my life, watching them enjoy themselves. I’m not the sort of cook who likes silence and concentrated effort. I like conversation, people sticking fingers in saucepans and scooping sauce out of bowls, slicing the edge off a piece of meat and running a spatula round the cake-mix bowl. I am a chancer, an experimenter, a taster and a bit of an alchemist – sorcerer. That’s why this blog is called Hecichera and I want to share with you the simple pleasures of life, and stories about friendship and food.
Here, we grow what we can, where we can. We have vegetable beds but there are also artichokes and broccoli in the flowerbeds, marigolds in the vegetable beds, herbs in with the roses, peas climbing up trees. Our chooks Gracie, Florence and Martha eat the trimmings, and the annual overproduction of salads. We are not purists though. We shop at supermarkets like ordinary people – because we are. Ordinary people, that is!
My favourite place in the world? Pottering round the market in Orgiva or Lanjaron, Irkutsk or Stockholm, Seattle or Wymondham – checking out the produce and imagining what will emerge from the pan. I’m a sucker for a local farmers’ market and love coming home with something different every time. Last week it was wonderful fragrant soap (but inspired by a conversation about making scones), the week before it was goat meat, this week it was a carrier bag of broad beans which ended up as broad bean hummus on toasted sourdough.
I am settling into the foundations of my life – spending hours at the kitchen table just flicking through my collection of recipe books, drinking tea, eating cake, shelling peas. My kitchen has always been the place where I relax and submerge myself in produce, ingredients, books, knives and pans. I love the potential for alchemy – simply opening the doors of the larder, catching a hint of smoked paprika, preserved lemons, vanilla and home-roasted mixtures of Indian spices in jars fires my imagination.
This blog began in 2012. Since then I’ve developed a culinary profile beyond my friends and family. I cater for parties, dinners and events from birthdays, arts events and glamping photo-shoots. I’ve cooked on fire-pits, catered for celebrations on a couple of gas rings, prepared food for friends and transported it in a trolley bag to London, lived for weeks with only a small wood-burning oven in a tiny house, 30C outside and on the side of a mountain; cooked in tents, yurts, cortijos and in remote places and I develop and publish recipes for local food producers, write about food and promote local produce and local growers.
So come on in, the water’s lovely, browse through the pages, send me some comments and share with your friends. Please ‘like’ this page and sign up to follow the blog. You can also find me on Twitter @Hecichera and Facebook.