Hecichera is an adaptation of hechicera – Spanish for ‘witch’ or ‘sorcerer’. I am Dawn Rees – an experimenter, a taster, an alchemist. I love to write about food and life.
In my kitchen I prefer conversation to concentration. It’s fine by me when people stick fingers in pans and scoop sauce out of bowls, slice the edge off a piece of meat or run a spatula round the cake bowl. There’s only one rule – don’t lift the lid if it’s on a saucepan!
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 or home-roasted mixtures of Indian spices in jars fires my imagination.
My grandmother was a working class single parent and house-owner in the 1930’s. She was a cook and a food demonstrator for The Gas Company and the Electricity Supply Company in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. My childhood memories of standing on a chair beside her, watching her chop and slice, or mix pastry or making cakes are full of warmth and anticipation. My memory of her table is that it was always groaning with home made food – and to open her larder was to immerse yourself in the aroma of deep red jam, spicy chutney, pickles, cold ham on a plate and freshly baked bread. The sight and smell of a sausage and onion pie, or of toasting a thick slice of her bread in front of the fire and spreading it thickly with butter and then jam, or slicing into a deep fruit cake is the foundation-stone of the strong affinity I discovered between love, food and identity. Those memories of her kitchen have always stayed with me. I wish I could tell her now how much she has influenced me.
Here at home in Norfolk, we have always loved people arriving on spec and eating with us – and over the years I have developed a culinary profile beyond friends and family. I’ve catered for parties, dinners and events from birthdays, workplace lunches, fundraising and arts events just like my grandma. I’ve cooked on fire-pits and two gas burners for photo-shoots, parties for charities, lived for weeks with only a small wood-burning oven in a tiny house on the side of a mountain; cooked in tents, yurts and cortijos in remote places. I have been known to serve 200 plates of food over two nights at our pop-up supper club. I develop and publish recipes for local food producers and write about food, and through the recipes promote local produce and local growers. I am in my element in my kitchen, and in the prime of my life.
Please would you ‘like’ this page by clicking on the tag, and sign up to be automatically notified about new posts? You might also like to follow on Twitter @Hecichera and Facebook.
To find recipes that interest you, just click on the categories or tags to the right of the page – recipes are grouped by theme/product.