Fig tarte


Not really Winter, not Spring yet. Time for cleaning your freezer. This is not a Brussels’ sprout tart – hehe – but a fig tart! A friend of mine has fig trees and so I use to prepare  fig preserve for my sister – she loves it – and  freeze fig halves during the winter season. I use to serve them with blue cheese and Prosecco, if I am very inspired I wrap them in pancetta, fry them and then serve them with blue cheese and Prosecco – boring, ah?

But when it is time, I love to bake fig tarts. I cover the shortbread base with home-made fig preserve, add the frozen fig halves and some chopped almonds. A grated orange zest and off into the oven at 200 C for half an hour or so. Not too sweet, tasty, a perfect breakfast treatimage


A mostly needed gentle hug

How to put it gently and not sound creepy? I don’t know, but the fact is that Gromit, our first family dog, an old one, rescued from a family (human) who suffered a murder attempt, slipped from sleep to wherever mighty dogs run in the afterlife.

No need to add that it was hard, very hard to accept. We somehow believe he will live forever. Despite his age, his fur turned white, his fading appetite. We knew,of course we knew, but we still won’t believe it possible.

Life is not what we like it to be, it simply is, and so Gromit is not here anymore. We should be happy, rejoice even, because he simply never woke after his sleep.

Gromit is to be remembered as the dog who had a name before he was even born. In our family we had two TV programmes fit for the kids: the first was Pingu, the second Wallace and Gromit.  Pingu had no intelligible language – this is not true, of course, the underline was very subtle – Wallace and Gromit gave the kids the first taste of english.

Like all kids our two had a mad desire for a pet. A dog! We then lived in a  small flat, a brisk change of town and school to help our son cope with his allergies. No way to keep a dog in there. Then, for the allergy reason, we moved to the country and there was no denying them the dog. The name had been settled for years: Gromit. The dog who is wiser and brighter than his owner. And off I went, searching for him.

I was a cat woman, never had a dog, no experience at all, more: I was afraid of them! But a mother is a war machine when needed and so off I went, with two things in mind: a) the dog must not smell when wet (I cannot stand the stench), b) it must be a “rescued” dog. Italian law did not allow me and my partner – me and him married after 25 years of partnership because there was no law to secure our underage kids, thank you so much – to adopt a child, we will at least adopt a pet.

I visited and cuddle a selection of puddles advertised by the local newspaper, then I end up in a small home where they gave away two tiny dogs, a male and a female. I fell in love with Gromit-to-be at first sight, and when we drove to bring him home my husband asked me: are you sure the dog lives here? Here where?  We are both journalist, you must understand this. And he covered a criminal story in that very place. A relative came to the house, shoot with a gun at the house, missed the young granddaughter  of the owner, killed a dog instead, and run away across the border. In our places it is possible to run to another country, happy we… Headlines for weeks, but i did not realize it when I first visited. My husband, who had to cover the story, was shocked. But Gromit came home with us, for good.


And so the story goes till February the 9th, when Gromit – as said – drifted away as peacefully as we all hope to. To put it right, there will be no other Gromit in our household. When our retired greyhound was put to sleep due to an aggressive cancer, we adopt another poor soul, but this time we decided not.

Gromit gone, end of the story.









A serial knitter cooking book

Let us talk about time. Last week I somehow edited my first knitting pattern ever. I am ashamed to tell you how I struggled to put the “creature” together, so overwhelmed by the alien technology I am supposed to master living in  A.D. 2017, using smartphones to interact with the wide world. The truth is that I am far from any 2.0 or 3.0 human entity.  When I started school, in 1966, I learned to write using an ink pen (read any reference you will find: historical writing instrument!). Then I entered the journalist profession, again in historical times…. my writing had to be prepared for the tin printing machine. This being enough said.

Anyway. The pattern is out for you to grab (it is free) and knit. Tin(y) gloves on Ravelry

As said, working on patterns is devouring my time, so my cooking suffers a bit. That’s why I am so in love with roasted veggies. Today will be parsnip-potato-peperoni roast with poached eggs. With a precious hour left for me to knit my next project, a destashing, mostly garter sts wrap with a twisted border and a special closing.

Buon appetito!