This is Hootie. He is a Hungarian Long Haired Pig. He lives on the farm we are inhabiting.
I had impressions of being knocked over by the sights in Italy; the paintings, the sculptures, the churches. And I admit, everything, from the squares and the gelatto, to the cute little towns and the ancient roman ruins has been wonderful. But, tonight, after a fantastic picnic lunch on Fermo's hill top, I almost died and went to vegan heaven due to the meal that we pulled off in a joint effort of indelible proportions.
Fermo is a beautiful little city, with a story similar to most of those in and around the Marches. Pre-Roman history, a variety of attempted and successful takeovers, a number of unlikely hero-myths and a whole slurry of sunbaked skin. Prego. We wanted to see if the market was something to write home about, and even if it wasn't, we did manage to get some big fat peppers.
We also found a cute shop that sold us some yummy lunch-time fare that filled us up for our afternoon of more mundane holiday fun: shoe shopping (...hey, a girl needs more than one pair of vegan hikers thank you very much), and finally triumphing in a hideous supermarket in the week long hunt for soy milk.
After winding our way home, I split a free hour of time between painting and reading my new bookclub-book: Gunter Grass's Peeling the Onion, which I can not get enough of.
And then....we made the most brilliant dinner ever...and I mean EVER. It wasn't just the aubergine and parsley salad, it wasn't just the grilled peppers, it wasn't just the barbecued figs for desert or the homemade, homegrown wine, it was that all of these dishes were brilliant AND the food was local, mostly organic and all of it cooked over an open flame.
I implore everyone across the world to try the barbecued fig recipe. I could have risked not fitting into any pairs of lululemon pants ever again if it meant that I could just keep eating the juicy erotic looking maple syrup drenched goodies.
6 fresh figs (picked from the tree on the lawn) - sliced down the middle 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup 3 tablespoons of walnuts - crushed
Add the figs to a tin foil pan (or wrap them gently in tin foil) and stick them on the top of your barbeque after it has already helped you make a wicked meal (so it will be a bit cooler and won't overcrisp your figgies). We let them sit on the grill while we ate dinner. Top with desired creamy goodness.
Topping of your choice: I went with a vanilla soy pudding type 'thing' due to the scarcity of soy-esque products and the total lack of silken tofu.