I Had A Dream | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

Ah… figs…red inside, dark on the outside, that sweet, round and comforting taste I remember so well. Around this time of the year, that sweet taste takes me far away in time, in the company of people who are no longer in this world.

My father and his friends got all the kids up early in the morning, prepared our breakfast, got us all dressed cozy and warm for the woods, and out we went to pick fresh figs. The life span of figs is very short, thus we went often to pick figs until they lasted. Hundreds of fig trees filled the vast land cultivated with olive trees, walnut trees, and other fruit trees. We got closer to the figs and embraced the tree first. It was fun and lovely, I felt the earth vibrating, my young friends told me they felt the same vibrations, so, I was not imagining.
The adults picked the figs up high in the tree, us kids harvested those close to us. In the morning, figs were very cold and had drops of dew on it. We grabbed the baskets, covered the bottom with the large fig leaves, and gently aligned the delicate figs.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

lasseter-winery-unsplash

Lasseter-winery-Unsplash

After we filled our baskets, we sat down on the grass, leaned on the fig tree, and started to peel the figs, cut cheese, added prosciutto slices, cracked almonds, and ate them until our heart was content. We lost our bearings for a few hours, we were in heaven. It was life’s greatest pleasure! We listened to the adults talking adults matters, it was fascinating, and kept eating in silence.

aliona-gumeniuk-unsplash

Aliona-Gumeniuk-Unsplash

 

We spent a few hours eating and drinking warm stuff until the sun started to get too warm for the figs.
We had to remember to take home at least a basket full per person, otherwise, our moms would have not let us in the house.

The tastiest fruit of Summer is also one of the agriculture erotism, I think! After the figs I ate in Puglia, I have never found a similar experience anywhere else.

I woke up, it was a dream, I was there, in Puglia, under our usual large fig tree with my father. Ciao.

Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is a designer, author, TV producer, and a storyteller by nature. Stories told through shapes, lines, forms, and colors are very important to her design career to convey ideas that contribute to the making of a personalized home, reflecting the life’s experiences of people living there. As an author, she writes non-fictional books, about practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, travel, and cooking. Find her books on Amazon and Barnes&Noble

 

Time For Figs | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Figs_On_My_Table

Autumn and its warm colored nature is rolling in, my wood for the fireplace is already stacked up in my backyard. Grape harvest has started and soon we will taste some young wines. Beautiful color arrangements are beautifying our homes and my desire for earthy food is growing. This time of the year I have a lot of figs in my kitchen, fresh and dried, they are part of my Mediterranean diet.

Figs are in the family of mulberries and have numerous health properties, one of which is to protect the heart. Figs lower blood pressure, are high in potassium, low on sodium, contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and the antioxidant polyphenol prevents atherosclerosis. Do we need any more reasons for eating figs any time we feel like it?

The memory of picking up figs during my childhood with the adults, my father, uncles and some of their friends is grand. We sat with the baskets full of figs under a tree and ate them with pecorino cheese and bread. The combination of sweet figs and salty cheese is perfect and the colors are so fantastic: deep purple on the outside and red purple on the inside. The combination with white of the cheese, the purple of the figs and the green of pistachios nuts is simple magic happening in the mouth while the taste buds dance happy.

BakedFigs

Have you ever tried baked figs stuffed with nuts or gorgonzola cheese? It takes 5 minutes of preparation and 5-8 minutes of baking. Simply cut the figs in half and place one nut (any of your liking) or a dollop of cheese in the middle. Close each fig like a sandwich, place them on a baking sheet and in the oven at 275° F., bake just enough to melt the cheese or warm up the nuts. Cool before eating.
Find this recipe on page 101  of my book ©Sins of a Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts.

Pair a Chianti wine if you are combining figs and pecorino, or fig with prosciutto/salami, otherwise, if you are having figs and nuts, a good bubbly Prosecco will be perfect as well. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val LeopardRobert Taitano, a friend and business associate of http://www.wine-fi.com says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”. She is the author of two Italian regional cookbooks and one book on Colors, all three available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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