Food for Thought

February3

Last night my friend (honourary sister) instant messaged me about the book that she was just finishing.  It is called The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.  I replied with the cliche that great minds think alike as I had already reserved it the library (a) to save paper b) because I’m frugal).  I messaged back with a title for her Hungry Woman in Paris by Josephine Lopez.

One of our fav Paris pics- Sacre Coeur from the Musee D'Orsay

One of our fav Paris pics- Sacre Coeur from the Musee D'Orsay

Then there all the Maeve Binchy tiles:  Quentin’s (about a restaurant), The Scarlett  Feather (about a catering business) and The Night of Rain and Stars (about a restaurant and Inn on a Greek Island).  I have also read the entire Isabel Dalhousie Series by Alexander McCall Smith including Friends Lovers Chocolate .  Isabel’s niece owns a gourmet deli in Edinburgh and Isabel and her partner are always cooking up herb and leek omelets with crisp chardonnays.  So too: The Number One Ladies Detective Agency Series including The Full Cupboard of Life where Precious Ramotswe often starts her day with cup of red bush tea and a  sit on the porch to watch the sunrise and then a walk around her little garden.  Ah-a woman who truly knows what pleasure is.  The series is so food focused that there is now a accompanying cookbook.  “In Mma Ramotswe’s Cookbook: Nourishment for the Traditionally Built you can sample the sumptuous stews for sharing, fabulous fruit cakes for eating under shady trees, with red bush tea of course, and the spices, traditions and culture of Botswana that make every meal together special.”

Everyone thinks that Under the Tuscan Sun is about weekends in Positano and sexy Italian men because of the movie adaption.

Perched in Positano

Me Perched in Positano

When in fact it was an amazing non-fiction depiction of Frances Mayes’ love of celebrating with food.  She even included recipes at the end of many chapters.  Her next  book Bella Tuscany included not only her favourite recipes but the dining excursions that she made around Italy with her new husband.  In her not yet released book Everyday in Tuscany “she’s stirring the reader’s gastric juices with luscious tales from the table or tendering a descriptive nugget that holds fast in the mind’s eye.”

I also love Marlena de Blasi who has worked as a chef and as a food and wine consultant, and also lives in Italy, where she plans and conducts gastronomic tours of its various regions. I’ve read four of her  memoirs—That Summer in Sicily, A Thousand days in Venice, A Thousand Days in Tuscany and The Lady in the Palazzo

And last but not least:  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and her just released Committed which is also on my list.


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