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A Thousand Days in Tuscany : A Bittersweet Adventure
A Thousand Days in Tuscany A Bittersweet Adventure Author:Marlena De Blasi American chef Marlena de Blasi and her Venetian husband, Fernando, married rather late in life. In search of the rhythms of country living, the couple moves to a barely renovated former stable in Tuscany with no phone, no central heating, and something resembling a playhouse kitchen. They dwell among two hundred villagers, ancient olive groves, ... more »and hot Etruscan springs. In this patch of earth where Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio collide, there is much to feed de Blasi's two passions--food and love. We accompany the couple as they harvest grapes, gather chestnuts, forage for wild mushrooms, and climb trees in the cold of December to pick olives, one by one. Their routines are not that different from those of villagers centuries earlier.
They are befriended by the mesmeric Barlozzo, a self-styled village chieftain. His fascinating stories lead de Blasi more deeply inside the soul of Tuscany. Together they visit sacred festivals and taste just-pressed olive oil, drizzled over roasted country bread, and squash blossoms, battered and deep-fried and sprayed with sea-salted water. In a cauldron set over a wood fire, they braise beans in red wine, and a stew of wild boar simmers overnight in the ashes of their hearth. Barlozzo shares his knowledge of Italian farming traditions, ancient health potions, and artisanal food makers, but he has secrets he doesn't share, and one of them concerns the beautiful Floriana, whose illness teaches Marlena that happiness is truly a choice.
Like the pleasurable tastes and textures of a fine meal, A Thousand Days in Tuscany is as satisfying as it is enticing. The author's own recipes are included.« less
This is the follow-up book to "A Thousand Days in Venice" which I really loved. I didn't love this one as much, but hang in there until the end. It does get better.
Although I'm not a 'foodie' I enjoyed reading about all the really simple ways fresh food was fixed in the Tuscan countryside. Once in awhile the book veered into some rather strange philosophical and pshycological musings of the author. But sometimes those veering wanderings struck a chord with me and made me stop and think.
My favorie quote from the book, which I had to write down and post on my PC was "I wanted death to find me dancing." That's just the way I want it to find me too.
Now I'm going to have to check out the third book in the series, "The Lady in the Palazzo: At Home in Umbria" to see what new discoveries I can find about Italy, and my own internal dialogue.
Bookfanatic reviewed A Thousand Days in Tuscany : A Bittersweet Adventure on
Make sure you read this book when you have a full stomach. Marlena De Blasi has a way of making even the simplest things seem appetizing. She's a very intense, passionate woman and I can see why Fernando, the younger Italian man who is her husband, fell in love with her, an older American woman with grown children. Thousand Days in Tuscany starts off with Fernando quitting his banking job in Venice. He's had it with a formal office job. The couple moves to a small Italian village in Tuscany where they are embraced by the quirky villagers. In some ways, this book is remniscent of Peter Mayle's books about Provence, but De Blasi has a much different writing style. Mayle tends to have a more light-hearted approach and she has more intensity. While this is a good book, it's slow and not quite as captivating as her first book, A Thousand Days in Venice.