Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

Frances Mayes

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0767929837

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opnes the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.

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small glass box and carefully labeled it in calligraphic hand, vertebra of the Virgin. Soon I had a shelf in my bookcase devoted to my relics. Tooth of St. Mark, shell from the bottom of the Red Sea, splinter of the cross, vial of Mary’s tears, a stone from the road to Damascus, small quartz shafts that I called Jesus Wept tears. Faux they were, but I thought that probably ninety-nine percent of those hoisted above altars in gold reliquaries were gathered in the same way. My shelf was a place of

each in a square of aluminum foil, pour some olive oil on it, and close it tight. Place in a small ovenproof dish. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, checking with fork tines after the first 30 minutes. Let the garlic cool until ready to handle. The roasted bulbs are extremely sticky and there are a variety of ways to remove them from their skins. Take a paring knife and lightly dig out the cloves from the top. Or take a piece of waxed paper, put the garlic head on it root side up, and cover with

their daily walk on the road below our house. Often, bits of conversation float up. We hear ravioli, porcini, ricotta, noce, grappa, cinghiale, ciliege. Often arguments ensue: “Lapo makes the best pecorino.” “No, it’s Carla.” “What shit you speak!” “Carla’s sheep graze on insalata di campo.” “Hah! She has rats in her barn.” On and on. Where you eat well, where you don’t. Who’s stealing cantaloupes out of the fields, who raises rabbits on bread and greens, and who raises them on bought mangimi.

dawn. The ground all around me was ripped away.” They’d frolicked around him, chomping his new lawn, possibly nosing his toes. The head of the Cinghiale squadra mumbles as he moves away, “Go sleep with your wife instead. Unless you want a tusk up your ass.” In the afternoon, we walk the fence at Fonte, noting scuffle marks where they’ve squeaked under. Ed decides to build a wire fence behind the electrical and barbed wires. This war against the cinghiale is beginning to seem Sisyphean. I pick up

she’s ethereal, but then I see crude, tough yellow corns on the last two toes of each foot. They’re translucent in the lamp’s glow, as she relaxes with The Upper Room, a church book of devotional reading, open on her lap. Dove heads, tea olive, silver globe, bowl of peaches, church books. Images are the pegs holding down memory’s billowing tent. From them, I try to figure out who my people were and where we lived, what they did and what they could have done. South Georgia, where I was born,

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