Author Ferenc Mate and his wife Candace did what many of us would love to do – moved to a country where the food, wine and ambiance leaves you with a permanent vacation state of mind. OK, maybe that didn’t happen to them (the vacation mind set) but I would wager it could be that way for me and my husband. Tuscany. Just stating Tuscany evokes images of rolling green hills, vineyards, small local cafes serving strong coffee and homemade pastries.
This memoir details their experience with a foreign culture, the procedures of purchasing a place to live, Italian laws as well as new markets, foods and finding a place in their new society. Making friends, enjoying life and living the dream.
The industrious folks who have faced challenges of remodeling and language barriers (the likes of Frances Mayes, *Carol Drinkwater and Marlena De Blasi) impress me. I am a lazy soul….imagining sitting on a terrace with a local wine, swirling the glass, nibbling on fresh bread and watching wildlife and/ or the local vineyard activities or a view of Mediterranean sea. All the work that the author and aforementioned writers tackled smacks of being much more diligent than I fear I am capable. Perhaps if we are offered a place in Provence or Tuscany or anywhere olives, garlic and wine are abundant…ok, then I would work hard and make the ruin our own castle.
* I know Carol Drinkwater is in Provence….I am equally jealous and impressed
Of all the dishes I could have made – crostini, crepes with ricotta, pasta, rabbit ragu……….I made a Tuscan Pot Roast. Why? Because it’s hot and I wanted to use a slow cooker and it had the name Tuscan in the recipe. It was overdone, but alas, this is just another learning experience. Should have stuck with crostini 🙂
You may find the recipe at Squirrel Head Manor
More about the author:
Ferenc Máté has made a career of out documenting his own quests—whether it’s restoring a Tuscan ruin, building a vineyard from scratch, or sailing the seven seas.
Born in Transylvania, he escaped at age eleven when the Hungarian revolution was crushed by Soviet tanks. He grew up in Vancouver and has lived in California, Paris, Rome, the Bahamas and New York. He has worked on a railroad extra-gang and as a boat-builder, photographer, deckhand and book editor. He is the author of 16 books translated into 12 languages.
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