Posted by Lyndi
Are you looking for a happy-go-lucky read?
A week ago I purchased a paperback at Borders in Rogers from the 50% off table. It had all the makings of what I like: non-fiction with a story, discussions about food, wine, Italy, and it was 50% off!
I have to tell you… this is such a delightful book!
Immediately it held my attention because the author, Michael Tucker, is happily-in-love with his soul mate for the past 35+ years, Jill Eikenberry. Yes, these are the two actors from the hit 80s/90s television series L.A. Law.
This 252 page book details their adventures purchasing a 350 year old stone house in Umbria, Italy, and their quest to afford to make Italy a year-long adventure and not only a twice a year seasonal event. Originally published in 2006, it is neither outdated nor dull.
Sautéed throughout the pages are delightful tales of Mikey (that’s what his friends call him and yes, I do feel like one now) discovering local butchers who have their passionate preparation techniques that have been handed down for generations, the joys of savoring the simplicity that is so revered by Italians and their cooking, his initial falling in love with the enormous pizza oven on his grounds and then the awe he felt when he learned it was constructed 50 years prior to the building of the home as the communal baking oven for the townspeople. Oh, and the tales about wine and grappa, and more wine, and more grappa. Ahhhh… bella! Beautiful!
I cannot wait to cook some of his recipes he worked in as he told his stories.
The other element that was seasoned throughout the pages was tales of friendships found. I actually felt wistful as I lived, (momentarily as literature so easily provides) through the day-in and day-out interactions with friends and towns people, laughed as I read about over-the-top gluttonous food focused parties, and marveled at the ease of companionship they made with friends while living in Umbria.
Sigh… I realize I am missing out getting to know friends and family in such a comfortable way.
This book is a must read for anyone who has ever been to Italy, wants to visit Italy, ever dreamed of moving to Italy or ever dreamt of escaping for a while in a foreign land. This book is also for anyone who loves the incorporation of simplistic foods that have been gently prodded to bring out its fullest flavor.
This book is for anyone who dreams of slowing down in life, with the loves of their lives, and with the fullest love of life.