When we recounted the trip back home, we both measured the days in meal and countries: lunch in Monte Carlo overlooking a white sand beach populated with beautiful topless French women (crisp salad Nicoise thick with anchovies, roasted whole fish with fennel and tomatoes); in Barcelona, a late bite just off Las Ramblas (spit-roasted rabbit, broiled mussels with garlic and parsley sauce); the hike to a hillside cliff for hot, sweet tea above Tunis (sugary date-heavy Tunisian pastries); a bit in an ancient square in Palermo, Italy, after being overcharged by a crafty seventeen-year-old Sicilian cart-and-buggy driver (handcrafted pizza with fresh tomatoes, grilled squid with sweet fennel sausage); and, finally, the best past vongole (pasta with clams) of my life high above the harbor on the island of Capri. (page 120)
Doesn't a passage like that make you wish that it was you who had that experience (although I suspect I might have chosen different meals)!
I have been pondering over the last couple of weeks exactly why it is that I enjoy reading foodie memoir type books. I think it is because they are aspirational! I wish that I could be there, or if I have been there that I could go again! Or maybe it is just that I wish that I could write about the places I do go or have been!
It's the same with TV cooking shows. I love watching TV shows where they shoot at different locations, or even better in different countries. I love watching as they visit gorgeous castles, or fabulous beaches even though it tortures me because I know that I won't be going anywhere exotic, or even just different, any time soon!
When I look back over my reading this year, there is a decisively French feel. I just finished reading An Immovable Feast which is all about an Australian man's life in France (review will be up in December) and Lunch in Paris about an American woman moving to France. It's also not just memoirs that give me this feeling - even well written fiction can deliver these kind of emotional longing. Die for Me by Amy Plum and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins both had me wishing that I was with the characters in Paris! It's not only France though. I remember longing to visit Tuscany for months after reading Under the Tuscan Sun.
It's not only the travel aspect though. It's also looking at recipes or images of food and thinking that it looks fabulous and I wish I could do that or eat that! Gorgeous cakes and dinners that just have the mouth salivating just by looking at them!
Why do you enjoy reading foodie books, whether they be memoirs, cook books, novels or magazines?
I have a few newsy type items to share before finishing off this week!
Firstly, I need to announce the winner of the giveaway of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School! Congratulations to
I will be sending you an email shortly to get your details and get your prize on it's way to you.
Secondly........my oven (kind of) got fixed this week! There are still some further repairs to be done, but I can at least turn it on manually. It turns out I probably could have been doing this all the way along but didn't know how! In fact, I am cooking Apple Crumble as this post goes live. I must have left dozens and dozens of comments on other people's Weekend Cooking posts saying that I would try a recipe if only my oven was working. Now, I have no excuses!
Thirdly - I am contemplating starting a new feature within a feature. I have mentioned before that my son is very keen on cooking at the moment. He is doing Food Technology at school and so is bringing home some food each week, but he also likes to do some cooking at home. As a result I was thinking about sharing our learning to cook experiences in some of my Weekend Cooking posts. I was trying to think of a clever and catchy name - he seems to like Adventures of a Little Chef so we may just go with that! I am however a bit concerned that I will announce this and suddenly he won't be interested any more! I think the first post will go up next week!
At the moment I seem to have quite a stock of ideas for Weekend Cooking posts! Hopefully I will remember them for those weeks that I can't think of anything that I want to write about!
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.