Some passionate love affairs are easily forgotten, others are only remembered as passing fancies or are over before they ever truly begin, but some are so instantaneously intense and wrought with pure, unbridled emotion that they can forever alter your life. I have had two such love affairs in my life and the one led to the other.
It began with my first trip to Italy in September 2001. This trip was not going to be a guided tour; instead it was a self-catered vacation - a thrilling idea: to have the freedom to navigate the country and the culture with no guides, only my partner Richard and our mothers. "Wait a minute - a love affair began while on vacation with your mothers and partner?" Yes, and it was a love affair of the heart, too, but not the kind you are imagining.Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family
by Mark Leslie
This book caught my attention when it was offered as a kindle deal for $3.99. My first impulse was to "purchase with 1-click", but then I realized recipes are included and I hate e-cookbooks. Luckily, my library had a copy (obviously well-loved). So far this book is almost as good as a trip to Italy.
The goodreads summary makes it sounds even more appealing:
Several years ago, on a break between theatrical gigs in Alabama, Mark traveled to Italy and fell in love with the people, food and culture. Armed with just enough courage, minimal Italian language skills, and a certain proficiency in the kitchen, he enrolled in a full-immersion cooking and language program. He would travel to Viterbo, Italy and live with an Italian family. His teachers were beyond his wildest dreams-he learned to cook from the grandmother, or Nonna, of the family, who prepared every meal in a bustling, busy household, as women in her family have done for generations. Her daughter, Alessandra, taught him the language with patience and precision. Besides culinary secrets and prepositions, they opened their lives to him, and made him a real part of their extensive family. Though the book contains authentic, delicious family recipes Nonna shared with Mark, Beyond the Pasta delves into food memoir subject matter not found in a typical cookbook. It was the day-to-day shopping with Nonna, exploring the countryside and le gelaterie, where he truly developed his language skills, and a new, more joyful and uniquely Italian way of looking at the world.What do you think? Would you keep reading?
The kindle deal was still available last time I checked.
Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.