Monday, July 31, 2006

Under the Tuscan Yum

So I've been reading Under the Tuscan Sun recently. I never managed to watch th movie - it seemed like a mediocre vehicle for Diane Lane (who, suprise suprise, doesn't seem to resemble the author and main character of the book at all) coming off of her success in Unfaithful. But the book came with good recommendations, and I've mostly enjoyed it.

Much of it describes all the backbreaking, frustrating, and sometimes hilarious work that Frances Mayes, the author, and her husband/boyfriend/? (also suspiciously absent in the movie, from what I gather) had to do to get the old farmhouse liveable again. As a homeowner who enjoys house projects, this was particularly inyeresting to me.

The descriptions of the food (many of the vegetables grown on her property) and wine that Mayes encounters and prepares are also sumptuous. The spousal unit and I went to Italy 2 years ago, and found the cuisine of the region to be quite delectable, much more so than that in Rome. Mayes even includes some recipes in the text that I assume she created in an impromptu fashion. I'll be trying one of these recipes this week - Chicken with chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. Care to join me for dinner?

What I do find rather tedious is the descriptions of the towns and Etruscan historical sites that Mayes gives. If she had tried to edit herself more I believe she would have done this spectacular region more justice.


PrettyRandomThoughts said...

I love how this post starts out. So Ebert and Roper! Two thumbs way up!

Slave to the dogs said...

Too bad I preferred Siskel.