Saturday, January 30, 2010

Food for Thought: Part II of Bringing Tuscany Home by Frances Mayes

When snow is forecast for the Mid-South, I always think, Right. Mmmhum, when donkeys fly. This morning we awoke to blinding white light and great drifts of snow...but no flying beasts.
The first thing I did was pull out Frances Mayes' Bringing Tuscany Home. It's part book, part hot water bottle, just the thing for a frost-bit outlook.
Come away with me for a few minutes
and warm up at Bramasole.

Let's have a meal on the terrace. What about pasta juxtaposed on daisies as a starter?

Oops, overturned my wine glass, Frances. Please may I have another?

For our main course, fiery red pasta to heat the soul and the belly.

Dessert is a mint green dream, visions of spring, it's just around the corner.

Oh, Frances, you knew we were coming!

Bramasole has a shrine outside its door...
we can have one, too.

If you're not quite ready to return home, you are just a click away from foodie adventures, sunlight, warmth.
Please celebrate the written word with Jain at "Food for Thought."

Bringing Tuscany Home by Frances Mayes, Broadway Books. Photography by Steven Rothfeld.


  1. Based on your beautiful presentation of this book earlier on FFT, Michael, I checked it out of our library last week. I was enthralled with the luscious scenes & recipes shown within. I didn't dare try to blog about it, since you had so eloquently captured its essence already. I'm glad I didn't try. Your skills with both words & photos astound & inspire me and leave me constantly wanting more.

  2. Wow! Who knew garlic in a wine glass could look so spectacular??!
    I ordered this book from my bookseller two weeks ago after Part I of your review, it's on back order still...:(

  3. Well, another book has veen added to my list!

  4. I put it on my wish list also! Love photographs.

  5. Great review of this time I go shopping, I'm going to see if I can pick this one up....if not, there is always online ordering. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I really want to try this book... and get some of that ribbon... I love the color!

  7. Dear Gollum,

    The snow visited us today also, it's after 5pm and it's still snowing. My thoughts turned to a nice hot bowl of Chicken Soup when I saw all that 'white stuff' outside. My first thought was to ship it all to Rue, she always tells us how she loves snow.

    In keeping with our Italian Tradition, we have our pasta dinner on Thursdays, but your photos were so terrific, that I had an urge to pour myself a glass of wine. ;)

    Shown in that dessert photo, is something we know as Crostoli(Bow Tie cookies). For years I have asked one of our elderly friends for her recipe, our kids love them so much. But when I didn't get it, I tried many different ones that I found on the internet, even Martha's; our dogs must have gained ten pounds from me giving it to them as treats, they just didn't taste like our friend Rita's. :(

    Finally this past holiday, I received the recipe from Rita's sister-in-law, via email. I can't wait to try them, and will post it on Foodie Friday when I make them.
    I heard from the camera company yesterday, that 'another' new camera is on it's way to me. This will be the third replacement,wish me luck, so that I can get back to posting on my blog.


    PS....The Chicken Soup sure hit the spot. ;)

  8. After the first Post about Part I, I thought, hmmm gotta get that book. Now I definately have to get it.

    LOVE your valentine themed header.

    - The Tablescaper

  9. I hope it didn't all pour out or break the glass.
    Yes I could sit there at the shrine of Bramasole, enjoying the wine, the company, the food.
    I know food tastes better there simply because of the atmosphere.
    The sky is a different shade of blue. The terrior so perfect for the grapes. The place I long to be.

  10. Love the new look and the yummy header M, I have the book and it is droolworthy just like your posts. ciao, Kathy.

  11. Well, Michael, anyone who has ever visited our blog knows I love those books-my 15 year old daughter chose the name based on her mom's obsession with Italy, Tuscany, Bramasole, and childhood memories of summers in the most beautiful place on earth. Thank you for the inspiration and for honoring my memories with your words

  12. Hi Michael I came for a visit and then I looked around and saw pink and went back to the header to make sure I was on the right page. Love the polka dots. I did a whole post on polka dots in design. Fun look!!Enjoy the snow!Kathysue

  13. Oh man, the pictures are just flat-out stunning, Michael!!!! But you didn't show us pictures of the blinding white snow!!!!

    Been to the PO lately? Heeheeheeeeeeeeeeeee... I'm such a bitch.

    Justine :o )

  14. Beautiful presentation, great shots. Will have to check out that book looks wonderful. I also love your mosaic photo header what program do you use to make them.
    Thanks so muc

  15. I like the mosaic-maker at

  16. Only you can take garlic, put it in a wine glass, tip it over, take a photograph and have it look beautiful! Okay, you've convinced me. I have to go order this book! (Are you getting a kick-back? LOL) You sure make it look enticing. laurie

  17. That looks like a really nice book! Your pictures were beautiful! Love & blessings from NC!

  18. * You are a SUCH gooood American, Gigi, helping "boost" our economy like that!!!

    EVERYTHING HERE looks SOOO PRETTY in that book, & if we're told Y*O*U bought it, MANY of us just go out & buy it because we TRUST YOUR TASTE!!!! (And
    "buds", too!!)

    This is T*H*E place to always come for piece, quiet & an incredibly artsy meal!!!

    MUCH LOVE to all,
    Linda in AZ *

    (BTW: Now I'm S*U*R*E you're the reason we're remodeling my entire study w/ floor-to-ceiling bookshelves~~~~ )

  19. Ordered this book after your first post. Still waiting.
    Wow! Your new header is beautiful! I like the pink polka dot background too. Ill look forward to what you share for Valentine's Day.

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  21. that was wonderful! i love your shots, they are just so romantic and take me away to prettier places! i hope your snow has warmed away by now and that shrine was the key to success!

    still need to order this book, i am trying to thin my library herd now before i order anymore, to many wonderul things to see and read to ever accomplish in a lifetime!

    thanks so much for sharing at fwt!

  22. After the first part of your review, I ordered the book. I love it! I also bought the DVD of Under the Tuscan Sun. We had seen it before, but I wanted to see it again after reading Bringing Tuscany Home. We watched it last night while we were snowed in. We got the same storm that you got. About 8-9 inches here in Virginia Beach. Almost unheard of!

  23. I am constantly amazed and delighted with your descriptions and PHOTOS!!!! GARLIC in a wine glass???? And it looks GOOD!!!!! You inspire always! XO, Pinky

  24. Hi
    This is my first visit to your blog and I'm glad I found you! Your photography is beautiful. Thanks for the book review. I've been meaning to read that book for some time now.

  25. Hi, I just popped over from Shellbelle's Hut!! I love your gorgeous blog. I too have this book and as a matter of fact I'm going to go get it and sit by the fire and dream a little.
    BTW, I love the shrimp stuffed shells recipe in the book, I make it quite a bit..very tasty

  26. Again, I say- your photos are simply beautiful.
    I feel like I am reading through a favorite magazine.

    I am!


  27. I love the new pictures at the top of your blog. Only you can get garlic to look so elegant! Very cool and wonderful pictures. You never cease to amaze me.

  28. Michael, I don't know how you always do it, but your pictures are always such terrific food for my soul!

    Angelic Accents

  29. Lovely review of a lovely book. I would never have known about it if it were not for your blog. Thank you!


  30. This looks like an amazing book.
    Now back to work, yuck!

  31. Oh, this is lovely! I think your tablescaping is a fabulous representation of the book. Great job!


    Sheila :-)