When I’ve had a ho-hum day, a non-stop day, or a “Please just let it be over day!” there’s nothing that helps me escape and unwind faster than a good book. Curled up on the couch in the living room in front of the fire, while soaking in a hot bubble bath or just a few minutes in bed before turning out the lights, books let me step out of my life, my worries and my to-do list and fall into the life of someone else (real or imagined).
A favorite (and a steal at only $5.20 on Amazon) is A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France, a memoir by Georgeanne Brennan.
Georgeanne Brennan won the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award for her writing and is the author of numerous cooking and gardening books such as “The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence,” “The Family Table” and “Savoring France.”
“A Pig in Provence” recounts her initial move to Provence to keep goats and try to make a living from making fresh goat cheese and moves though subsequent summers spent in Provence. Each chapter is a chapter from her life tied to the food that defines that experience: goat cheese, mushrooms found through wild mushroom foraging, pork and her family’s first pig purchase, bouillabaisse, garlic, lamb, and tarts.
The narrative is consuming, making you feel like you’re right there in Provence whether it be on a hot summer night celebrating Bastille Day or a cold morning performing the ritual butcher of a pig. At the end of each chapter is a recipe highlighting the flavor that has become the star of that chapter. “Goat Cheese Salad with Fried Bread” and “Juniper-rubbed Chicken Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms” sound especially enticing.
If you love food, France, a good read, or any of the above, buy, beg, or borrow a copy of “A Pig in Provence,” and escape to the south of France.
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