Here is a great website focussing on an expat's view of life in Abruzzo today. They have published a lovely review of my book. Check it out and then have a look around the site - great stuff!
Click on the link to download book club notes for Finding Valentino. Feel free to let me know how they went.
Enjoy your book club discussions!
Finding Valentino book club notes
I have been getting lots of requests for Bookclub notes or appearances at bookclubs which is fantastic. I am happy to come to bookclubs if I am able. Stay tuned for bookclub notes which I will post soon.
What a wonderful accompaniment to my Saturday morning ritual of coffee, bacon and eggs on fresh sourdough bread than the weekend newspapers. But this weekend was different. On Saturday I had the pleasure of reading an extract of Finding Valentino in the Weekend Australian. I could not get the smile off my face when I saw my name and my words appearing prominantly in the Indulgence section....all the while hoping that people enjoy reading about killing pigs!
In this extract, I am describing the wonderful season in Capoposta where families slaughter their pigs and prepare cured meats. It was a fascinating period to witness and I am inspired by the way my relatives truly live the 'nose to tail' philosophy - nothing goes to waste. Families work together in a jovial atmosphere of celebration to produce a year's worth of pork meat. It is a way of living and process of production that we in Australia admire and indeed envy.
One of the real treats though is the tradtional feasts that go with this season. I experienced some of the most delectable and finger licking dishes of my year in that 3 week period. One of the most delicious dishes tradtional to Abruzzo is cif e ciaf. As I haven't included a recipe for this in my book, I thought I would post one here.....just in case the article gets you inspired!
The recipe varies a bit, depending on who I ask or where I read, but the following should give you a taste of this time-honoured dish and hopefully transport you to the Abruzzo mountains. Traditionally, this is cooked in a large cast iron pot that hangs over the fire hearth. These large fires are present in most traditional Abruzzese kitchens and is often the centre of focus, activity and warmth in winter.
CIF E CIAF - Abruzzese braised pork
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)
1kg lean pork, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
marjoram and parsely
1 glass white wine
In a cast iron pot or heavy based pan, lightly fry the vegetables in a good amount of olive oil then add the meat. Stir a few times then cook for 20 minutes. Add the wine and salt. Add the marjoram and let the dish continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the meat is tender. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy in good company!
The Geelong launch of Finding Valentino will be held at Geelong West library, 153b Pakington St, Geelong West. Come along at 6pm and meet the author, Angela Di Sciascio.