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    Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking French

    The Magic of Provence : Pleasures of Southern France


    Published: May 8, 2001
    ISBN: 0767906829

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    Book Description
    From Publishers Weekly
    On an impulse, during the final hours of a year-long stay in France, the author and her husband, who live in Los Angeles, bought a run-down house in a village in the Luberon mountains of Provence, gave vague instructions to a contractor for its restoration and left for home. When they returned the following summer, they found that, miraculously, the house had been renovated exactly as they wished. And so begins this enchanting collection of essays in which Lenard, the author of several textbooks on French language and culture, tells of a vacation home in a fairy-tale town where a duchess in straitened circumstances lives in an ancient castle, the townspeople are friendly and other Americans rush to find similar ruins to renovate. The village begins to work its magic when the husband of the duchess's niece, a deposed prince from a neighboring European country, acts as their welcoming committee. Soon, neighbors share drinks and conversation at the village caf?, aged pensioners help Lenard water flowers in the square and her husband, Wayne, is invited on a ghost-hunting expedition to the local cemetery. Not everything runs smoothly: a gardener hired to care for their plants takes their money and never shows up; a cleaning lady turns nasty. For the most part, however, life in the village is delightful, and Lenard describes it with wit and affection. Adding to the book's appeal, tempting Proven?al recipes end each chapter. (Mar.)
    Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the

    Hardcover edition.

    Product Description:
    Yvone Lenard's look at her beloved Provence is light-hearted, fun, loving, and sensuous - celebrating its relaxed lifestyle and the abundant pleasures of its kitchens and vineyards. Her purchase of an ancient ruin of a house in a hilltop village twenty-five years ago opened up an enchanted world, which she describes with verve, wit, and sympathy -and, as a native speaker of French, with unusual depth of understanding. Provence casts its spell on the very first morning in her charmingly restored residence when a prince bearing a jug of village-produced vin ros shows up in her kitchen. The visit provides an entre into the household of the local chateau where both she and her husband encounter flirtatious advances along with djeuner. The duchess who heads the family eventually becomes a close confidante when they share a memorable evening during a bitter cold snap, drinking tea laced with rum and making soup over the embers in Lenard's fireplace. Lenard and her husband have adventures at being chicken rustlers, dispatching graveyard ghosts, and traveling to Saint-Tropez where, "breasts are everywhere." Terry, a friend from Connecticut, locates another village ruin with the help of a spirit at a sance in Lenard's basement, restores it to perfection, and establishes a profitable bed-and-breakfast and guided tour business for antique hunters. Lilian, an unhappy Los Angeles widow to whom Lenard lends her house for a desultory visit, finds a vibrant new life in the village. Others drawn to the region, whose stories are told are Vincent van Gogh, Brigitte Bardot, and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The "magic" extends to recipes for food and drinks, along with hints for entertaining in the Provenal style, temptingly placed at the ends of chapters. Like Alice you might eat a little of this and drink a little of that and be transported to the wonderland that is the South of France.--This text refers to the

    Hardcover edition.

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