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A Thousand Days in Venice

Book Review - Page 4
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Cooking an American meal for Venetians

"The people from the market tell me you're a chef,' says Rugero to me one evening. 'Why don't you cook here one night and we'll have a party. We'll invite some people from the neighborhood, merchants and judges and such. You write the menu, I'll do the shopping, you cook, and I'll serve,' he says, all in a single breath.

"...There will be Mississippi caviar--even though I'll have to substitute borlotti beans for black-eyed peas--and skillet cornbread, oyster stew, soft-shelled crabs in browned butter, pan-roasted pepper-crusted beef in Kentucky bourbon sauce with potato pancakes and batter-fried onions, hot fudge pudding with brown-sugared cream.

"...News of the party travels throughout the Rialto, and when I go to market on the morning before, everyone wants to talk about it. It is a thing sweet to me that these people, who take for granted their gold-lit lives in the water kingdom,can be so curious about deep-fried onion rings and how whisky tastes with beefsteak."

A Thousand Days in Venice
Copyright © 2002 by Marlena de Blasi

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