The Booksnob’s Blog

Books… the best, worst, & weirdest…

Preserving the Italian Way

Preserving the Italian W

A delightful book, written and self-published by Melbourne GP Pietro Demaio, whose love of the food traditions of his native land is very obvious.  His humorous anecdotes about his many culinary adventures in Australia and especially on his visits back to Italy made me laugh, and sometimes even made me cry. 

I loved the story about how he finally managed to foil his patients who regularly used to sneak in and steal the entire olive harvest at his Melbourne surgery just before he was due to harvest them. And wherever that island restaurant is, the one you have to swim to get to, I want to eat there. Although Dr Demaio, a non-swimmer, was thrown overboard attached to a rope and towed ashore. 

In this book, Dr Demaio covers everything you could possibly want to know about Italian home preserving, with not one, but about a dozen different ways of preserving eggplants for starters. There are also sections on every other conceivable method of preserving Italian foodstuffs, including making sausages and the curing of pork products, and there are even detailed instructions on how to build a wood-fired oven.  The only problem with the book is that it has suffered in the editing, and there are too many typos, but this glitch aside, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and very useful cookbook for slow foodies.

Preserving the Italian Way website



March 31, 2008 Posted by | Cookbooks, Non fiction | | 1 Comment

Melissa King’s Garden Feast

Garden Feast A great book for Australian gardening enthusiasts, from horticulturalist Melissa King and the team at Heronswood on the Mornington Peninsula, home of the famous Digger’s Club.

Packed with great information and photos of unusual and heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties, with each section including simple but beautiful recipes from the Heronswood Café. Definitely one to leave on the coffee table and dip into periodically while fantasising about the drought ending so we can grow stuff again.

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Gardening, Non fiction | | Leave a comment

A Question of Death


Kerry Greenwood’s latest Phryne Fisher offering, a compendium of short stories together with great illustrations of Phryne’s clothes, shoes, the contents of her handbag etc. There is also a smattering of recipes, including a deadly champagne punch almost guaranteed to leave anyone legless.

Probably better as an introduction to the delightful Phryne rather than offering anything of lasting interest to hard-core Phryne addicts (with the exception of the divine drawings and the aforementioned killer booze recipe).

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment