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Seasonal Recipes and Stories From an Italian Kitchen by Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber, Proprietors of the acclaimed osteria, Pane e Salute, in Woodstock, Vermont.

This book is good enough to eat.

If you enjoyed Deidre’s book, Libations, you will love this one, In Late Winter We Ate Pears. Caleb adds his stories and delectable recipes to this culinary adventure tale from Vermont to Italy and back again.

The Hill Team appreciates when a plate of food has a story to tell.

Much more than a cook book, In late Winter… reads like a travel memoir. We were all transported back to our walking adventures through the vineyards of Tuscany, nearly a decade ago.

This is what Deirdre wrote about late October in Vermont, “Sun burning down through blue sky, and young poplars thread a bit of their gold through these hills where wood smoke settles thick in the tallest limbs like cloaks of iridescent muslin.”

Deirdre and Caleb are a husband and wife team, in the true sense of the word. Their book is a collaboration of two unusual talents. In Late Winter we ate Pears, is also a love story. They have shared many fruitful moments of insight that we wish we had realized at their age and stage in life. How we long to buy a one way ticket to the place of our dreams.

We were fortunate to watch Caleb work his kitchen magic on an early morning in June. The dew still glistened on the fresh picked wild leeks, spinach and fragrant herbs from their garden.

We returned to Pane e Salute, at sunset, aptly named because it means bread and health. The aromas of rosemary and thyme from our morning cooking demonstrations were was still wafting throughout their cozy cafe.

I will always remember sitting around the big family table in good company, sipping a crisp, local wine, and munching on fresh baked crusty Italian bread. True to the name, osteria, which means “to host”, Chef Caleb and winemaker Deirdre joined us for a festive gathering of old friends and new.

Later we savored the flavors of Caleb’s rustic, yet elegant supper. This meal was the perfect example of farm to fork preparation.

Caleb has a simple recipe for Piselli (peas) con Prosciutto. When they write about a cold, drizzly and windy day in Florence, we were both instantly transported there. They ordered a bowl of pea soup at a local cafe that only contained five ingredients. Even if you do not like peas, just reading this recipe will make you long for a bowl of sweet and smoky pea soup.

As authors of books and articles about travel and chefs, we appreciate the easy to follow, yet sophisticated recipes. Their description about the history of spaghetti alla carbonara, caused us to moan with hunger for this classic favorite.

Deidre and Caleb’s stories are about celebrating the earth and the seasons in Vermont and Italy with farmers, family, and friends.

Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Global Log

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”