Thursday, August 21, 2014

Who is Vera and Why Did I Write About Her Chicken Wings?

A lot of people are asking me what my book is about.  Is it about ancestors?  No.  Is it about cooking.  No.  So what is it about?

On July 10, 2011, I wrote this for this blog:

In my recipe box, there is a recipe of Vera Mariani’s called, “Mrs. Scott’s Delicious Cake.”  I remember Vera making this cake many times.  It strikes me as prophetic that the cake I think of as Vera’s is actually Mrs. Scott’s.  Who was Mrs. Scott? When did Vera taste her cake, find it delicious, and get the recipe?

As I pondered on this one day, I realized that there may be a day far in the future when my children’s children’s children see my recipe for “Vera’s Tuscan Chicken” and wonder who this Vera was.  There isn’t a Vera to be found in our family tree, so they will wonder about this Vera, just as I do about Mrs. Scott.

I then wrote a short two or three paragraph story about Vera, with no intention of taking it further.  I just wanted a note in my recipe box so that there would be no unanswered questions.  However, after writing those paragraphs, I figured I should tell how I knew Vera.  That made me tell the story of the Mariani Ranch.  Which made me tell the history of Vera's dad.  And brothers.  And then their children.  And so on until I had found Louise Mariani and written a book, which I was able to present to her on her 100th birthday:

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