Lately, I’ve been teaching myself how to cook (more on that in a later post!). Because of my new found love of cooking, I have been gravitating towards fiction and non-fiction books with food and cooking at their core.
This week I finished reading Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay. As a die-hard fan of Jane Austen, I was originally drawn to the book because of the connection to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Katherine Reay‘s books tend to be inspired by classic novels, especially Austen.
Lizzy and Jane couldn’t be further from Jane Austen’s famous sisters for whom they are named.
Elizabeth left her family’s home in Seattle fifteen years ago to pursue her lifelong dream—chefing her own restaurant in New York City. Jane stayed behind to raise a family. Estranged since their mother’s death many years ago, the circumstances of their lives are about to bring them together once again.
Known for her absolute command of her culinary domain, Elizabeth’s gifts in the kitchen have begun to elude her. And patrons and reviewers are noticing. In need of some rest and an opportunity to recover her passion for cooking, Elizabeth jumps at the excuse to rush to her sister’s bedside when Jane is diagnosed with cancer. After all, Elizabeth did the same for their mother. Perhaps this time, it will make a difference.
As Elizabeth pours her renewed energy into her sister’s care and into her burgeoning interest in Nick, Jane’s handsome coworker, her life begins to evolve from the singular pursuit of her own dream into the beautiful world of family, food, literature, and love that was shattered when she and Jane lost their mother. Will she stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane—and Elizabeth to Nick’s Mr. Darcy—or will she return to the life she has worked so hard to create?
I loved the focus on food and how a good meal can bring people together. At first, I thought the book would be more of a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, but it was nothing like the beloved Austen novel. However, I could see the inspiration of Jane Austen’s writing and loved the references to her famous characters and novels. I was happy that Katharine Reay’s story was genuine and her own, instead of re-writing Pride and Prejudice for a modern audience. It was a perfect book to usher in the spring, combined with my love of cooking and new found appreciation of food.
Because it’s been getting warmer in New Jersey (finally), I’ve been on a rosé kick. There is nothing I love more than a wonderfully chilled rosé on a warm spring day! Rosé wines can be tricky. They are NOT the same as a white zinfandel, which is not grape variety, but rather created from processing Zinfandel grapes. I prefer my rosé with a dry, lightly fruity taste with a little bit of tang.
While I was in Grand Cayman this past January for the Cayman Cookout event that I work every year, I had the opportunity to try a rosé from Jean Luc Colombo, Cape Bleue Rosé. After one sip I was hooked. It was one of the best tasting rosé wines I have ever had. Plus the color is just beautiful. I knew once I returned to the states, I needed to find and purchase it! Luckily, it’s available at several local wine stores, as well as online at wine.com (love this site!).
I chose Cape Bleue Rosé to pair with Lizzy and Jane because it’s light and refreshing. Much like Reay’s novel. Plus all of Lizzy’s cooking brought me back to Cayman Cookout and made me crave Cape Bleue Rosé. It turned out to be a great pairing!
Do you have a favorite rosé? Comment below and let me know what I should try!