By Ann Vanderhoof

Under the Tuscan Sun meets the wide-open sea . . . An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a scrumptious chronicle of leaving the type-A way of life at the back of -- and learning the seductive secrets and techniques of lifestyles within the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the activity, asserting see you later to the rat race, and escaping to a couple unique vacation spot looking for sunlight, sand, and a special lifestyle? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve did simply that.

In the mid Nineties, they have been pushed, forty-something pros who have been determined for a holiday from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. so that they hand over their jobs, rented out their condo, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat referred to as Receta (“recipe,” in Spanish), and set sail for the Caribbean on a two-year voyage of culinary and cultural discovery.

In lavish aspect that would have you ever packing your go well with and rushing for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, captivating characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new way of life. Come alongside for the experience and be seduced through Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island associates, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the ocean, and adapt to lifestyles on “island time.”

Exchanging company outfits for naked toes, they drop anchor in sixteen international locations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded shores and store energetic neighborhood markets. alongside the way in which, Ann files the delectable dishes they come across -- from cracked conch within the Bahamas to curried lobster in Grenada, from Dominican papaya salsa to vintage West Indian rum punch -- and comprises those engaging recipes into the textual content in order that readers can perform the adventure.

Almost pretty much as good as making the adventure itself, An Embarrassment of Mangoes is an intimate account that conjures the entire impossible to resist attractiveness and bounty from the Bahamas to Trinidad -- and simply may possibly compel you to make a rash choice that may land you in paradise.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Most of Receta, in fact, beyond her bulging midsection, is much narrower. ” I was ready to throttle him. “How the hell would I know? ” If I was stressed out before, now I was strung so tightly you could pluck chords in my neck. The last guidebook still wasn’t finished (Steve and his deadlines), and the property manager we’d hired had already rented our house. The first couple who walked through the door snapped it up, so there was no leeway in our timetable: We had to be completely moved onto Receta in three weeks.

Good morning, darlin’. ” “My avocados deh best. ” The bus disgorges us into a confusion of musical voices at the end of the route: the public market at the foot of Market Hill. Huge brightly colored umbrellas at rakish angles create pockets of shade amidst the hot white light. The tables underneath hold carefully arranged pyramids of tomatoes and limes, bundles of elephant ear–like callaloo leaves, brilliant orange wedges sliced from monstrous green-skinned pumpkins. On the ground are stalks of bananas and plantains in every stage of ripeness—fluorescent green to creamy yellow to almost solid black—and piles of mysterious, hairy, arthritic-looking roots.

The snarling that ensued did not bode well for the two years to come. As our August departure approached, the daily to-do lists in my Day-Timer became more intimidating than any I ever had at the office: Get physicals, eye exams, dental checkups. Arrange out-of-country medical insurance. Work with family doctor on contents of onboard medical kit. Reassure parents that we really do know what we’re doing while doubting that we really do. Assemble navigational charts and cruising guidebooks. Buy new laptop and equip with software that will allow us—we hope—to stay in touch via e-mail with friends (including the two who are handling the guidebook distribution business while we’re gone).

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