By Nancy Brands Ward
Thursday, June 24 2010

It’s the easiest thing in the world to step into Georgeanne Brennan’s nearby farmhouse kitchen.

The award-winning cookbook writer’s seven students keep up a friendly banter as they prepare a Sunday meal on day two of her “Provence in California” cooking class. It all starts with a glass of chilled rosé to accompany pizzas smothered in cheese, homemade pork sausage, garden vegetables and herbs baked outdoors in a wood-burning oven. It continues with a leg-of-lamb feast served with homemade zinfandel on a table set in the French country style with brightly colored linens under an ancient walnut tree located just outside the kitchen door.

There’s no resisting the symphony of aromas that beckons from inside as cumin and coriander seeds toast in a pan next to spring garlic sautéing in olive oil on an adjacent burner. The smell of beets… Read more »