Read from Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire:
"...the agricultural operations around Montefiore were conducted without delay, each in its time. Therefore, the cook's augury of chicken livers predicting success, Vicente de Nevada organized a corpus of laborers to continue work on ditch digging at the far end of the green lake."
What does "the cook's augury of chicken livers" mean? What's that to do with digging a lake??
"Still considered an unacceptable landlord -- for the Spanish slant to his otherwise serviceable Italian -- de Nevada was tolerated but not admired."
What do "the Spanish slant" and "serviceable Italian" mean?
1- The chicken livers were used to predict the future in some way, like people reading tea leaves, etc, to see what the future will bring.
2- He spoke reasonable Italian, but with some Spanish interference.