Eve’s Cooking #OpenBookBlogHop #TuesdayTidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Does food play an important part in your writing?” How about sharing a favorite recipe of one of your characters, or maybe one of yours?

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In The Red Dress, my protagonist, Eve, a bestselling author, feeds her family mostly ready-made meals, claiming not to have enough time to do much cooking. But as the book progresses, she learns that providing a homecooked meal for her family is just as important as producing and selling a book. Below is a scene where Eve and her daughter Ashley discuss a new meatloaf recipe Eve is trying out.

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Late that afternoon, as Eve was preparing the meatloaf, Ashley wandered into the kitchen. Noticing the pan and ingredients scattered all over the counter, she asked, “Wow, what are you making?”

Eve wiped her hands on a paper towel. “I’m making meatloaf. It’s Sylvia’s mother’s recipe.”

“Oh, boy, I love her meatloaf!”

“Well, this is the first time I’ve made it, so I can’t guarantee it’ll come out tasting as good as hers does.”

“I’ll bet it will…

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So, how did the meatloaf recipe turn out? You’ll find the answer to that question by reading The Red Dress.

As the book opens, there’s one dish Eve prepares, mostly from scratch, enchilada casserole. I made this often when my late husband Bill was alive. I got the recipe from a friend. But I had to modify it, substituting refried beans for olives because Bill didn’t like olives and using macaroni instead of tortilla strips because that made it easier for him to eat with one hand. Why could Bill only eat with one hand? Read My Ideal Partner to find out. Here’s my recipe.

 

Eve’s Enchilada Casserole

 

1 package large elbow macaroni

1 pound hamburger

1 15-oz can mild enchilada sauce

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

1 15-oz can refried beans

2 handfuls chopped onions

 

Cook macaroni according to directions, drain, and place in large casserole dish. Brown hamburger, then add enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, refried beans, and onions and let simmer for ten minutes. Pour over macaroni in casserole dish. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese if desired. Bake at 350F for fifteen minutes. Enjoy!

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How about you? Do you have any favorite recipes? You can answer this in the comment field below or click here to participate in this week’s hop.

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For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

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New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Mending Relationships #Fiction #Tuesday Tidbit #Excerpt

Can a broken friendship be fixed? In the following excerpt from The Red Dress, my main character, Eve, has just met her best friend by chance twenty-five years after catching her in the act with her boyfriend. They decide to eat together.

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The cafe was nearly deserted. Without thinking, Eve and Adele found seats at the counter, as they’d  done years ago after school.

“Well, what do we have here?” said Virginia, emerging from the kitchen wearing a broad grin. “It’s  just like old times, isn’t it? I’ll bet you girls want chocolate shakes with whipped cream and a  cherry, right?”

Both women laughed, and Adele said, “I’ll also have your meatloaf special, if there’s any left.”

“There sure is,” said Virginia. She bustled about, putting ingredients for the milkshakes into an  electric mixer. “Miss Eve, I don’t suppose you want a second helping of meatloaf.”

Eve chuckled. “No, thank you. In fact, Adele, why don’t we split a shake? I had a piece of  chocolate pie on top of that meatloaf earlier, and I’m still full.”

“Honey, you need to get some meat on those bones,” said Virginia, starting the mixer. “Besides, the  shakes are on the house. I always wondered why you two quit coming in here after the prom  twenty–five years ago. I’m glad to see you back together.”

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Does Eve have an extra milkshake on top of the chocolate pie and meatloaf she ate earlier? Can she and Adelle patch things up after all these years? Read the book, and find out.

 

By the way, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are now available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated by the coronavirus. This sale will run until the end of May. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. As always, thank you for reading.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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A Poem About My Mother

One thing I remember about my mother is her cooking. The following poem illustrates this and her inferiority complex when it came to meal preparation. This poetry form is a haibun, consisting of two paragraphs of prose and one haiku. Of course you’ll note here that the haiku has nothing to do with nature, but in my view, anything goes. Click this link to hear me read the poem.

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MOTHER’S CUISINE

Mother considered herself a mediocre cook, but I thought otherwise. I loved her meatloaf, steak San Marco, calico beans. When complimented, she said, “It’s too dry, too salty, needs more pepper, should have been cooked longer.”

When I was in college, she mashed potatoes for the first time: boiled, peeled, sliced them, added milk and butter, attacked them with an electric mixer. They turned out chunky but still good. On Christmas Day, with family and friends gathered around the table, when I asked for a second helping of potatoes, she said, “Well, you’re used to cafeteria food.”

mother’s chocolate cake

evokes happy memories

of a child’s delight

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Mother and her cooking are long gone, but I still remember. What about you? Happy Mother’s Day.

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Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

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