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Hmm, fresh pasta--and of course free books. Five lucky readers will win all three books in author Hillary Manton Lodge's Two Blue Door series: A Table by the Window, Reservations for Two and her newest release, Together at the Table.
A storyteller at heart, Hillary Manton Lodge spends her free time experimenting in the kitchen, graphic design, and keeping her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiloh and Sylvie, out of trouble. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Danny.
Welcome to the book club Hillary Manton Lodge...
Of Friends and Fresh Pasta
Everyone should have an Italian friend.
We met briefly, at a function, and then made plans to go to lunch. I was in the middle of working on the second book in my current series, Reservations for Two, and while I didn't have the budget to travel to Italy myself for research, I did have the resources to meet an Italian for Italian food at the heart of Portland, Oregon. For the purposes of the internet, I'll call her Elisa.
I brought chapters; Elisa told me how to fix them. She told me how the trains worked, and the best way to find breakfast in Rome.
But the best part?
She taught me how to make pasta.
She taught me while her mother was visiting. Her mother hemmed curtains while the two of us cracked eggs into a well of very fine flour--typo 00. We worked the eggs into the dough, and then kneaded the dough for ten minutes. As the dough rested, we set up our pasta machines.
The trick, with pasta dough, is that you feed it through the pasta maker several times at increasingly narrow settings, becoming smooth and elastic. And you have to keep flouring the machine, or else the dough will stick and break with every pass.
Periodically, Elisa's mother would look up from the curtains and call out her advice, or come take a look at my handiwork, declaring my ravioli sheets too thin.
"She's never made pasta in her life," Elisa told me dryly, after one of the dispensations of advice. "She doesn't cook."
I made a lot of sticky pasta messes, but I also managed to make a lot of very passable tagliatelle and ravioli. Elisa showed me how to sprinkle the pasta with cornmeal and refrigerate it to take home. And while Elisa's mother may not have been a cook, she could set a table--we placed plates and silverware around while Elisa finished in the kitchen. For lunch, we boiled up a batch of pasta and ate it tossed with olive oil and parmesan cheese, though we started the meal properly with salad and finished with crustless quiches made from the leftover ravioli filling.
I took my finished pasta home and fed it to my husband and brothers-in-law. They were easy converts, all of them returning for seconds.
I've moved twice since Elisa and I met, but I make sure to stay in touch and visit when I can. Because some things, like good friends and fresh pasta, are worth the effort.
--Hillary Manton Lodge
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to say hello and for a chance to win all three books in her Two Blue Door series.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
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Meet Eve, a sensible, intelligent composer who can't recover from a brief relationship she once had. Her obsession is a mystery, so to solve it she 'returns to the scene of the crime,' revisiting their old haunts. Gradually the dark mystery behind this complex relationship unravels. This is a beautiful novel about love, loss, and the power of music to triumph over darkness.
Go to AUTHORBUZZ click on The Dead Man to find out more about the book and the author, Nora Gold. Send her an email, she'd love to hear from you.