Friday, September 30, 2016

Interview w/ Peggy Lampman-- Food, People. Glorious Food!

Hey Guys! We've got Peggy Lampman joining us today to chat about her first novel...The Promise Kitchen! Doesn't it look delicious?  Yall give her a big welcome and hit those comments! ~anna

Morning, Peggy! Welcome to herding cats! The Promise Kitchen looks so good! I can't wait to hear about it.

Say you had only 10 seconds to hook someone what would you tell them about Shelby and Mallory's story?
A fashionable city woman and a hard-scrabble country girl find their lives intersecting, and then unraveling, as they learn about life in a tasty novel that blends romance and recipes.
Food and romance. I'm in! Can you tell us 3 fun/quirky/neat behind the scenes facts about The Promise Kitchen?
1.)  Many years ago, after a crushing break-up, the only thing that helped relieve my suffering was Post-it note therapy. I’d think of something that I wanted to say to my ex, always vicious, write it down and then post it on my fridge. My fridge was plastered, top to bottom, in Post-its. My peculiar therapy also inspired a scene in “The Promise Kitchen” (-:
2.)  When I wrote my first draft, in the last chapter, Mallory was speaking behind prison bars. Today, that makes me smile as the ending, as well as the story line, has dramatically changed. I like Mallory. She’s a lot like myself and then I ask myself—why did I want to punish her so fiercely?
3.)  One December afternoon I was visiting my ancestral graveyard in the backwoods town of Stewartville, Alabama. As I watched a woman and child wander down the road, I wondered how a young mother could escape an impoverished life and a town filled with crack houses and racists. That evening I wrote the first page of "The Promise Kitchen".
Always interesting to see how a storyline kicks off. Since our blog usually features romance books--though we love other genres, too! The Promise Kitchen would be considered more Women's Fiction, yes? What do you think would be most appealing about it for those who typically gravitate towards the romance genre?
Oh my, there’s plenty of romance in this book—especially romance gone wrong )-:  In fact, when the reader meets Mallory in Chapter 2—she’s “exorcising” heartbreak over her previous lover behind a sauté pan and bubbling pot. (The barrel of the gun in my next book is stocked with romance—ka-pow!)  
Sounds like a pretty good way to exorcise heartbreak to me! So, what would these ladies say they love most about food and cooking?
Recipes, for Mallory and Shelby, are so much more than an instruction manual. They’re stories, rich with tradition and history, that are handed down through generations, and passed amongst friends. Favorite recipes conjure memories of happy times, feeding their souls as well as their bodies. 
 Mallory writes a food column where she connects the dots between her past and present through cooking. As for Shelby? As she states it in one of the chapters, “…I cook to escape this life.” 
When cooking, Shelby and Mallory are able to dance with their souls. If they didn’t cook, if they ignored their dance card, they would lose a vital creative outlet of self-expression. 
I think Shelby and I would see eye to eye on that. What's the first thing that pops into your head about Mallory? What about Shelby?
Mallory: Intense. Passionate. Questioning.
Shelby: Inspirational. Kind. Driven.
If they were each going to be any type of food-- dessert, snack, main dish, etc--what would they be?
Mallory: Seared Scallops on a bed of Truffle Risotto with a Burgundian Chardonnay followed by a Crème Brulée.
Shelby: Fried Chicken and Co-Cola (that’s how they say it in her neck of the woods.) followed by Ice Box Pie
Oh, yes. I'm a Shelby girl. lol Any delicious recipes the ladies would share with everyone if they could?
My ladies are delighted to share twenty-two (mostly Southern) recipes that are available at the book’s conclusion.
A couple quickies!

Favorite FoodPorn? 
The cover of “The Promise Kitchen” would qualify as food porn. Any sort of shellfish (esp. lobsters, clams any oysters) and anything fried (I grew up in Alabama) would work for me as well. Of course decadent desserts are always food porn at it’s finest. My blog ( is wallpapered with food porn!
What's your "dream meal"?
My favorite dream meal(s) would be served to me by the people I love. My daughter would make her specialty––a seafood paella on her wood-burning grill followed by her crème brulée that she finished off with her blow torch. My son would spend all day smoking me ribs to lip-smacking, fall-off-the bone perfection.
Best "burning soup" moment? aka kitchen disaster
I owned a specialty food shop for twenty years so there was a burnt soup moment every day at work. Once, when cooking a meal to “impress” some financial backers, I burned the lobster risotto I was planning to serve. There was no way to redeem myself, so I tried to get my guests a bit inebriated and stuffed on appetizers before it was served.
Worst thing you've ever had in your mouth?
Duck Feet (I just got back from China)
Three things in your kitchen right this second?
That’s easy as I’m proofing recipes now for my next book: The Welcome Home Diner. Yesterday I made Sylvia’s Heartbreakers (which is the ultimate Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie and can be found on my website ( ) Babcia’s Polish Cabbage Rolls (Babciu’s is an endearment for grandmother in Poland) and Ginger-Molasses Bundt Bake with Lemon Curd are also completed recipes in my kitchen right this second. Along with jars of marinara sauce that I’ve just preserved for the winter.
What's up next for you?
I’ve got a two-book deal with Lake Union Publishing. So the next book’s first draft has been written, “The Welcome Home Diner” and will be released in 2017.
Very exciting! Thanks so much for dropping in, Peggy!
Thank you so very much for inviting me to your blog. Cheers! Peggy

Shelby Preston, a young single mother, is at a crossroads. She feels suffocated by her hardscrabble life in rural Georgia and dreams of becoming a professional chef. Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.

In Atlanta, Mallory Lakes is reeling from a bad breakup. The newspaper food columnist is also bracing for major changes at work that could put her job at risk. Determined to find the perfect recipe for how to reinvent herself, she gets involved in the growing farm-to-table movement. But an emotional setback threatens to derail everything she’s worked for.

Shelby and Mallory couldn’t be more different. But through their shared passion for food, they form an unlikely friendship—a bond that just might be their salvation.

This heartwarming and lyrical tale reminds us that family isn’t necessarily whom you’re related to—it’s whom you invite to your table.

Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm. She moved back to Ann Arbor, her college town, and opened up a specialty foods store, The Back Alley Gourmet. After selling the business, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive. This is her first novel.

Find Peggy Online!

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