Welcome to the TLC Book Tours stop for the first novel by Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Lift And Separate! With a title like "Lift And Separate" and a cover filled with bras, you might guess that this book contains a bit of humor—you'd be correct! The story is actually a look into the life of 50-something Marcy Hammer, whose husband of 33 years seems to be going through a mid-life crisis, in the worst way possible.
Harvey Hammer is in the (family) business of bras, and can correctly guess any woman he meets bra size at a glance. As if that weren't uncomfortable enough, he cheats on his wife and mother of his three grown children with a fitting model.
Although she's great at the non-profit work she does, she feels like her whole world is crumbling...she loves being a mother, and she loves being Harvey's wife. She talks herself into working through the pain, and makes a plan to forgive Harvey and take him back. That all changes when they find out that the fitting model is pregnant.
With the help of her long-time best friend Dana, a ton of food (seriously, this novel is a food-lovers dream), and even more humor, Marcy makes it through the mess. Not only is she is able to reconnect with that Marcy that she was before she met Harvey so many years ago, before she was a mom, before she was in her late-fifties, she's also able to use the shit storm around her as a new beginning.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I think that any woman who has been married for a good amount of years and has braved that crazy thing we call marriage (intact, or not) will appreciate it. Oh, and as I mentioned, it's packed to the gills with food, and while I don't think it was meant to be a "foodie novel", it could definitely be considered one.
"What did I know? And what did he know? He knew brassieres. Move into the house and invite your friends. I'll bring my cinnamon-apple stuffing and a nice roasted turkey."
Now, I contemplated whether the stuffing was bread stuffing or an actual chunky cinnamon-spiced chunky fruit type of dish, but wound up going with the bread variety. I mean, she served it with a roasted turkey. And while I wasn't feeling up to roasting an entire turkey again so soon after the holidays, I did make a couple of turkey tenderloins to go along with the stuffing. And since I scaled the turkey down, I also scaled the stuffing down into portion-sized stuffing muffins.
You can definitely put this in a small dish, or actually stuff something with it, but I love the way that eat portion gets a golden, crisp outside with a soft center when you cook stuffing/dressing in a muffin tin. Pure comfort food.
If these sound good, you might also want to check out these Multi-Grain Bread, Pecan, and Dried Fruit Stuffins. They go well alongside turkey and one (or more) of these side dishes: Brown Butter Garam Masala Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Spiced Applesauce, Creamed Pearl Onions w/ Bacon and Brandy, or Spiced Red Wine Cranberry Sauce. Or check out more delicious Thanksgiving recipe ideas!