Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June's Write-Away Winner

The Write-Away ContestThank you to Michelle Fabio at Bleeding Espresso for serving as the judge for this month's contest. You might notice that some of the entries don't have links to the author's blog and that's because I had a record number of people submitting offline entries. So I've uploaded the offline entries as pdf documents that you can download if you'd like to see the full entry. Just that little extra bit of service folks.

. . . And the winner is:

Blog o'Beth with The Menu of My Life

Honorable Mentions

Richard Curtis with Food? No Love
Life on the Wild Side with My Favorite Day of the Year
Mozi Emsé with Filling the Gap: Food


Here are a list of the entries in the order they were received:

1. The Home Team Wins with Fun-dant with Brittany
We just returned from my niece's graduation in Texas...which was Texas-sized, heh, heh. She and 570 or so classmates made the transition from little people to "big people," as their class Valedictorian so eloquently proclaimed.

2. Maine Buzz with The Doughnut Guy
In the April issue of Bangor Metro we featured my father, Brian Brooks, and his delicious doughnuts. Nepotism aside, my dad really does make lip-smacking homemade doughnuts. Try his recipe and see for yourself.

3. The Daily Life of a Classic Housewife with Tangelo Dream
Sitting on my porch feeling the spring-like breeze and watching a small dancing butterfly, I am both here and also not here - one foot in this world and one foot in some distant place of long ago. Taking another bite of the little orange fruit sends me back in time to my childhood, not to any specific memory or point in time, but to something nameless and fuzzy.

4. Table for Nine with King Ranch Chicken
The King Ranch is legendary in Texas. The ranch was started in the 1860's by Richard King, a man who had once been an indentured servant. It began with 15,500 acres and grew by the end of the Civil War to an astonishing 146,000 acres. Mr. King's family continues to run the ranch to this day.

5. Ramblins with Little Ways to Drive up Closer to Happiness
one of my favorite sayings about happiness comes from a television show....."money may not buy happiness, but it can buy me a red corvette so I can drive up really close to it."

6. Cooking at Home with Eating with Friends 2
"I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini." Robert Benchley. It's Friday, and it is pouring. But T & G will be here for dinner like clockwork. You see, there is a Martini calling our names, and there is pizza.

7. The Scholastic Scribe with The Ben and Jerry's Stressbuster Diet
I was thinking about naming this post, "Fashionista Du Jour." Wore above T-shirt to school yesterday, & was quite the popular chica. I'm thinking every day will be Casual Friday from here on out. Not that I really get all gussied up for school, anyway...

8. I'm (Not) Crazy Mommy with Confessions of a Food Snob
When I was in the eighth grade, we had a writing assignment in English class: describe, in detail, the MOST PERFECT MEAL. I still remember mine. While my classmates' menus included things like hotdogs and popcorn and food you buy at a ball park, mine included things like spanakopita and shrimp scampi. My mom, who has always been my best editor, read the essay and just shook her head.

9. The Chocolate Chip Waffle with I Dig Sweets
I have a small request. Go to your pantry and check for the following:

10. If You Give a Mom a Moment with I Gave up Chocolate for Him
Want to know a good weight loss program? It involves a lot of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and some days you might just want to crawl into that space between your couch and the wall and die, but it works! Read on.

11. Mommy Snark with Food
Yesterday, I stood on the back deck of my parents house and ate watermelon. I was transported back to the days of my childhood when all the kids would line up along the banister and try to see who could spit watermelon seeds the farthest, extra points if you managed to hit the trunk of the tall sugar maple, or the giant rock beyond the azalea bushes.

12. Write Stuff with Secret Family Recipes
"I stirred it with my finger." That was my grandfather's standard response to, "How'd you make this taste so good?"

13. Blog o'Beth with The Menu of My Life
The Ohio summer air was warm and muggy. My friend Vicki and I had spent the day perfecting our rollerskating skills on my driveway. I had white skates with a big blue stripe down each side, and large blue pom poms with bells in the middle. Vicki and I were sweaty and tired and tumbled into the house eager for a snack.

14. Chasingche with Brunch
On rare occasions, when Daddy is home in the morning, we make a big brunch. This weekend we were out of coffee and had to visit our local roaster and artisan bakery. The couple who owns the shop are some of my favorite people. I admire all they've accomplished just in the last five years. What was once a little stand at the Farmer's Market, giving out free cups of delicious coffee to the visitors, has become quite an accomplished business.

15. Notes from the Cookie Jar with The Gingerbread Incident
Many years ago, I slipped into a phase in my journey of motherhood that I'd like to call the "Martha-land" phase. I blame a certain domestic diva that was popular at the time, because for some reason I became enthralled with crafts, making homemade baby food, bread, the whole deal. Plus working. Oh, and being a foster mom too. Besides that, we also owned our own business.

16. Just Mom's Musings with Eating Barbecue? Ditch the Fork
As soon as I walked in to the restaurant I knew I wasn't in familiar territory. Instead of a bowl of mints on the hostess's counter, there was a large ceramic pig holding mounds of hermetically sealed toothpicks. Instead of napkins neatly placed on the dining tables, there were large rolls of paper towels.

17. Glacier Racing with Food for Thought
My wife had nightmares after pizza. Something someone over at Moose Tooth Pizzeria put in the sauce worked its way into her inner consciousness and woke all the best monsters. I'd listen for a while when she spoke in her sleep to see if she'd divulge anything useful, but usually about the third scream I'd kinda lose interest and poke her and tell her to pipe down.

18. Life with Boys with A Food Wasteland
I thought we were making progress. I thought our 3-year-old was learning to be truthful and to not sneak food that had not been "approved". Apparently I was wrong. It seems that we had made progress in removing the opportunity for such behaviors, but not the desire for wrong-doing. We were able to manipulate the behavior, but not the heart behind it.

19. Mozi Emsé with Filling the Gap: Food
Dear Esmé, FOOD is not a four-letter word. It may make all my clothes shrink, but it is not in itself evil.

20. Loulou's Views with For the Love of Food
I love food. I'm Greek. I have to love food. Greeks are very passionate people - we yell, we are loud, we love life, we love our families, we are really over-dramatic, we freak out over the smallest thing, we dance, we sing, we like to have fun, and we eat. Oh, do we eat!

21. Pensieve with The Southern Way
Blood and marriage are reason enough to gather on the hottest day of the year to celebrate family, for no other reason than that. It's the Southern Way.

22. Richard Curtis with Food? No Love
The spring of 2001 found me day dreaming and fantasizing about how I would celebrate my third wedding anniversary. My newly given wife had become the focus of my admiration and awareness. I just knew The Universe would provide something spectacular. What I didn’t realize is that I needed to buckle my seat belt for the dining experience of my life.

23. Living with Walls with Frog Legs
I do not promote the eating of Frog Legs... but as a child, it was a different world and a different time. It was 1968 and I was 8 years old.

24. Compost Happens with Recession Gardening, Victory Gardens and Family Tales
Last season, the news was full of a new term: Recession Gardens. Folks across the U.S.A. were figuring out what we backyard gardeners already knew: fresh home grown veggies are inexpensive and delicious, with less risk of contamination in the harvest or shipping process. Whether I call it recession garden or kitchen garden, this plot of soil will produce the produce my family loves.

25. From the Planet of Janet with Post-birthday Stress Disorder
Yup. I don't know what is wrong with me today, but I am totally in a funk. Could it be that I am suffering from the aftermath of having dinner with my children again? Could it be that I'm worn out from holiday cheer?

26. Capital Mom with Snacks
All too often in our house mealtime involves the girl declaring "I don't like that" before her plate of food even hits the table. "You haven't tried it" I say. "I don't like it" she says. "You have to try three bites" I say. "No, just one" she says. The negotiations begin.

27. Swell Flamingo with Sweet Tea, Sweet Tea . . . We All Scream for Sweet Tea
My family came up for a visit last month... the first time meeting the new little one. A tradition we have started when Dad & Johnnie visit is hosting a Southern Sunday Brunch. And this visit was no exception. I just love it. When you are 8,000 miles away from family and home there is nothing better than food to help savor those memories.

28. The Book Chook with Books and Food
Certain things go really well together: songs and campfires, kids and puppies, crusty bread and cheese. Today, I've been thinking how well two of my favourite things complement each other: books... and food.

29. Earnest Parenting with Butterfly Lunch Wrap
One of my personal challenges: lunch. It’s easy to just serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which can get tedious after a while. I’m not the most creative food person on the planet either. That said, I’m rather proud of my Butterfly Lunch Wrap.

30. Vacuumusing with Eating Habits
This thought has crossed my mind many times while struggling to navigate the peculiar world of pre-school eating habits: Why do I care so much about what she eats? I pondered this question as I was vacuuming left-over shredded cheese from lunch that was now crusted on the kitchen floor. I mean, my oldest survived for years almost wholly on a diet of bagel bites and tv dinners. By all indications, she seems to be perfectly healthy.

31. Life on the Wild Side with My Favorite Day of the Year
The day dawned hot and humid, as most July days on the Illinois prairie do. It seemed like the cornfields just trapped the heated air, making the plains a natural oven and each day hotter than the next. But as a kid, the heat didn’t bother me; I simply got up, threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and headed outside.

32. Rose Milcetic with Remembering Mom, Grandma and Aunt Lucy!!!!!
When one takes time to think, really think, it's amazing how many avenues of the past the mind wanders through. One of my favorite memories of growing up centers on the wonderful holiday meals and the large friendly kitchen in our home on Van Nest Avenue in the Bronx. Holidays always evoked feelings of enduring love and security that surrounded home and hearth back in the good old days!!!

33. Days Ease Wordlets and Creativities with The Smell of Love
It is back. A deep, nagging, and overwhelming longing has come upon my heart, like a haunting memory that is somehow sweet, though barely recognizable. In an attempt to distract myself, I glance at my unmanicured hands with their unpainted nails and am momentarily disgusted by the deeper, drier lines that have formed across them.

34. City Chic on a Farm with My Six-Cheese Lasagna . . . FINALLY!
This CCOAF is not a cook by any means and I have no interest in cooking what’s so ever, nor do I like any aspect of the whole responsibility. However I have a husband and 3 boys to feed so I need to learn so I can feed my family. Usually I make simple things using frozen food, or box dinners with all the ingredients where you just add the meat, like Hamburger Helper. HH makes me look like I know what I’m doing!

35. Cindy Salazar with Pancake Surprise
Early, morning sunshine glistened through an open kitchen window, giving light to the tiny, dimly-lit room. Trees danced to a classical tune played by the set of shiny, silver windchimes hanging above the patio door. Little feet, twelve little feet, tiptoed into the kitchen, one set of feet larger than the next. Hushed, laughing voices whispered on top of each other as scrambling little hands rummaged through cabinet doors.

35. Dancing with the Daffodils with Love Smells Just Like Peach Cobbler
While shopping for peaches this weekend, I inquired of the woman at the vegetable stand if she might have some in the back that were bruised and too ripe to have on display. I told her I prefer those for making cobbler. She wanted to know the occasion and it started a conversation about cooking and marriage that inspired me to testify about something that works for me.


Congratulations to Janet of Pennsauken, New Jersey for winning this weekend's bridal package giveaway from Chic Execs! She'll be seeing treats from Ideal Favors, Lapin Vilardi and Magic Bells.

Sponsored by Wedding Paper Divas for wedding invitations.


Shelly W said...

Wow! I'm thrilled to get even an honorable mention in that field of great essays! Thanks so much.

I guess the topic of food really gets those creative juices flowing, huh?!

Summer said...

I don't know why June's theme was so difficult for me being as broad a topic as it is. I just couldn't come up with anything.

Beth said...

I cannot believe I won! Holy cow!! Well, thank you so much. I am so flattered. So many good writers submit every month that this is a true honor!!

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

I just want to say how much I truly enjoyed each and every entry--and I'm not exaggerating. Every single one had something special about it, whether it made me smile, laugh out loud, nod in agreement, or make me think more deeply about events and people in my own life.

A really amazing group of entries. *Excellent* job everyone!

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Erm, take out the "make me" in the last sentence of the first paragraph and that'll be easier to read ;)

Susan warmchocmilk said...

Are you going to do another writing contest soon??? I'd love to participate!