Monday, August 1, 2011

A Garland of Garden Spells Needs a Winner

Thanks to our wonderful guest judge Jenna of Literature and a Lens for taking a look at all of the entries for this round of Cook the Books featuring Sarah Addison Allen’s novel “Garden Spells”.  She has reviewed them all and here’s her pronouncement:

“First off, I want to thank this round’s host Rachel of The Crispy Cook for having me as your guest judge for the Garden Spells entries. This really is an honor to get to be a part of such a fantastic club, especially for a book as entertaining as this one. I absolutely adore Sarah Addison Allen’s writing and love the emphasis she places on food. After reading all these wonderful entries, all I can really say is wow. The dedication and enthusiasm exhibited by each person really shows and made making my decision that much harder. Plus, reading about all these delicious dishes definitely stirred my appetite.

After multiple re-readings of each post and careful deliberation I finally chose a winner. Congratulations to Heather of Girlichef for creating a colorful Fruit and Grains Salad with Edible Flowers and Strawberry Vinaigrette. The pictures of this salad were lovely and really caught my eye first. I loved that the colors represented the novel by reflecting the cover of the book with all the reds, blues, and leafy greens. What kept my attention was the writing. I thought Heather did an excellent job replicating the magical and whimsical tone of Allen’s writing with her food descriptions. This was a solid entry all around and a great idea for a fun summer salad.

There are also two entries that I would like to spotlight with honorable mentions. The Lemon Verbena Crème Brûlée by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen looked quite scrumptious, and I loved her description of Garden Spells as “a fairy tale for foodies.” What an awesome and accurate statement. Also, I thought the Lemon Lavender Bread by Maria from A Platter of Figs was a great interpretation of one of Claire’s signature dishes. Her love and enthusiasm for the book (she’s read it six times!) really shows in the wonderful pictures of the moist bread.

Thanks again for allowing me to be part of Cook the Books, especially for a great story like Garden Spells. This is a great idea for a blog, and everyone shows such dedication and research in choosing the dishes each round.  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with for the next book!”

Congratulations to Girlichef for her winning post and to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen and Maria of A Platter of Figs for honorable entries. I will now turn things over to Deb, who will be coordinating the next round when we read Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life”.

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