Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Announcing Our Winner for "The Color of Tea!"

If you didn't get a chance to look through the roundup of all the dishes inspired by our April/May pick, "The Color of Tea," yet, I encourage you to do so. With the variety of beautiful baked goods and sweet and savory treats, we almost have the perfect cafe menu of our own! We certainly made the judging process difficult for author Hannah Tunnicliffe, never less, she persevered and we have the results below.

Hannah wrote such a lovely email, I have included in its entirety below:

Dearest Deb, 

Well, I've finally had a thorough read through of all the (incredible!) entries for The Colour of Tea. I have to admit - judging has been more challenging than I imagined. Everyone has gone to such an effort and translated the story, settings and characters in such diverse and personally meaningful ways; I had a really REALLY tough time! If only your Cook the Books club members were a little less creative and talented... ;-)

Right, so, here we go.... I was enchanted by Rachel's tea eggs, even if she wasn't in love with the end result, they looked beautiful and reminded me of the century egg congee I used to eat in Macau (and how pretty they would be for Easter!). Simona's roasted carrot scones looked gorgeous (especially pictured with her homegrown delicate pink rose) as well as tasty; scones are a personal favourite for me too. I was very touched that Ana made pavlova, as it is practically New Zealand's signature dessert and I had never drawn the connection between macarons and pavlova before - very clever! Of course, I loved your raspberry-almond oat bars - the sweetness of raspberry paired with teeth-satisfying firmness, just the sort of treat I'd eat in my "office" too ;-) Then, the tarts from Marla, Louise and Heather - ooooh, I do love a tart... Louise's was the closest to the tart Grace made for Pete in the book but Marla's was so divinely simple and Heather had me at 'smoked sea salt'. Heather had made a delicious tomato tart previously, so I was very impressed she edited using seasonal produce (asparagus) and made yet another delightful tart dish. Danielle had me desperately craving a perfect New York bagel and very happily drawn into her life and loves through her great blog. Debra's macaroons were so versatile - I'm a huge coconut fan and had never thought of making them that way with a space for a filling - delicious genius! 

And now for my two favourites - pomegranate-vanilla macarons with chocolate ganache by Claudia and vanilla-chamomile cremeux by Camilla. Firstly, hats off to Claudia for making macarons! Dark chocolate ganache is my favourite macaron filling, cuts perfectly through their sweetness and pomegranate is a great, unique flavour idea, I'm jealous I didn't think of it myself! I can just imagine the gorgeous pink and brown delights in the glass cabinet at Lillian's. A creation Grace and Gigi would be proud of. And finally, the vanilla-chamomile cremeux. I loved the simplicity of this recipe with the addition of chamomile and topped with some thyme. It was the recipe I most wanted to make and could imagine Grace cooking it with Faith at her side, wearing a tiny apron and dipping her fingers into the cremeux. To me, the macaron and cremeux recipes would be Grace's favourites and somehow represented her life and her future. For that reason these are my two winners and I'd love to send Claudia and Camilla a little New Zealand food-themed prize if they would like to send me their addresses. 

As an aside, I appreciated all the feedback your readers had about The Colour of Tea. I know it is not everyone's style of novel but your readers were gracious in their criticism and genuine and thoughtful with their compliments. I laughed when I read that your readers were frustrated with Grace...I was too! Lol! But that's her - flawed and somewhat obsessive but ultimately looking for love and purpose just like the rest of us. I hope your readers grew to like her like a friend as I did. Regarding the model on the cover, I'm afraid I don't have much of a say in cover design but yes, the model is not a red-head and that amused / confused me too, although I think the overall design is lovely. If there are any other questions or feedback please let you readers know that I love being contacted and have contact forms on websites www.forkandfiction.com and www.hannahtunnicliffe.com

A huge big thank you for organising, Deb, and involving me (and The Colour of Tea) in Cook the Books! Let me know if I can help out in any other way; 

Very best wishes, 


                 Claudia's Pomegranate-Vanilla Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Congratulations to our co-winners Claudia and Camilla! Ladies, if you send me your mailing addresses, I will get them to Hannah so she can send out your special treats. Add your Cook the Books Winner's Badges to your collections proudly! ;-)

A big THANK YOU to Hannah, who not only wrote a terrific book but is also a truly  thoughtful judge and a wonderful person!   

We will have the announcement post with our next four books posted later this week! Until then, we hope you are enjoying into our current selection, "How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher, hosted by Simona.


Rachel said...

Congratulations to Claudia and her Macarons and Camilla and her Cremeux. Both wonderful entries.

Thank you to Deb for organizing this round and picking a great book. I really enjoyed my virtual trip to Macau.

And thank you to Hannah for writing the book and taking such time and care in judging our little foodie book club. You were a great judge!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Way to go Claudia and Camilla! Excellent posts and truly inspired recipes. Please do share with us when you get your well-deserved prizes.

I echo Rachel: Thank you demand Hannah!

(Can't wait for the next three announcement!)

Simona Carini said...

Congratulations Claudia and Camilla! Thank you Hannah for being such a gracious judge and thank you Deb for hosting.