Skip to content

DOUBLE THE FUN CONTEST WINNERS!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

As promised, the entries in the Double the Fun contest have been judged by an anonymous panel of judges (thanks, y’all!) and a winner has been decided upon. I have to tell you that they had a really hard time picking a winner because everyone’s entries were so well done. I’m glad I wasn’t the one having to choose!

For those of you who entered and didn’t win, your names were included in the drawing for the 2nd and 3rd place prizes along with those who didn’t enter. Here’s how the entries stood at the end of the contest:

Jennifer H.: 22 comments for 13 entries
Renee C.: 20 comments for 11 entries
Jess P.: 19 comments for 10 entries
Liz J.: 18 comments for 9 entries
Jolanthe: 16 comments for 7 entries
Becky Miller: 20 comments for 11 entries
Alexandra R.: 10 comments for 1 entry
Carman B.: 15 comments for 6 entries
Becky Terry: 15 comments for 6 entries

I wish I could award everyone a prize, because the verve you had in commenting on all the posts this month made it so much fun for me to try to think up topics that would hopefully capture your interest. I hope that even if you didn’t win, you did get something out of the conversations that happened here over the past four weeks, and I really hope you’ll come back to chat often! (Especially since I’m going to be doing some posts this month in preparation for the release of Menu for Romance and Ransome’s Honor that I hope will get you even more excited about them!)

THE PRIZES

Grand Prize (one winner): Signed copy of both Menu for Romance and Ransome’s Honor, your choice of one of the cookbooks on the MFR list and one of the DVDs on the RH list, and a $100 gift certificate from your choice of Amazon, ChristianBooks.com, or Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart. Why? Because they, unlike B&N, will actually carry my books!).

2nd Place (two winners): Choice of Menu for Romance or Ransome’s Honor (signed) with one cookbook (for MFR) or one DVD (for RH) from the list, and a $25 gift certificate from your choice of Amazon, ChristianBooks.com, or Wal-Mart.

3rd Place (two winners): Choice of Menu for Romance or Ransome’s Honor (signed) with one cookbook (for MFR) or one DVD (for RH) from the list.

And the winners are . . .

3rd Place (two winners): Choice of Menu for Romance or Ransome’s Honor (signed) with one cookbook (for MFR) or one DVD (for RH) from the list.

Carman Boley
and
Renee Chaw

2nd Place (two winners): Choice of Menu for Romance or Ransome’s Honor (signed) with one cookbook (for MFR) or one DVD (for RH) from the list, and a $25 gift certificate from your choice of Amazon, ChristianBooks.com, or Wal-Mart.

Jolanthe
and
Becky Miller

Grand Prize (one winner): Signed copy of both Menu for Romance and Ransome’s Honor, your choice of one of the cookbooks on the MFR list and one of the DVDs on the RH list, and a $100 gift certificate from your choice of Amazon, ChristianBooks.com, or Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart. Why? Because they, unlike B&N, will actually carry my books!).

Every Time
by Liz Johnson

      The smoke begins curling around the patio overhang, and I let my eyelids drop. Maybe if I’m really still, the sweat on my arms won’t slide to my fingers or the drops on my lip won’t slip to the corner of my mouth adding a salty tang to the rest of the evening. I risk taking a deep breath through my nose. And that’s when it hits me.

      The spicy smell of home.

      I’ve been at college for just six weeks. Just a five hour drive from the rest of the family, from the heat of southern Arizona. Except it feels like a lifetime and a million miles since I’ve stood next to my dad in front of his grill.

      One of the brown patties in front of us drops a stream of grease and sizzles as a flame licks its edge. Dad’s practiced hand slides a spatula under the burger in the back corner and flips it. Then the next. He presses the bottom of the turner to the top of that one, and the fire pops loudly.

      “Cheese?”

      “Huh?”

      My dad looks down at me, the corners of his eyes crinkling. “Cheese?”

      I jump. I’ve forgotten my only responsibility for the evening meal. I run inside, immediately missing the scent of the smoke mingling with the Italian spices I saw Dad mixing with the ground beef earlier today.

      “Who wants cheese?” I call, sailing past my sister, who is setting the table.

      One “me.” One “no.”

      The other two are unaccounted for, and a quick glance shows they’re nowhere to be seen. I shrug. You don’t pipe up. You don’t get cheese.

      With a bounce in my step, I carry the cheese slices back outside. Dad is just turning the last burger. The wrappers in my hand crinkle as I cover the perfectly char grilled patties. Orange cheese curls at the corners as the heat begins to melt it.

      Before I know it, Dad is scooping the burgers onto a plate, and I realize we haven’t spoken more than half a dozen words to each other in the fifteen minutes we’ve been standing side by side watching our dinner cook. Is this going to be our only time alone together during my long weekend? Have I wasted my only chance to tell him about my first weeks of college?

      I don’t have a choice now. He’s headed through the door, and if I want dinner, I have to follow.

      My head is bowed, and my eyes are closed as my dad offers thanks for the meal on the table. But I can’t help sneaking a peak at my brother holding my right hand and my mom sitting across from me. I didn’t realize how much I miss being with my family until this moment.

      My sister passes the platter of burgers and I stab a cheesy one, settling it between the two halves of a potato bun. I choose minimal condiments—ketchup with a dab of old-school mustard—and use the top of the bun to swirl them together on the melted American cheese.

      Using both hands, I bring my meal to my mouth, ready for the first bite, but stop just before chomping down.

      If I hurry through the meal, will I shorten the time I have with my family? If I rush through my burger, will I start to lose touch with my home?

      Dad leans over. “Everything okay? You haven’t touched your burger. I made it because I know it’s your favorite.”

      I have to fight the tears that sting the corners of my eyes.

      “I’m good,” I mumble before cramming a huge bite into my mouth. The bun is soft and light and melts away. And the burger is just like I remember it. Tangy and juicy. Solid and comforting.

      It’s the taste of home.

      “Will you make these next time I come home?” I whisper to Dad.

      “Every time.”

Congratulations to all the winners. Look over the prize lists and e-mail me to let me know what you’ve chosen!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday, June 1, 2009 6:09 am

    Wow! 🙂 Thanks so much! I’ll have to think it over and let you know later. Congrats to all the winners ~ especially Liz.

    Now I want a burger.

    Jolanthe

    Like

  2. Carman Boley permalink
    Monday, June 1, 2009 8:29 am

    Wow! That was amazing. Congrats Liz, you deserve it!

    I was so surprised to see my name in 3rd place, I didn’t think I had won any of them! Yay! I’ll Email you with my choices. Unless you just want me to tell them to you here? Thank you for doing this contest. It was SO much fun! I will continue to come, read, and comment. I love reading your blog!

    Like

  3. Monday, June 1, 2009 10:31 am

    Thanks so much for doing the contest! It was a lot of fun – both the commenting and the writing my food essay. I can’t WAIT to read Ransome’s Honor (and I’ll go preorder Menu for Romance on Amazon).

    Like

  4. Monday, June 1, 2009 10:48 am

    Liz, your essay was emotionally evocative. I just spent last week at my parents’ house and spent hours going through photo albums and scrapbooks. I found journal entries, a newspaper story I wrote and photos all about my first trip home from college, so I’ve just revisited that. You perfectly captured the feelings that accompany the first attempt to re-join the family after being away in a new world at college.

    Also, I LOVE hamburgers (with cheese!) and now I want to eat one.

    Like

  5. Monday, June 1, 2009 11:54 am

    I wrote about the contest today here.

    Like

  6. Monday, June 1, 2009 12:15 pm

    Oh, wow! This is such an honor. Thanks to the judges and Kaye for this amazing contest. I had so much fun writing that story. It took me back to those college days. It’s been quite a few years since my first year in college, and I live in Colorado now. But my family still lives in Arizona, and every time I go home, my dad still makes hambugers. 🙂

    Thanks again. What an absolute pleasure it’s been participating in this contest. Kaye, you have a lovely blog, and I’ll definitely continue stopping by. It’s become a habit now. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Like

  7. sugarandgrits permalink
    Monday, June 1, 2009 7:55 pm

    Awesome story, Liz!

    Congrats to ALL of the winners! 🙂

    Like

Join the Discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: