And the winner of the first ever Almost Vegetarian contest is . . .

Are you excited? I am so excited I can barely stand it!

It was certainly way, way more difficult than I thought it would be to pick a winner. There were some truly amazing entries. Truly. But I finally narrowed it down.

But, first, I want to thank everyone who entered. It was nice of you to enter my contest. And, what’s more, I could tell a lot of you put some good time and thoughts into your post and that was wonderful for me to see.

Okay. So the winner is . . .

Carol!
Yep. Ms. Carol is the winner of the first-ever Almost Vegetarian Now it's Your Turn contest. Wait until your read about the hot dog. You'll howl!

The winning entry
Tea kettles and I share a questionable history that includes melted-out aluminium bottoms (due to my having forgotten it was on while I worked on research) and other near mishaps, like the time the electric burner shorted out, burning a neat hole right through the bottom of the kettle I'd bought to replace the aluminium one.

That one was red, and new and shiny, setting the perfect note of 1940s style against the pristine glow of my oven top (I should mention that I don't see too well, which helps greatly with housework).

Now I have another, silver, and with the most graceful black, smooth-feeling bakelite handle that arches over it, providing balance that makes the kettle feel light in my hand, even when full.

It embraces the burner perfectly, I've noticed, and the little round lid twists just so; there is a whistle on the spout, which is a base-level requirement (remember what I did not - the neglected kettle). The whistle should give breathy warning before it hits its loudest phase.

I think I've always loved tea kettles, but now I am reminded of an anecdote told by a friend about a friend of hers, when she was first on her own. (Not sure I believe it was about 'a friend,' but you be the judge.)

Anyway, my friend got a phone call from the other, exasperated, near tears: she'd boiled a hotdog - it fit in through the pour spout perfectly! - but now, cooked and far plumper - how could she get it out again?

There is something, though, of perfection, about the right kettle. It balances, living at the back of my stovetop serving its intended function perfectly. Designed to hold a volume of water, and heat it, needing no special treatment.

Everything about it embodies ritual and comfort. I could do this in my sleep, and nearly have, trusting that it will do what is promised with a minimum of fuss and a modicum of style, with the cheer of a whistle, and the small pleasure of graceful design.

This is what you win!
Chef's Planet $85 Grande food mill. I hope you tell us all about your experience with it!

As for the other amazing entries . . .
Some were so difficult not to choose. Like the sweet one about the baker. And the amazing poem. And the . . . Well, I'm going to pick the best of them and post them this Monday so you can see what clever and creative company you are in.

Another chance to win!
Oh and, hey, if you didn't win this one, no worries. I found a great place where you can win what looks like a really fun cookbook. Yep, those wacky people over at PETA are holding a contest of their own. Good luck!

Speaking of fellow bloggers . . .
I do want to thank all the bloggers who mentioned my contest for me. That was really generous of you and I appreciate it. Thanks so much!

Finally . . .
Should I do it again? Did you enjoy the contest? Should I run another one? If I do, what kind would you like? I'm thinking of maybe doing one on skincare products. You know, natural face creams and masks and lovely body lotions and shampoos and that sort of thing. Would you enjoy that? Let me know.