Julia Child, the muse for our latest short memoir contest, once said, ‚ÄúThe only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you‚Äôve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.‚ÄĚ If the outpouring of responses to our call for your funniest kitchen catastrophe stories is any indication, that attitude is alive and well, resulting in some wildly entertaining reading. After two weeks of voting and editorial deliberation, the winners have been chosen!
But first, here are excerpts from our five finalists, all of whom will receive a copy of Bob Spitz's biography "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child."
‚ÄúThe bowl had managed to hit my daughter on the way down (the shallow thunk) before clattering to the floor. She looked up at me, her dark eyes a sharp contrast on her now powder-coated white face, with mischievous grin and clapped her hands together. The resulting cloud brought a fresh wave of laughter and spurred her into a short quick string of claps with more laughter followed by little coughs as the cloud grew to envelope her.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒPancakes by Taylor Ing-Reed¬†
‚ÄúFlames were leaping from the stockpot, raging all over the stove. They licked the underside of the microwave and made the air dance in front of the dials controlling the heat. Caitlin burst into tears. I saw my life flash before my eyes as my body instinctually jumped at the stovetop, reached through the fire, and flipped off the heat.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒPopcorn by Lindsey Narmour¬†
‚ÄúSeveral hours later, with a house full of friends and relatives and a beautifully done holiday turkey, my father produced the ceremonial carving knife. But before its blade was able to pierce the perfectly crisp golden skin of the bird, my aunt stepped up, balancing something like her seventh tankard of merlot between two bedazzled fingers, and announced rather loudly that she had seen on Rachael Ray an inventive new way to carve a bird.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒTurkey by Leanna Noll¬†
Now it's our pleasure to present to you the Editorial Winner!
‚ÄúI felt I was no longer a girl with a boyfriend, but a woman with a fianc√©. This transition required serving a simple, lovely meal that evoked traditional domesticity. I planned a multi-course dinner of endive salad, chicken almondine, roasted asparagus and spaghetti, to be accompanied by a bottle of champagne well above my price range. As I shopped for the ingredients, I had¬†Lady and the Tramp¬†style visions of pasta-induced physical encounters.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒEngagement by Helly Schtevie
And the People's Choice Winner!
‚ÄúThe Crayola blue in my sister‚Äôs stilted young handwriting read ‚ÄėPop-Tart: 1. Open the Pop-Tart package. 2. Put the Pop-Tart in the toaster thing. 3. Eat.‚Äô My mom materialized behind me, a grin spreading across her freckled cheeks. ‚ÄėFor Mother‚Äôs Day, they told the second graders to write down their mom‚Äôs favorite recipe.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒThe Recipe by Kristi Wilcox
Kristi will receive "My Life in France," "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom,‚ÄĚ and the children's book "Bon Appetit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child," along with ‚ÄúDearie" and "Mastering the Art of French Cooking Boxed Set."
Congratulations to our winners! The Biographile team will notify you shortly by email.¬†As a reminder, the People's Choice winner was determined by the number of Facebook "Likes" each individual story received. The Editorial Pick winner was determined by the editorial staff of Biographile. Thanks again to everyone who participated. If you haven't already, sign up¬†for the Biographile newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date about our upcoming contests and giveaways.