Well, I didn’t really want to keep you in suspense! My post was eaten by the hungry internet!
To those asking what a clootie dumpling is: a cloot is the Scots word for ‘cloth’ – clootie dumplings are sweet puddings, a little like a Christmas pud but lighter, traditionally served on New Year’s Day in Scotland. Here’s the recipe I used (I added mixed peel, subbed the oats for millet flour, and used golden syrup instead of treacle/molasses). It was warmly spicy and very filling.
Now on to the winner of the ‘place’ photography contest.
After dinner, my parents looked through the photographs and cast their votes – D had to be brought in for the final decision. He chose the same photograph my mother had picked, and we had a winner: Chris J. Rice. Here is her entry:
She included this lovely descriptive piece with her photograph, though the judges evaluated the photos all on their own merit:
Your favorite color was yellow. Yellow, so heavenly even when mixed with black, often expressing otherworldly grief, like the field in Van Gogh’s last painting; wheat overshadowed by darkness, yet, there it was, a hint of the sun, a thick shimmer of light. In fourth grade when the teacher told the class to paint the flower on her desk, a purple iris—dark veined and fragile—you did what she asked. Except you made it yellow. Dipped your brush in water, mushed it in the palest color cake, and copied down what you saw in your head. Transferred the flat world of your vision to the flat world of the page. So easy to do, you were surprised by her praise. Still you soaked it up, feeling momentarily okay, good for something. Like it was acceptable to see what you saw, to like what you liked.
Chris, please look through the archives of pictures here and choose one you’d like me to frame for you. Let me know by email – alongside your postage address. I’ll also be sending a mystery book from my shelves, and shopping for small goodies to include in your parcel. I’ll send it to you as soon as the city has recovered from its hangover.
To all the rest who contributed a photograph to the competition: Thank you. The standard of entries was very high, and it was tough for the judges to reach a consensus on the winner. Happy New Year, and hope to run another giveaway/contest at a later date.