At the start of 2014, I decided to launch my new look blog with an Instagram photo competition, which I described in this blog post. The competition ran for the month of January. The prize is a Guy Grossi cookbook called Recipes from my mother’s kitchen. I was not sponsored to run this competition. I personally bought the book and will be wrapping and sending it to the lucky (and clever) cook who has taken the winning photo. It is my way of “giving back” to all the lovely people who follow and read my blog or comment and like my food photos on Instagram. My dear mamma kindly agreed to pick the winning entry – though at the time she did not imagine there would be so many photos of home cooked italian dishes entered into the competition!
There were over 200 entries from instagrammers in several countries including the USA, Germany, Italy and Australia. Most people posted photos of prepared dishes, others of the stages during food preparation. Some photos could not be considered as they were either restaurant meals or photos of objects. It was however a fantastic response! I have taken some screen shots of several below. If you have an Instagram account you can have a look yourself at the hashtag #italyonmymindcompetition (I haven’t found a way for hashtag folder to be viewed via the web sorry).
I took my iPad over for mamma to pick the winning entry. She laughed (nervously) when I told her she had over 200 photos to look at as she didn’t know how to use an iPad (or a computer for that matter). We finished lunch and over coffee and a slice of my fig cake, I showed her how to move from one photo to the next on the screen. Her criteria for the best photo was that it brought back memories of times, places, events and people from the past – which fits in perfectly with the theme for this blog – in food, there are memories.
She loved the photos of the octopus – insalata di polpo (she thought about my father and how much he loved octopus); the ravioli in brodo (which reminded her of festive lunches in winter for the family) and the photos of gnocchi being made (which reminded her of the time family friend Aldo Parigi came over and put a parcel on top of the table cloth – not knowing that under the table cloth were all the gnocchi – which he inadvertently squashed!!). So after about half an hour of looking at the photos that had been entered she chose this one, which is of cartocci siciliani (custard horns), which were made by the talented Lisa (Instagram name – @leesee82).
The reason why mamma picked this particular one is because it reminded her of Sicily – she only went there twice in her life, as a stopover when the boat sailed between Italy and Australia – in 1963 and in 1971. She remembered both times vividly, going into great detail about where she went, who she was with and the delicious Sicilian pastries she ate. “Che brava! Sono cosi’ difficili da fare” (she is so good, they are so difficult to make) she exclaimed when she chose Lisa’s photo. She was very impressed. Congratulations Lisa! Brava!! You will be receiving the Guy Grossi cookbook “Recipes my mother taught me” in the mail in the next few weeks.
Thanks again to every one who entered – I hope you had as much fun entering the competition as I did running it. I hope to run another competition later in the year so stay tuned