Milestones always make me a little sentimental. Are you celebrating a new decade since your birth? Have you graduated from school? Has your little one just learned to walk? These are the occasions to break out the smiles, the cakes, the presents, and the giving thanks. I am smiling right now; there is a cake in the oven; the presents are being wrapped; and the giving thanks shall never, ever end.
My Legume Love Affair, which kicks off Year 4 this month with its 37th helping, remains a powerful reminder that there are legions of world cooks who value the diversity, health benefits, flavors, and culinary versatility of legumes. How do I know just how many of you are out there? Because over the last three years, you have opened your kitchens to this event, letting me and others peek under the pot lids at your stews, soups, and curries; watch you griddle pancakes and burgers and deep-fry snacks; plate and present salads and cereals; collect heavy, steaming casseroles from ovens; and complement your tables with sweet beverages and desserts that can be just as rich as fudge or demure as rice-wrapped sachets. You have shared with me thousands of recipes, all golden, all delicious, and all served from the heart. Your hospitality and talents are the driving force behind My Legume Love Affair, and I am so very grateful for your continued support, good will, and enthusiasm, either as a participant or a host. I know exactly how much hard work goes on in the home kitchen, as well as the extra commitments of energy and focus needed to join in and/or host a food-blogging event.
For July, I have the pleasure of perfect timing in that I will be wresting the hosting duties from the dozens of lovely cooks who still clamor for a coveted spot. (There is already a wait list for 2013.) It was just plain good luck rather than planning; I had not even been thinking this far ahead when I scheduled the hosting roster for this year.
To celebrate this very special month, I am featuring several guest bloggers with diverse culinary styles who will grace The Well-Seasoned Cook as they prepare, write about, and photograph their legume-centric recipes, showcasing their fine and inspiring talents. Some, I have known as part of a posse of bloggers who began their online lives around the same time as I did over four years ago. Others, are newer faces whose work I have recently discovered and have been very impressed by. I do hope you will enjoy their creative offerings and make them feel very welcome.
As always, this month is calling on all cooks and bakers who have a bean-based recipe to share. All courses, cultures, and dietary lifestyles are welcome (vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore). To participate, please ensure that your recipe well represents the spirit of legumes (seeds, pods, flours, tofu, etc.,) as featured ingredients rather than garnishes. This event is very specific to all comestibles that are members of the legume family of plants rather than the generic French term for vegetable.
* Post your recipe, linking to this announcement, then send your name, recipe URL, an optional photo (300 X 400/either orientation), and your location to thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com now through July 31, with MLLA 37 in the subject field. Please let me know if you would like your location withheld from the round-up. I will, however, need it in order to discern whether you will be eligible to win one of the prizes (details below), which can only be shipped to a U.S. address.
* Multiple recipes are welcome, but please limit them to ten (10) per participant. Multiple submissions do not increase your chances of winning a prize.
* Recipes sent to other events are welcome, but please check with their rules for participation.
* Archived recipes are accepted but only if they are re-posted as current with a link to this announcement, as are recipes submitted by those who do not blog. Your submission will make you eligible to win a prize. My family and personal friends are not eligible to win any prize whether they blog or not.
* Use of the logo is optional.
There will be four (4) separate prizes offered to celebrate this special MLLA month, each awarded to a separate winner by random drawings:
* Two (2) participants will win a copy of Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling by blogger Hélène Dujardin of Tartelette.
* One (1) participant will win a copy of Beans: More than 200 Delicious, Wholesome Recipes from Around the World by Aliza Green.
(F.T.C. Notice: All books are purchased and shipped worldwide at my own expense. I have no business nor personal relationships with Amazon nor the authors of either book.)
* One (1) Hurst Bean Prize, consisting of a 6-bag assortment of the winner's choice of products, suitable for all dietary lifestyles. For this special occasion, Hurst Bean is also offering a handmade ceramic cachepot to store and dispense your beans. The beans and cachepot will be awarded to one (1) winner. Due to shipping restrictions, this prize can only be awarded to a U.S. resident.
I am very much looking forward to a wildly busy and fun July. May this month bring you good cheer, good eating, and the very best of luck always!