The Raggedy Awards – Year Three

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What else can one say?

Welcome to our third annual BigLIttleMeals Raggedy Awards.  Each year at this time Ann and I select our favorites from each other’s posts from the past year (see the entire list here).  This is never easy because we both have fragile egos, and to pass over a favorite post can cause hurt feelings.  But we are living in tough times and tough decisions are needed. So here it goes.

And now to the Presentation of Awards:

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Andy’s Picks

Andy’s pick for Ann’s BEST BLOG goes to: This Bowl So Dear

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Ann opens this blog with the above wonderful poem by Australia’s Michael Leunig.  Her blog is more than just about the comfort food we eat out of bowls; it is about social class and who we are (which is a plus to my sociological imagination).

The Runner up for Ann’s BEST BLOG is Revisiting Jerusalem

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This blog is so Ann.  It combines cultural and culinary issues with music.  If you haven’t already picked it up, music is to Ann what water is to fish (I know, corny).  In fact, she is in the other room singing to herself as I type this.  Also, some of my favorite recipes are in this blog.

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Ann’s Picks.

Ann’s pick for THE BEST ANDY’S CORNER  goes to: Thomas the Tank Engine Goes to College .

Little did I suspect that my hours of playing Thomas the Tank Engine with our grandson Silas would some day pay off with his acceptance to UC Berkeley.  That’s stretching it a bit but both the little tank engine and Silas have unexpected strengths beneath their playful veneers.

The Runner up for THE BEST ANDY’S CORNER goes to: Spotted WHAT?.

Spotted Dick menu item circled

A canal boat trip in England with four grandparent-aged and two teen-aged passengers was spiced up with the discovery of a rather roguishly named dessert in a canal-side pub.  This Andy’s Corner was an especially appropriate companion piece to Ann’s blog Keep Your Pecker Up, a post that could easily have been selected as best in spite of its R rating.

The Raggedy for BEST VIDEO goes to:

Oakley’s Secret: A Tailless Dog’s Tale

One of the more enjoyable things I do for the blog is produce an occasional video presentation.  To assure complete transparency and objectivity in the selection of the best video, understand that Ann makes this selection.

In this exposé I dig deep into the psyche and quirky world of our beloved Australian Shepherd, Oakley.  This is not her first starring role in one of my videos, but after this you will never quite see her in the same light.


The Runner-up for BEST VIDEO goes to:  Air B&B for Birds

My interest in wildlife is well known in the documentary film world (see Where the Wild Things Are).  Air B&B is my first foray into filming the aquatic lives of non-aquatic birds.  Mainly, I did this to have some excuse to play Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.


The Raggedy for BEST RECIPE (according to Andy) goes to:  Sopa de Lima with Corn Salsa with Ginger Scones being a VERY close runner-up.

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Sopa de Lima with Corn Salsa, Andy’s top recipe pick

Picking out a favorite recipe is nearly impossible for me.  Each one we publish is a work of love which involves much testing, tasting, and at times, rejecting.   In this case we plundered the recipe from our daughter Sara.  It was published in The Best of Food and Wine, Vol 18, 2015.

The Raggedy for BEST RECIPE (according to Ann) goes to: Shakshuka – with Indian Butter Chicken being a VERY close runner-up.

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Ann wrote about Shakshuka just days after last year’s Raggedy Awards and claimed it was her current favorite recipe, “hands down.”  She even requested (and had) Shakshuka for her Mothers’ Day celebration which was just around the corner.  And now that Mother’s Day is upon us again, it is more than appropriate that she has officially named this as her favorite.

The Raggedy for OUR FAVORITE FOOD ITEM OF THE YEAR goes to:  Goya Canned Beans


These are from our pantry

We hesitate to contradict the well-known food-writer, Mark Bittman, but we think there’s a distinct difference in the quality of Goya canned beans and all other brands.  And we like Goya far better.  The brand can be hard to find (we make special trips to get ours at the local Safeway), though Whole Foods claims it’s available in some stores.

If you want to know more about Goya, here’s a 2013 article from the WaPo:  How Goya brought ethnic food to white America.  A little further research indicates the Hispanic-family-owned Goya is now struggling with whether to be bought out.  Kind of hope they don’t sell.  “Big” seldom means “better” for consumers.

Our last award is the Raggedy for BEST LAGNIAPPE BLOG. This is a new category for our awards presentations.  This past year Ann wrote six Lagniappe Blogs.  These are short pieces offering just a little something extra as the spirit moves her.  In my opinion, her latest one was one of the most clever, and as far as we can tell, least understood of her efforts.  So I am awarding the Raggedy for the BEST LAGNIAPPE BLOG to Is There a Perfect Choice?

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Bidens ‘Blazing Glory’ – just what’s needed?

Although this piece is about flowers on one level, there is a deeper and more nuanced message lurking under the surface.  Once you begin to see the theme, the names of the various flowers she mentions make more sense. I recommend you reread this piece with an eye for the theme and see how many veiled references you can find.

Stay well and safe.






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