Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CONTEST: Fast-food efficiency; plus, new prize announced!

Today we announce a new sponsor and a new prize for the February writing contest.

The winner of this month's contest will receive a SIGNED COPY of the terrific book "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles" by Jennifer 8. Lee!

Here's a description of the book, from its website:

There are more Chinese restaurants in this country than McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken combined.

In The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, author Jennifer 8. Lee takes readers on a remarkable journey that is both foreign and familiar: penetrating this subculture by traveling the world (and almost every American state) in her quest to understand Chinese food and the people who make it.

Her journey took her to the hometown of General Tso (a military hero immortalized as much for crunchy chicken as his conquests), the surprising origins of the fortune cookie (it’s not China), and to six continents in search for the world’s greatest Chinese restaurant. The book also sparks debates as to who really invented chop suey and why Jews love Chinese food, or as she puts it: Why is chow mein the chosen food of the chosen people?

The book is a tribute to immigrants and to America. If our benchmark for Americanness is apple pie, ask yourself, how often do you eat apple pie? Now how often do you eat Chinese food?

Thanks for sponsoring the contest, Jennifer.

Now, about that contest: let's get cracking, people! We've received only one entry so far, and remember, this is a short month! You have a great chance to win this terrific book.

Here's the entry, from my good friend and frequent reader D'Erin. She was writing about yesterday's fortune, Appreciate the caring people who surround you, and she also has an appreciation for efficient fast food workers:

I had a great experience in Subway once. We were getting food for me, my friend, her 3 kids (who kept changing their minds every 15 seconds), and her fiance. There was one lady behind the counter and she whipped up 3 kids meals and 3 footlongs without so much as a misplaced ingredient or topping. (And, she was patient, polite, and accommodating.)

After we paid, I told her that she was extremely talented and efficient; the best I had ever encountered at a Subway. She said she'd only been at it 6 weeks! Wow... I was impressed.

I think you're setting a good example by appreciating the minimum wage workers who really do give 110%.

Thanks, D'Erin. Good luck on the bar exam!