Edible literature attracts Bearcat bookworms

Mar 19th, 2014 | By | Category: News

By Olina Cavedoni

Though the actual contents of the pitcher was a bit unclear – murky gray to be exact – it was clear that junior chemistry major Emily Weatherford’s entry for the Edible Book Festival, “Pitcher of Dory in Gray,” would be the winner of the Best Student Entry Award.

Why? She was the only student to enter the competition.

On March 13, the Popular Reading Group of the Hatfield Library sponsored Willamette’s third annual Edible Book Festival. The event was created as a fun way to get people into the library, Hatfield staff said.

In a blend of culinary and literary creativity, faculty, staff, their children and Weatherford created a total of 14 entries for the event.

Bistro gift cards were awarded for the Best Student Entry, Most Literary and Most Creative, as determined by Professor of Biology David Craig, resource librarian Ford Schmidt and junior creative writing major Saran Walker. There was also a People’s Choice Award so attendees could have a say in the results.

“The basic idea is to think of a book that you like, and if you can make an edible display about it, come in,” Schmidt said.

“War and Peas,” a pun on Leo Tolstoy’s 19th century novel, “War and Peace,” was the first entry. Created out of an elaborately decorated chocolate cake, the composition was divided into two parts and separated by a pretzel fence. On the right side, Fruit Roll-Up peace signs were stuck fast in a field of frozen peas; green gummy army men and fallen broccoli trees covered the other.

This entry, created by Technical Services Specialist Alice French, was the winner of the Most Literary Award and the People’s Choice Award.

A brown frosting-covered vanilla cake, inscribed with the word “Bible” in white icing, was the second entry. Holes of various sizes were plentifully bestrewn across the cake, and the piece was accordingly titled “Hole-y Bible.” Anna Corner, 12-year-old daughter of Associate Director of Admission Sue Corner, created this piece for the competition.

“Are pictures allowed? I don’t know how I would explain it otherwise,” Ana Nezol, a Salem community member who came to campus just for the contest, said.
Like many others, Nezol said she had a hard time choosing her favorite entry.

“I can’t decide between ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘The Lite in the Pizza,’” Nezol said. “I think they are very creative because not just anybody could come up with an idea and implement it like this.”

“The Dirty Dozen” consisted of 12 eggs with painted faces and “Lite in the Pizza” featured a can of “Lite” beer sitting on a pizza.

Although “Lite in the Pizza” did not receive any official awards, it did receive the most ‘likes’ on the Hatfield Library’s Facebook page.

The Most Creative Award was given to an entry featuring a small McCormick Spice jar filled with “Melange,” a fictional substance central to the “Dune” series of science fiction novels.

Senior economics major Jennifer Davis said she was only able to choose her favorites arbitrarily.

“These puns are shameless. I love it,” Davis said. “People at Willamette do have a sense of humor.”
In the end, Davis picked “The Butter Battle,” two sticks of butter equipped with bread helmets and toothpick swords.

At the end of the table was the only student entry, Weatherford’s “Pitcher of Dory in Gray.” Her entry consisted of a pitcher filled with gray liquid and a line drawing of Dory from the Disney movie “Finding Nemo.”

After many people expressed concern about the contents of her pitcher, Weatherford revealed that it was lemonade.
“I used black icing because I couldn’t find black food coloring,” Weatherford said.

Weatherford proceeded to offer audience members a prize-winning glass, on the house; some declined.


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