Delicious reads

 

Randi Robison of Columbus used Reese Witherspoon's book

Randi Robison of Columbus used Reese Witherspoon's book "Whiskey in a Teacup" as inspiration for her entry in the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library's Edible Book Festival April 11. Robison also used Witherspoon's mother's recipe from the book for the biscuits. Photo by: Jan Swoope/Dispatch Staff

 

Launch Photo Gallery

 

Molly Munson, 7, won a basket of goodies for her

Molly Munson, 7, won a basket of goodies for her "Most Creative" entry based on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Molly is the daughter of Ryan and Katherine Munson of Columbus.
Photo by: Jan Swoope/Dispatch Staff

 

This

This "Treasure Island" edible book entry by Mona Vance-Ali features blue jello for water and graham crackers for a sandy beach, as well as a treasure chest fused together with Nutella. Rolled wafer cookie palm trees are topped with bay leaves.
Photo by: Jan Swoope/Dispatch Staff

 

The People's Choice Award went to Lisa, Charles, Leda and Peter Jr. Loux, for

The People's Choice Award went to Lisa, Charles, Leda and Peter Jr. Loux, for "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog."
Photo by: Jan Swoope/Dispatch Staff

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

Visitors to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library found more than "food for the mind" April 11. The library's third annual Edible Book Festival showcased something for the taste buds as well. Popular books like "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "The Help" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" were interpreted in everything from jello to Rice Krispies.  

 

The friendly competition featured 14 entries this year.  

 

"Each year it gets better and bigger and more creative as people discover what it actually is," said library archivist Mona Vance-Ali, who coordinated the event held during National Library Week. "It's intended to be a fun activity, not anything that's a lot of pressure. It gives us a chance to take those books we love and showcase our creativity, representing them in fun and clever ways."  

 

Local celebrity judges for the festival were Columbus Vice Mayor and City Councilman Bill Gavin, Mary Helen Hawkins of The W's Culinary Arts Institute, Lion Hills Center Kitchen Manager Ricky Puckett, Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders and Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton.  

 

Randi Robison's "Most Visually Appealing" winner was a take on "Whiskey in a Teacup," by Reese Witherspoon. Molly Munson was awarded "Most Creative" for her entry based on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." 

 

The People's Choice Award, voted on by the public, went to Lisa, Charles, Leda and Peter Jr. Loux, for "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog," by Mo Willems. 

 

Witherspoon's lifestyles and recipe book was no random choice for Robison. She's an avid follower of Witherspoon's book club. 

 

"She's a lot more than just from 'Legally Blonde'," Robison said. "I just really love 'Whiskey in a Teacup.' It's a really fun book about Southern women, the kind of things I grew up with, but it was great to hear (them from) Reese Witherspoon, who I really admire as a book club curator, author and actress." 

 

Book genres represented varied from children's book to suspense. There were takes on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Day the Crayons Quit," among others. Participant Amber Carson chose "Cujo," by Stephen King. She's already got next year's idea ready -- an interpretation of King's "Pet Sematary." 

 

Vance-Ali used "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson as her inspiration.  

 

"I chose it because it was my grandfather's favorite book, and he and I were very close," she said. In her entry, a blue jello ocean met a crushed graham cracker shoreline, where palm trees of rolled wafer cookies topped with bay leaves swayed. Nutella sealed together the sides of a graham cracker treasure chest. Nearby, "X" marked the spot. 

 

"We've had such a variety of people wanting to get involved," Vance-Ali said of the festival. "It's been great to have especially kids; it's a good way for them to be involved with cooking as well as their love of reading. Even if you don't enter anything, it's a great family outing to just come and see." 

 

There is plenty of time to plan for the fourth annual Edible Book Festival, which will take place in early April next year. And remember, when the contest is over, you can reach for the fork and spoon and dig in.

 

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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