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Edible Book Contest 2013

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I just discovered this thing called the Edible Book Festival when I saw advertisements at the Lake Forest Park Town Center.

I do love a good food challenge.  Even though it was Easter weekend and I had a wedding cake, I pulled an all-nighter to put together 2 submissions for this year’s first annual Edible Book Festival at the Lake Forest Town Center, courtesy of the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council.  There were some fantastic entries this year, and I’m very disappointed that there is no link I can share to show the other entries.  However, I’m more than happy to share my entries.

I based my first entry on the popular book A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.  I called my submission A Game of Scones.  It’s made out of 3 different flavors of scones, Raspberry, Blueberry, and my very special Bacon Cheddar.  I made the family banners out of chocolate on bamboo skewers.  All the other decor is made of fondant with bits of chocolate for the details.  Even though I filled a big tray of extra Bacon Cheddar Scones with gloved hands, I was surprised at how quickly people started taking apart and eating my display when it was announced that the contest was over…especially since I dropped the display on the floor of my car and set it up with my bare hands.  I removed it as quickly as I could make my way through the crowd once I noticed people were eating it, but really, let this serve as a little food for thought next time you find yourself at an Edible Book Festival.

My second entry was based on the character Curious George from the short stories by the same name.  The focus of my entry were my new favorite baked snack, Gougeres.  I titled my submission Curious Gougère.  Gougeres are simply a fancy French term for cheese puffs.  I baked mine with Gruyere cheese, a dash of fresh herbs, and just a touch of black pepper.  George is made from cake we were going to toss from the bakery because it was too old to sell, along with some extra vegan icing I had left over from a wedding cake.  The whole thing is covered in fondant with a little edible food pen decor.  Once again, I provided a basket of fresh baked delicacies only to return to find someone had carved a piece out of George’s side with a spatula when it was announced people could start eating.  Looking around the room, I could see projects that obviously took days, and I really think this is something people should consider before blindly taking a bite of something.  As much as we’d all love to run around a room stuffing our faces like we’re in Willy Wonka’s factory, that was a work of fiction and food born illnesses are part of the real world.

There were no awards to be had for this cake decorator, but that hasn’t discouraged me from trying again next year.  I especially loved The Secret Garden entry and the chocolate sculpture honoring a Biography of Alfred Hitchcock.  I’m also very proud of my co-worker for her submission of Poppy and Rye with one of her delicious Gluten Free Poppy cakes and a beautiful perfectly executed first attempt at pie.  I really wish someone had uploaded pictures of the event; you’ll just have to take my word for it that is was a lot of fun for the whole family.  I know I’ll be there next year, and I hope to see some old and new faces next year.

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