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The Bluffton library's always full of books, but Saturday they were good enough to eat.
About 20 people participated in the library's first Edible Books Contest, which tasked entrants with making edible creations inspired by favorite books. The entries included cakes, cookies, fruit and even a vegetable-inspired diorama of sorts. Reference manager Francesca Denton said 54 ballots were cast by the public, and three winners were announced: most literary, Adam Eudy; most edible, Zeta Lacey; and most creative, Lynne Hummell.
Adam's cake, based on "Oh Say Can You Say" by Dr. Seuss, impressed the crowd and his fellow competitors.
The 14-year-old, who recently completed four cake-decorating classes at Michaels, covered his whimsical creation in pink fondant and created a figure out of Rice Krispies treats. One of the book's tongue twisters -- "Fetch me the finest French-fried freshest fish that Finney fries" -- lined the square cake's sides.
"I was laying on the floor of my living room and I saw the book, and I just remembered that I liked reading it. The first page was the book I made," Adam said.
Lacey created a sea of marine-themed cookies, from seahorses to shells, as an interpretation of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift from the Sea," which she read in her book club. Lacey, who owns 175 cookie cutters, said she likes to bake but isn't much of a cook.
"I don't cook at all," the Sun City Hilton Head resident said. "If you asked me to cook a pot roast, I couldn't do it. But I do cupcakes and cookies, and I try to make them look as fancy as I can."
Her favorite contest entries included a representation of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" -- a bunch of grapes with unhappy faces drawn on them. She also remembered Hummell's creation based on Maurice Sendak's children's classic "Where the Wild Things Are."
Unlike most of her competitors, Hummell didn't make a cake or cookies. Instead, she used mostly vegetables and herbs from the garden at her Hilton Head Island home. Her scene included a broccoli tree, a red bell pepper boat with a crescent roll sail and a parsnip monster with celery horns. Max, the book's young hero, was shaped out of overcooked rice, and his facial details were created using lettuce, dill and turnip
Hummell says the project took about seven hours to complete.
"(The contest) sounded like something fun and different to do on a Saturday afternoon," Hummell said. "I thought everyone would be doing cakes and I wanted to do something different."
The winners -- minus Lacey -- took home gift certificates to Ronnie's Bakery, provided by Friends of the Bluffton Library. Lacey gave her prize to two young participants, sisters Paula and Alena Salazar.
"They were so sweet, and I thought they need to have something. And I'm on a diet," Lacey said with a laugh.
Denton said the entrants, library staff and public enjoyed the inaugural contest, held to celebrate National Culinary Arts Month, and that it's likely to become a regular event.
"We're going to end up doing it annually because the people kept saying, 'See you next year!'<2