These books you can sink your teeth into

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Culinary students at Collins add some spice to their class

By Todd Martin

Cookbooks are always a good source for food inspiration, but Collins High School teachers Beth Jones and Bethany Farmer suggested their students look a little deeper.


Jones, the library media specialist, and Farmer, the family and consumer science teacher, banded together to have students from a culinary arts class work on an edible book show.

“I get a newsletter from the library, and one month it had an article on edible book shows, so I talked to Mrs. Farmer, and we both though ‘Let’s do it,’” Jones said.

Farmer had the students choose books, and then make an edible display that describes them. They also had to write a summary or description of the book to go along with the display.

“I really enjoyed it because it was something different,” said Josie Wadlington, who won the category of Best Portrayal of a Young Adult Novel.

Wadlington used fondant to depict Susie Salmon, the lead character, and then uses a cake to depict Susie’s purgatory.

“My mom and I looked on the Internet at other [edible book] projects, and used a couple ideas to do this one. We made the girl from fondant and then airbrushed it with sugar. It was really hard.”

Wadlington chose Lovely Bonesbecause it’s one of her favorite books, she said. But Jones and Farmer both said the students varied greatly with their choices, ranging from books about food to children’s books and bestsellers.

“They love the competition, and I think they were very creative and learned a thing or two about their books, too,” Farmer said.

Added Jones: “A lot of them used their books for the Reading Gala, and just did wonderful jobs. Many of them were much, much better than a lot of the examples I’d seen from schools.”