Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dragons, and Gardens and Pandas, Oh My!

Every year our county library hosts an "Edible Books" contest in which participants choose a book from the library's collection and, using all edible materials, concoct some representation of the chosen work. My husband and I decided, completely on a whim and pretty much at the last minute, to enter the contest. We chose the book "Dragonsong" by Anne McCaffrey, and decided to sculpt a dragon. I didn't remember to start photographing quite early enough in the process, but you will see some of our steps below.
We started with a base of Rice Krispie treats, and covered it with a skin of marshmallow fondant. We sculpted big plates for its back, tiny teeth for its terrifying mouth, and big wings (using pretzel sticks and spaghetti noodles for supports). If you look at the dragon's face in profile, it kind of looks like the alien from "Aliens"'s that creepy little under-bite... Anyway, here's the dragon from (near) start to finish.

First, our dragon with skin, but only one foot, no teeth and no wings!

Now here it is with the first coat of food coloring paint, part of a wing, awesome pointy teeth and a creepy snake tongue! I think my husband did a beautiful job on making the eyes -- the eyelids looked fantastic!

A top view with wings completed. We got it to this point at about 2 am, so we packed it in for the night and decided to put the finishing touches on when we got up in the morning.

And here is the dragon queen the next morning after we finished up all the painting. I may be biased, but I think she's awfully pretty!

And now for the next part of the story...

The Barry family had a grand total of four entries in the contest. My mother-in-law, my two sisters-in-law, and my husband and I all submitted "cakes".

My mother-in-law made a fantastic cake based on a book called "Square Foot Gardening". I think she deserved a lot of credit for taking a pretty basic non-fiction book and turning it into a beautiful piece of edible art! The judges thought so, too, as they awarded her the "Most Creative" prize.

My one sister-in-law did a really cute cake based on the book "Arlo Gets Lost." I love the raindrops, and the peppercorns for the armadillo's back!
My other sister-in-law did a spectacular rendition of the book "The Water Hole." Her critters were fantastic -- rhinos, a panda, insects, a catfish, turtles...all crowded around a melted blue raspberry Jolly Rancher pond! The judges awarded her second place in the Adult category!

And finally, here is ours. It looked pretty fantastic...and the judges seemed to agree. We got "Judges' Choice" for the competition! Now we just have to wait and see who gets "Viewers' Choice." Results are announced on Sunday, so we'll keep you posted!

OK, that's it for now. There will be more soon. I need to post some pictures of creepy critters we've had around our house lately, and of the pillow I've been working on recently. But right now I need to go to sleep. I am getting too old for sculpting at 2 am!


  1. Goodness - creativity oozes out of your family!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. Rtquilter

    Wow!! Did you leave Any prizes for the others?