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Library's Books2Eat event provides food for thought

April 04, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, PA.- Imagination can be a wonderful thing. And Saturday afternoon at Penn State Mont Alto, creativity also was quite tasty.

The campus library was the site for the first Books2Eat Celebration, the brainchild of retiring Mont Alto campus librarian Johanna Ezell.

"I was pleased that we had 11 entrants, and also that 25 or more people came through the library to see and taste the books," Ezell said.

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The point of the afternoon event was to get people into the library, to promote reading and to show people they can have fun and learn at the same time, she said.

Carol Rinehart, of Orrtanna, Pa., and her friend, Ila Reber, created a massive pop-up book made of pound cake they then topped with layers and layers of phyllo dough to resemble pages.

Rinehart, who teaches watercolor to adults at the college's Chambersburg (Pa.) Center, said she enjoys combining art with food, having done so previously with a hat made of cheese and a sleigh of gingerbread.

"I made all the flowers and they are edible, too," said Reber, of Hanover, Pa. "Just don't try to eat the garden arbor."

Elsewhere on the table, a bunch of bananas was the face of Curious George, but one only could see that by looking straight down on the exhibit.

After everyone admired the displays, the rush was on to dig in. For the next half hour, people wandered about the second floor of the library eating parts of a castle, a mitten and even a tree.

Peggy Angelovich, a library assistant, perhaps offered one of the more unique themes during the afternoon's activities.

"I call it my autobiography," Angelovich said. There were two pancakes on the plate with a comment on the outside and then continued on the inside, which compared her early life to the legendary flatness of the cakes.

As the sampling began, the bakers made sure to share all the ingredients so no one would eat something that could trigger an allergic reaction.

The event was somewhat of a swan song for Ezell, who will retire in June after 24 1/2 years on campus.

"I'd like to do something in the arts myself after retirement from here," Ezell said. With her background in theater, Ezell said Saturday's event was right up her alley.

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