Calling all alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends who have a passion for baking, are enthusiastic amateurs, or have a competitive spirit! Monash and Penn State are engaging each other in a friendly competition where institutional pride is at stake. The University with the most entries wins the Bake Off and takes possession of The Grand Champion Trophy, on display below.
The Monash University Special Collections, the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, The Coal and Coke Heritage Center at Penn State Fayette, Archives and Special Collections at Penn State Harrisburg, and the Ogontz School Archive at Penn State Abington have combed through our respective collections and found some exceptionally enticing and delicious recipes.
Our “resident” bakers, Isabel Melles Taberner (Monash) and Marissa Nicosia (Penn State), are leading the charge by demonstrating their baking prowess to inspire us. Follow along on Professor Nicosia’s Cooking in the Archives project site or Instagram @rarecooking for updates and recipe insights.
HOW TO ENTER
- Choose a recipe (at right) from either Monash or PSU’s rare books that you’d like to bake (Cooking International Conversions). You can bake any of the 8 recipes, or more than one, if you wish.
- Bake the recipe and take a photo or video of your finished product (baking fails welcome!)
- Submit your entry by posting to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, including the hashtag #TheGreatRareBooksBakeOff and either #BakeMonash or #BakePennState depending on which team you are on.
- The competition begins on 20 July 2020 and closes on 24 July 2020, so make sure you post during those dates and use the hashtags to make it count. Follow @psulibs during those dates for regular updates.
The University Library with the most participants in The Great Rare Books Bake Off will win possession of The Grand Champion Trophy to proudly display in their spaces. This handsomely engraved trophy, known to most as The Kudos Plate, is a vintage pie tin purchased from Apple Hill Antiques in State College, Pennsylvania on June 26th, 2020.
The pie tin was created in the early 1930s for the Mrs. Smith’s Delicious Home Made Pies Company, a business founded by Amanda Smith in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1925. Scholars generally agree that at some point between the tin’s initial creation in the early 1930s and the tin’s purchase in June of 2020, the pie which originally filled the tin was eaten by 1 or more unknown Pennsylvanians. While not verifiable, rumors persist that after that initial pie was fully consumed, the tin was used by its owners to create a number of their own homemade pies, many of which were likely also consumed before the tin’s acquisition by Apple Hill Antiques.