06 August 2008

My Haul

Lately people have been posting photos of everything that they've been able to carry home on their bikes. Tonight I had a epic haul, so I thought I'd post photos/lists.

Here are my bags fully loaded:
bicycle bags loaded

Here's what I actually got home on this trip:
grocery haul on a bikePictured here we have:
2 lemons ?
2 pears 0.87 lb
apricots 1.72 lb
carrots 2.xx lb
lemon juice ?
sliced almonds 0.80 lb
flour 5.00 lb
2 boxes cake mix 2.75 lb
3 jars frosting 3.00 lb
Miracle Whip 1.00 lb
mayonnaise 1.00 lb
baker's chocolate 0.50 lb
shaved coconut 0.60 lb
condensed milk 0.90 lb
icing sugar 4.00 lb
granulated sugar 5.00 lb
brown sugar 1.00 lb
3 cream cheese 1.50 lb
sour cream 0.50 lb

So what does that total? More than 32 pounds, probably about 15 kg! I could tell too, the frame got a little squirrely. It was fine though. My brakes were great, even in the rain.

Wow, you say. Charlotte, that's a lot of fat and sugar. It is, and it's not normal, usually I eat my organic veggies. This was a special shopping trip. I'm making a lot of cakes you see.

I'm throwing a birthday party for my great-great-Aunt Charlotte. She'll be 97. Here she is as a spry 95 year old, giving a reading at my wedding. She brought the house down. Definitely the best in the show. I had people come up to me and ask where I hired the old lady. When I told her that people thought she was a professional, she reminded me that she is. She was a professional actress, and taught Theater and Speech for many decades. So you can imagine - she did a great job.

Anyway, if I'm a good cyclist it's because she taught me many of the values I need: self-reliance, determination, ingenuity. Living through the Great Depression changed people; in sad ways, but also in good, strong ways.

Over 97 years she's made a lot of friends and I guess that makes sense. We're going to have about seventy-five people stop by for cake and punch. I hope I have enough cake!
I'm working on making:

Coconut Bundt Cake
Devil's Food Cake
One Hundred Dollar Chocolate Cake
Blueberry Cake
"Yum Yum" Cake
Carrot Cake
Pear Spice Cake
Lemon Cake
Cheater's Chocolate Layer Cake (uses cake mix!)
Boring Vanilla Cake Mix Cupcakes

Did I miss your favorite cake? I want to have something for everyone!


Christina said...

I wish I had an Aunt Charlotte. Happy Birthday Aunt C!

Wordnerdy said...

Hi there. Love your site. It *almost* makes me want to visit Boston (except that it gets too cold up there).

With the help of your site and some others (especially Copenhagen Cycle Chic), I've made the switch to riding in lovely clothes. It still requires me to change part of my outfit when I get to work (I live in Central Florida and ride in at 3:30 p.m.), but I'm loving it just the same.

Anyway, you should make a red velvet cake. They're divine, and a favorite around the South. You can find plenty of recipes around the Web. Some will have you start with a white cake, but that's silly. Go for chocolate. Just be sure to use a whole bottle of red food coloring.

Sher said...

Red Velvet cakes are always yummy!

Shannon said...

That's an impressive haul. You certainly filled your bag with some of the heaviest grocery items!

Happy birthday to your Aunt Charlotte. The menu sounds fantastic!

Charlotte said...

wordnerdy - I have a friend who's working towards cyclechic in Orlando. I hear from her just how challenging it can be. I know she'd love it if you'd share some of your tips, particularly for dealing with damp (humidity, rain, perspiration).

I will check out these Red Velvet cakes. Is there anything that makes it red other than food coloring?

Charlotte said...

Christina and Shannon -
I'll tell Aunt Charlotte that my internet friends wish her a happy birthday - Thanks!

Charlotte said...

Sher, you're independent vote #2 for Red Velvet - I'll go check that out. Thanks!

Jillian said...

That is so precious! And I think it's wonderful that you want to honor her. Did I see Pineapple Upside Down cake? because that's my favorite. Are you named after your Aunt?

2whls3spds said...

'nother vote for Red Velvet cake. Any southern sweetheart should be able to whip one up from memory...or at least be able to dig up the old family recipe.

Give my regards to Aunt Charlotte and a Happy Birthday too. It is on small feat to make it to her age with her faculties intact.


Charlotte said...

OK, the Red Velvet is officially pulling into the lead, though I'm a fan of pineapple, personally. Maybe I'll try to get both in there, though my apartment is starting to look like a bakery and, I kid you not, I was awakened at 5AM by a squirrel who CHEWED THROUGH MY NEW SCREENS to get in to eat my cakes. I caught his little fat squirrel body halfway through his new little squirrel-hole and scared the living daylights out of him. He woke me up trying to get in, but he got out a whole lot faster! He came back to try his luck at breakfast time so I had to shut the window.

Jillian, yes, I was named for Aunt Charlotte. I carry it proudly, though the family still calls me "Little Charlotte".

Anonymous said...

Nice haul!
And with cake in the future even better!

Consider baskets or a saddlebag.
I take lots of groceries in a Carradice Camper saddlebag on my bike quite frequently, although I do have a support to keep it from rubbing the tire. Much better than having bags strapped to my back, especially in summer.

Enjoy the results of your baking!
(I just had some Copley farmer's market chorizo. Pricey but SO flavorful. Yum!)

Charlotte said...

Hi Anonymous,
Ordinarily for large shopping trips I take my rack-mounted wine box, however this one was kinda a surprise - the filesystem was down at work and I had nothing to do so I went ahead at got the shopping done early. Had to haul it home but where there's a will there's a way! That Carradice Bike Bureau in the photo mounts to my rack, and it is the reason I don't have rack-mounted baskets. It's a really great everyday bag.

general gow said...

what i want to know is if the hundred dollar chocolate cake really costs a hundred bucks, or if that's just what one would pay to get a slice...

Charlotte said...

LOL! That's what my grandmother's recipe calls it, but there's nowhere near $100 worth of ingredients, and certainly not in 1940s dollars, which is when this looks to be written.

If you want to come by the party tomorrow you're welcome to a slice for free!

Wordnerdy said...

I'd be glad to get in contact with your friend. She can find my blog through my comments. I live east of Orlando, on the coast, so we'd have plenty of other stuff to talk about.

As for red velvet cake, I've heard of people using beet juice, but that's a bit too involved for me.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog!
Mozied over here from Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

All this talk of cakes and with you being in Boston reminded me of a book we have in our bookcase here in Melbourne Australia...

My wife is Swedish and her grandmother was also Swedish born but lived many years in the US, in fact my mother-in-law was born in Springfield Mass. before returning to Sweden with her family as a 5-year-old girl - this would have been around 1940.
In any case the grandmother worked as a cook, in private homes I believe, and as a memento of this we have an old copy of
The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

What a document!
The author, Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer, includes suggestions for a 12-course meal as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fascinating reading, and talk about thorough!

It's cool to see where the pages are stained, and to read grandmum's notes to herself, with small changes to the recipes...

There are several pages of ads in the back, for products like:

Royal Baking Powder

Foss' Pre Flavoring Extracts (Portland ME) Sold by all First-Class Grocers

Junket Tablets

Choisa Ceylon Tea and
Veuve Chaffard Pire Olive Oil (SS Pierce Co, Boston)

Gilman's Wheat Crispies (205 Tremont St, Boston)

Pureoxia Ginger Ale (Ask her any time)

Hub Ranges from Smith & Anthony Co, 52-54 Union St, Boston Mass

White Mountain Freezer, for ice-creams and sherbets.

Old Grist Mill Health Foods
(Imagine they spoke of 'health foods' back then!)

Gorton's Codfish (Gloucester Mass)

and of course Crisco (for frying, for shortening, for cake making)

etc etc . .

Nowhere can I see a date of publication but I see on Wikipedia that it was first published in Boston by Little, Brown in 1896 in just 3000 copies then later, including 1918.

You probably have a copy in your family too! And I'm sure your Aunt Charlotte is familiar with it. Do you know if it's a well-known book? (I imagine so...)

Well I should get back to work! Thanks again for your blog.

/Martin, Melbourne Australia

Charlotte said...

It is a well known book! Indeed I do have Aunt Charlotte's copy.

Fanny Farmer's name is now on the book, I think it's "Fanny Farmer's Cookbook" or something like that. She was an innovator in that she was the first to use level measurements, increasing the standardization of the time. I still prefer the European method of mass rather than volume, but Fanny is responsible for improving the volumetric method of cooking.

There was a huge movement for health foods here in New England at that time. Mr. Graham introduced his improved flour and there are others I'm forgetting. It's such fun to try those old recipes. One, my husband's grandma's chocolate cake, was the second to be scarfed up by the guests. I'll make that one again!

Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you came by.

Charlotte said...

Reviewing old posts I came back to this one. We ended up having 85 guests at the party, all there to celebrate my wonderful aunt.

She recently celebrated her 99th birthday, with far less fanfare and fewer cakes. It was still a happy occasion.

If she makes it to the next birthday it will be a huge celebration indeed!

The PhDJ said...

Hey Charlotte! Came across your post when searching for bike trailers (the Wahoo one) and wound up on this one devoted to smaller-scale hauling. Have a photo of me toting 70 lbs with a lobster on top in my double-milkcrate-mounted Manhattan. Care to post? -Abram