Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 214, 041009

On Sunday I completed another one of my things; enter the Charlie Cake Competition. This year the theme was "Make, Bake and Grow", and I'd mentioned to one of the organisers that Tea & Cake would love to be involved somehow. By maybe having a tea stall, or something. And I could enter, too. We were given approval, and so after a swift half-hour planning meeting on Friday after work with Sam, Biscuit and J9 (at Zouk on Leeds Road, excellent masala chai) we divvied up the tasks, and met at Charlie Cake Park on Sunday.

I'd made a cake to enter into the competition; my usual chocolate and marmalade loaf cake, this time covered in chocolate and cointreau ganache - it was covered because I'd used cheap greaseproof paper and the cake had stuck to it, so I needed to hide the holes. So after we'd set up the table and got the kettle on to boil I registered, had a wander about the stalls, and went back to our shed to await the hordes.

The stalls, by the way, were very interesting. The new Leeds City WI was there, who are called "Buns & Roses". I'd join, if it weren't for the pesky Y chromosome. Average age is well below the norm for WI groups, and my mum (who runs her local WI) laughed in a very good way when I told her about it. We also had - it was obviously the day for puns - local crafty people "Fox Bunting". Made me laugh. And there was us, of course:
The T&C shed
We had a near-constant hot water crisis. We went through about 40 litres of water, 160 insulated paper cups, "some" plastic cups for squash, two cans of gas, a tonne of teabags, half a jar of coffee, ten pints of milk and some sugar. We weren't charging a set amount, just soliciting donations for the Armley Common Right Trust, Water Aid and the WWF; people were asking how much, we said "no set price, put what you think it's worth into the bucket". In the end we ran out of hot water, cups and milk at about the same time, around 2:30 and decided to pack in early. Biscuit totted up; we had only the vaguest idea how many cups of tea and coffee we'd sold - we used 160 cups, but some people recycled cups and we didn't count the orange squashes - but we made £116.65, an average of about 73p per cup. Split three ways it worked out at £39 per charity; given that we only spent half an hour on planning this, I think that's not a bad result.

Also, look at Sam's banner on the side of the shed. It rocked.
The T&C Shed
I didn't even get placed in the competition, by the way. There was some excellent entries, and mine didn't look good compared to them. Leedsgrub entered a giant Crunchie! It looked and tasted fab, although apparently it was a nightmare to cut up.

It was a bloody brilliant day, and one well worth doing. Next time we'll double up on everything and rethink the hot water a bit, but I think we can be justifiably proud of what we pulled off on the spur of the moment. Much thanks to Emma and Michelle from The Culture Vulture for talking to us about it and providing a very helpful shed (and a loo, and kettle when we were really in trouble!), and the Charming Armley Tourist Board for putting the event on. Now we know we can do it, I'm sure we'll be giving this another try soon.

So, although I didn't get placed I'm going to count task #95 as COMPLETED. Yay!


  1. Your stall was excellent, and it was a great day. I think Im gonna join Buns and Roses, if I can find the time!

  2. Thanks for the coffee, much appreciated. It was the only break I had from 5 hours of conker carnage. I didn't get a piece of your cake though. Sounded lovely.