Friday, July 13, 2012

Everything AND The Kitchen Sink

Yes, that is a kitchen sink attached to a bike at RAGBRAI 2011, you can see the steam from the heat of the day fogging up the photo too...last year the temperatures hovered in the high 90s to low 100s daily and lowered to the low 90s at night. It was very difficult and really changed our eating and traveling strategies. When it is hot like that and you are riding an average of 70 miles a day for 7 days, it becomes very difficult to eat - I can't believe I am even saying that, but it is true - we had to force ourselves to eat enough calories to fuel our bodies and drinking became ridiculous...usually on RAGBRAI I will drink a minimum of 15 bottles of fluids, Gatorade, water, juice, coffee drinks, anything I can get my hands on, but when it is really hot and we are losing fluids as quickly as they are going in, it becomes a monumental task to stay how do we fuel? Our small family team all have different strategies for getting fuel in our systems and although we have a wide range of foods we like to have "at the ready" we all employ the strategy of eating small amounts frequently...sounds like a lot of weight loss programs advice. And like a lot of pregnant women, the foods we crave can be as immediate and unpredictable as our bodies send us messages to fill the minerals and nutrients that we are depleting.
I like to stop where ever the food looks good at the moment and support local programs or local fundraisers. If I wait until I am hungry - it is too late and I run the risk of there not being food available - while people usually line the route selling their goods near the towns...there are a lot of long stretches mainly of corn fields where there are no food options.

Several years ago, my husband desperately needed something to eat and drink and he pulled into a farmhouse where to his surprise, they were celebrating a birthday party and they invited him to share in the celebrations - you can hear stories like that at the end of each days ride when the riders compare notes and share the stories of the day.

This year we have riders on our team who are now on a gluten free regimen and so maintaining the level of carbs that are needed will be something that we have to plan for more intentionally than in the past. I will be live blogging from RAGBRAI and have asked riders to tweet or text me if they find gluten free options so that I can write about them. Already several vendors have contacted me and I will visit their shops and share their stories. I am hoping to get a lot of recipes to share in August which is dedicated to gluten free living.

Mama Caruso Kitchen Sink Coconut Cookies
Until then, I am planning on baking an assortment of gluten free bars and cookies or us to have in the support vehicles so that we have something "at the ready" for all of the riders in our group. Several of my favorite gluten free recipe have come off of the package of Bob's Red Mill products. To whet your appetite for the recipe I will post at the beginning of the week, I have featured some of the ingredients I am using in a modified recipe of Bob's Red Mill called Mama Caruso Cooks Kitchen Sink Coconut Cookies (GF) featuring Bob's Red Mill coconut flour, Silk coconut milk, vanilla EVOO from the St. Paul Oilerie, Bob's Red Mill hazelnut meal flour and Spectrum coconut oil...and a whole lot of other goodies to round out the kitchen sink.
So while I'll be packing light (sans kitchen sink on my bike), I will have a version of the kitchen sink packed away with me...and can't wait to hear from any of the 20,000 riders who tweet @MamaCaruso1 or text 5072190912 me with gluten free options they stumble upon on the ride. From my table to yours, Mama Caruso.


  1. Hi guys,

    Nice post. Thanks for this information. Sinks add dimension offer looking forward to adding richness to a kitchen design will find a solid choice in bronze kitchen sinks and faucets. Simply use a mild dish detergent and warm water solution and gently scrub the sink with a cotton cloth. Really appreciate your work, keep it up.

    1. Dear Grease Traps - You did notice that the kitchen design that I was referring to included a bicycle? In the middle of Iowa? Well - thank you for the comment and honestly, the tip about using a mild dish detergent and warm water solution is really good advice for the RAGBRAI rider too - so riders remember to wash after the porta-potties and keep your eyes peeled for this rider with the kitchen sink strapped to the back of their bike! Looking forward to RAGBRAI next week - Mama Caruso