WEDNESDAY 27 APRIL PUNGALINA
Up very early to make sure breakfast was ready when wanted.
I put the breakfast makings onto the outside table. Fruit juice, tinned fruit, cereals, spreads for toast. I asked if the men wanted bacon and eggs but they did not. I was not surprised, in the prevailing heat and humidity.
The camp toaster was useless – not enough power. I had a couple of wire mesh toasters in the van that I could use on the stove burners – much better. Something else to add to the ever-growing list of needed purchases.
It was a very good thing, I decided, that our first guests only numbered two. Much easier to make up the discovered deficiencies when it was only for a small number.
The two men must have thought that yesterday was alright, because this morning they extended their booking from three days to four! Maybe the beef wasn’t as tough as I thought? Might also have had something to do with the weather having put on days that were slightly less humid, with mostly blue skies.
O had to fly the Jabiru to Hells Gate, in the middle of the day, to pick up the green grocery order. I think he also stocked up on the alcohol supplies, from the Roadhouse’s limited stock.
The freight on my greenery, from Isa to Hells Gate, cost $80 – more than the produce did!
While O was gone, John took the guests sight seeing in the Troopy – to the limited places that had open tracks. They took Anzac biscuits and buttered date loaf for smoko.
While they were away, I cleaned the showers and toilet and checked the tent floors were clean. Guests made their own beds. Before they got back, I did the chilled water run.
I made potato salad to go with the lunch, and (later) a coleslaw and green salad platter that would be for tea. Fried eggplant slices in oil.
I set out the makings for lunch, which was to be assemble-your-own open sandwiches. I put out buttered bread, cold roast beef, some rocket (from O’s garden), fried eggplant slices, chutney, mustard, semi-dried tomatoes from a jar, cheese and tinned cucumber slices (both from my van stock). There was the potato salad on the side and paw paw slices with lime, to follow.
It was a surprisingly successful meal. At their invitation, I sat with the men and John, and managed to eat a small plate of some of the offerings.
O arrived back, with my stocks. I was very relieved, having been wondering what I’d do if something else went wrong! He took the men out fishing again. They took fruit cake for smoko.
I made an apple pie (tinned pie apple and my own made pastry), and a savoury zucchini slice.
I fitted in a quick shower, while the camp was empty.
Then it was prep for tea, which was the caught barramundi from yesterday, baked in foil with ginger, garlic, spring onions to flavour. I made French fried potatoes, using frying pans. The coleslaw and green salad went with the fish and fries. Apple pie and long life cream finished off the meal. It was very well received. The fish was excellent, with the subtle flavourings. I took it to the table on the cooking tray, with the foil opened out, and it was passed around for people to serve themselves. Much easier than me trying to serve and present it attractively, when it was ready to fall off the bones!
I was finding that the day was full, but planning things I could do ahead was preventing any panic.
John enjoyed his little spell of guiding today. In amongst that, and generally helping out around camp, he still had to do the daily watering up at the house.