FRIDAY 29 APRIL PUNGALINA
It was the same breakfast routine as before. The cooked breakfast was bacon, eggs, half a warmed tomato.
I was very glad that I had thought to buy good coffee bags to bring with us for the camp – it was so much better to be able to serve “proper” coffee, of sorts. The complement the choices of assorted teabags that I had set out in a small basket. I boiled the water for drinks in one of the big kettles and set it out on a board on the meal table, so guests could make their own drinks.
O took the men out and about, with Anzac biscuits for smoko. That batch of biscuits had lasted well.
He had remembered to defrost the mince – and to bring it down to camp when he came for the men.
I quickly tidied up the men’s tents and checked that one was ready for the new people to occupy. Added an extra jug of water to those in the fridge. Cleaned the showers and toilet.
Made two loaves of bread.
The mail plane came in during the morning. After last week’s fiasco, I had only asked O to put in a small order, assuming he would be paying more careful attention to what he was doing. Just bread, salami, and a couple of tins of Carnation milk, for cooking with, specifically a coffee mousse recipe. I didn’t know about the extra guests in time to order any extras for them. But should have enough to manage – provided they did not decide to stay too much longer!
Somehow, my order for two tins of Carnation milk had become twenty tins! The unimpressed pilot had made some comment about pushing the weight limits, which only became clear when I saw what had come. I didn’t know if the error was O’s or the supermarket’s and it seemed best not to ask! Couldn’t see myself using that much evaporated milk in a whole season!
What did come in the mail bag , and which O brought down to camp at lunchtime, was a box of books from the Taminmin Library. So exciting – but I wouldn’t have time to even open the box for a look, until maybe late tonight – or after guests had all departed.
I had to cater for lunch in camp today. Made a bean salad – using tinned beans, with additions like capsicum and onion. Cooked the Long Tom – in foil, in the oven. Supplemented that and the bean salad with tinned tuna, warmed up leftover ratatouille, tinned beetroot, with some fresh fruit to follow.
After cleaning up from lunch, I made a slice, destined for morning teas – Everyone’s Favourite Slice – a sort of shortbread, jam and coconut concoction. Also made chocolate hedgehog slice.
Prepared the bol sauce and had it simmering for a long, slow time, to make it nice and thick and rich.
Made a Greek salad for tea, and a fresh fruit salad for dessert. Grated up a chunk of parmesan cheese (from my van fridge!). Hard boiled eggs for tomorrow, mashed them. Chopped up celery and lettuce too.
The new guests arrived mid-afternoon. O had taken A and K back out for another fish, so it was arranged that John would meet their plane and bring them to camp in our Truck. Their reaction, upon arriving at camp, was the same as A and K’s – “Wow”. Because of its lush green-ness, it really did look great.
I served them afternoon tea of drinks and biscuits, then they went to settle in and explore the camp. They were relatively young and had a job that took them all over the world, crewing the luxury yacht of some wealthy American. $37 million’s worth of boat!
While they were settling in, I got to making pre-dinner nibbles – bottled salsa and biscuits, olives, cheese cubes with little cornichons, peanuts.
Dinner went well. The dining table in the tent seated six comfortably – O and John ate with the others. The spag bol turned out well, with grated parmesan to top it, the Greek salad, with fruit salad and hedgehog slices to follow.
Then O lit a fire in the fire pit and they all sat round that, with their after dinner coffees, talking.
O told me he had a frozen barra at the house. I asked him to defrost it overnight.
By the time all was done in the kitchen and the guests had made their way off to their tents for the night, it was 10.30pm. Long day. Last thing, as we walked off to our camp, was for John to stoke the hot water donkey, to ensure warm water for morning ablutions.