TUESDAY 21 JUNE PUNGALINA
We were up early to get on with the day’s work. John had to do an early stoke of the donkey. Then he fired up the generator, after filling it. That was a bit of a wake up call for guests!
Breakfast orange juice was decanted into jugs from the long life bottles and cartons.
I set up breakfast on two outside tables.
Cereals in their plastic containers were put on the table: muesli, Weetbix, cornflakes, Bush Cereal. I put tinned fruit into a large bowl and set that out. Jams, spreads, butter in dishes went on the table.
Once the guests had wandered in and helped themselves to all the above, and looked to be ready, I started toast slices cooking on the wire burners on the gas stove top. I used some of the breadmaker loaves, which had turned out pretty dense – white and wholegrain.
I offered a cooked breakfast, but no one wanted that this morning. Good!
I must admit that I enjoyed the mug of really strong, coffee bag coffee, that I drank while organizing all the above.
O arrived while the group was breakfasting. He had remembered to bring the defrosted steaks I needed for tonight. Having W’s A up there in the house really aids the organization! In theory, the steaks were the really tender ones that could be pan grilled. Hmmm… I dithered a bit about how to serve the steaks, wanting to differentiate the beef from last night’s. In an ideal world, I would have something other than beef to serve! I decided just to pan sear it and serve with brandied peppercorn sauce.
The group was going out and about for the morning, so I organized the tucker box with biscuits, muesli bars and carrot cake. I made sure there were a couple of esky drink containers of chilled water for them to take.
After they had departed, it was the breakfast clean up and dishes.
Had to go up to the house to fax off the order for Friday’s plane. It did not seem a particularly large order – mostly for A at the house – things like tea, cereals, sliced bread, dried fruit and nuts for cooking with, long life milk, potatoes. But I did order lettuce, tomatoes, gravox, dried yeast, kabana type sausage, honeydew melon, zucchini.
I took back with me packets of frozen dinner rolls.
I prepped for lunch and tea. Hard boiled eggs, made potato salad, organized the makings for sandwiches, put together a fruit platter featuring rockmelon, honeydew melon, watermelon, paw paw, pineapple. Made a raspberry ripple cake slice, from a packet mix – not impressed with same; decided in future to use home made raspberry slice recipe from my AACo cook book. Made gazpacho soup and put it in the drinks fridge to chill.
The tents had to be checked, water jugs refreshed and put to chill. At least, the guests are expected to make their own beds and look after their own tents. The showers and toilets had to be cleaned, and the dining tent straightened up after last night. Fortunately, the table cloths would do another night, before I would have to send them up to A to wash.
I prepared open sandwiches for lunch, on grain bread. Each person got two: a sliced cold beef with lettuce, mustard cream, potato salad, dill pickle; a smoked salmon, lettuce, alfalfa, sliced pickled onion, capers, tomato, slice of hard boiled egg. Served the raspberry ripple slice, and fruit platter.
They ate lunch outside, with the big table moved into the shade.
While they ate, I organized the tuckerbox for the afternoon’s outing, with the same assortment of biscuits and cakes and muesli bars.
Once they had gone off for the afternoon, I turned the leftovers from the fruit platter into a fruit salad for tea, with the addition of tinned mango and lychees. Whipped a bowl of cream to go with that.
Prepared potatoes in foil to oven bake. Made a big green salad.
The pre-dinner drinks were being had at the Escaprment, to watch the sunset from there, so I made up the nibbles for that: nuts, salsa and biscuits, salami and tinned cucumber slice rollups, eggplant strips, olives.
The group came in briefly and freshened up, before going off again to the Escarpment. I then had the tuckerbox to clean out.
I set up the dining tent, put the potatoes in to bake, made the peppercorn sauce, heated the rolls.
I had to try to make a guess at what time the group would return – not easy. I had planned the meal so that it would work around a flexible time. Tonight’s was a lighter menu, after the big roast of last night.
Once the group was back and organized and had been served a bowl of Gazpacho soup with bread rolls, I put the steaks on to sear and cook. Served the steak, with sauce over, potato – with bowls of sour cream; guests could help themselves to salad. The steaks were not too bad, though not really prime beef tender! The fruit salad and cream followed.
Eventually, the group gravitated to the camp fire and I put out the cheese platter and mints there.
After we had done the dishes and cleaned up, we went out there and sat with the group. O was playing his didgeridoo, and A was strumming on his guitar. All very convivial.
Again, it was about 11.30 by the time we hit bed.
John had managed to have a talk with A about hours and pay, for these periods when we worked long periods of very long days without a break. If the business kept picking up, as it looked to be, this would be happening more. It was agreed that we would receive extra pay for same.