Friday, December 12, 2014

Sultanas in the Stew

This true event happened fifty years ago, and shows that camp cooking is not all it is cracked up to be.

Me, and three other blokes decided to go pig shooting up around Moree in NSW west, we camped in a good spot not far from water hole that held some yabbies, which we caught, laid on the hot coals and ravished when they turned red.

The night saw me cooking up a stew for us all, a rabbit, some yabbie meat, a lump of beef, that was given to us and spuds, pumpkin, onions, tin peas carrots and whatever I could put my hand on.

It stewed for most of the day on a very slow heat, in a two gallon camp oven, and when we got back to camp after a bit of pig hunting, I mixed up the gravy.  Curry, plain flour and water with a goodly dash of hot sauce.

It was too early to serve it up so I lifted the camp oven and put it in the meat safe, and closed the door...I reckon that a stew heated up the second time has better flavour.

The bloke on the property came down in the evening to ask us to have a shoot on his lucerne patch, as the 'roos were eating it out, and what they were not eating they were jumping all over.

It was dark when we got back, and I got the camp oven out of the meat safe, noting that the lid was ajar, but not worrying about it, and put it on the hot coals to heat up for a feed.

I could hear the fellas belly's rumbling from a yard away, and mine was too...Not from a yard away, it was a bit closer. So, I stirred the pot a few times until the bubbles came and then said "Come and get it."

After being knocked aside a couple of times, I sat back and waited from my turn.  The others were slurping away by this time and making comments on how good it was.

"Mate, that is the best stew I've ever tasted, but I don’t go much on the sultanas." Jimmy said.

"Sultanas, I didn't put any sultanas in it...Dunno what  you are talking about."

Jimmy had piled up his 'sultanas on a log in front of the fire, and I leaned over to peer at them close up.  The other blokes had just about finished their feed, 'sultanas' and all.

"I see what they are, bloody blow flies...Did someone open the meat safe?"

Young Paul owned up, "I just had a couple of spoon fulls when you put it in the safe, that's all."

"And left the bloody lid off and the door open."  I complained.

"Don't worry, Old Pete," Bill offered, "I've eaten worse, and they are good protein anyway.

The next time I coked a stew, the blokes went through it like they were looking for gold.

"Darn!" Said Bill, "No protein this time."

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