Life on the Road – Food

We thought we’d do a series on our life on the road, focussing on the day to day stuff. When I came to write the first post, it was food which dominated my musings! So I thought I’d start there…

Food is our primary topic of conversation. Breakfast is easy, it’s what to do about lunch and dinner that generates often long conversations! Meals are planned around when and where we can shop and what type of camping we’re doing – caravan park versus bush; short stay versus long.

We plan out our meals to make sure we’ve got the next section between shops covered. We’re trying to be as self sufficient as possible and catering for all of our own meals. This is slightly more challenging when we’re in the vicinity of a pub, cafe or bakery around lunch or dinner time! These are definitely temptations, but expensive options.

Each meal has its challenges. Lunch was easy until recently, when we hit fly territory! It’s very difficult to eat with hundreds of the little buggers around your face and whilst wearing a fly net! So on these days, if we’re out and about, then we eat in the car – usually a sandwich we’ve made early in the day before the flies wake up! We also try and have things handy in the car so we don’t have to get out to retrieve anything and let a million flies in.

Fortunately the flies disappear at sunset and if you’re lucky, there won’t be any mozzies, so you can cook dinner in peace! Cooking and preparing dinner is still a challenge, however. Chopping up meat and veg by lantern light – hoping you don’t take off a finger – and then cooking on the gas stove using head torch so you can see inside the pot! The head torch is also good to see what you’re eating… incidentally we could do with better lighting…!

Generally, food and groceries are expensive and supermarkets few and far between. We often have to rely on general stores in small country towns or at caravan parks for basic supplies. The most we’ve had to pay for 1L of milk was $6! And it was UHT (long life)!! That was in William Creek. They advertised that they had groceries, but that just consisted of milk and frozen bread! We’ve now learnt to stock up on UHT milk when we do see a supermarket (supermarkets are now an exciting adventure, seeing what they have and what we could possibly need!).

For meal planning we try and use up the meat and any fresh veg within 4 days or so of a shop. These are lasting really well in our fantastic Engel fridge, we’ve been very impressed with it! We’ve been pretty good with using up what we’ve bought to minimise wastage. When you pay a fortune for food you kind of have to! But we’ve been eating really well (often too well!) and have several “camp cooking” recipes that are really tasty. These are generally 2 pot meals (1 for meat, veg and sauce combination of some sort and the other for pasta or rice), which are easy with our 2 burner gas stove. We also have a single burner butane gas stove, which we use on our short camps (as we generally don’t set up the gas stove for these as it’s usually a short overnight stay, so want to minimise the set up). But this is a brilliant little thing and good for single pot meals or reheating leftovers.

We also make sure we have a range of snacks handy (chips/crisps, etc), always a bag of mixed lollies (sweets) for the driving days (primarily consumed by Kath!) and little share bars of chocolates for an after dinner treat.

As I said… we’re eating a little too well!

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