Feeding the Mob.

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Location: Bargara, Queensland.

Feeding the Mob.

Post by thestoryteller » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:05 pm


The Waltzing Matilda Festival at Winton is a great time for folk with a love of the outback to gather together for a bit of outback hospitality. Bert and Janette Swindle's Matilda Caravan Park is the official home of the bush poets, when they are in the district and it was here that I met a real true blue Aussie sheila by the name of Gloria. Resident campfire cook at the park, Gloria knocks up a real beaut stew along with damper washed down with fair dinkum billy tea and while you're doing that she entertains you with a bit of bush verse and a good old Aussie yarn.

One night while washing down our feed Gloria told me of the time she was approached early one morning by the coach driver of one of the many tourists’ buses that visit the area. He made a request to the effect, could she provide three feeds for the mob throughout the day. That’s breakfast, lunch and tea.

Gloria explained that normally she only did campfire teas and was not sure if she could handle such a large undertaking. Explaining that he was desperate and couldn't find anyone else to do it, he pleaded with her to give it a go. Not wanting to let the Aussie spirit down she said she would have a crack at it, but not to expect anything flash. The coach driver advised that he would go off and show the mob around the town while she prepared breakfast.

Not having any idea what she was going to feed them, Gloria sat down on the front stairs to chew over the problem. Then out of the blue her old drinking mate, who'd been out pigging all that night, pulled up beside her with a big old boar pig hanging off the back of his ute. Gloria told him of her problem and, quicker than you could down a cold tinny, he solved the problem by telling her she could have the old boar; if it would help her out.

Overwhelmed by the old mates generosity she thanked him, said she owed him a carton, and then immediately set about boning the old boar into edible tucker. By the time the coach and its mob returned Gloria had a great camp oven of pork chops and eggs ready with plenty of billy tea to wash it down. The mob, then all full as bloated goannas, boarded the coach to visit the surrounding sites until lunch time.

Wasting no time Gloria then set about organising lunch, which consisted of trays of pork spare ribs along with a cold tinny for those who felt inclined, while billy tea was available for the rest. Then back on to the coach for more site seeing until they returned late in the day for the evening meal.

The mob arrived just before dark and headed for the showers - fearful that if they took all that Winton dust home they might be sent a rates notice - and after scrubbing down they headed over to the campfire where a large feed of roast pork and veges awaited them. Not forgetting of course the good old billy tea.

Thoroughly pleased with the meal, one of the mob complemented Gloria by saying:
"Today's meat has been the best meat I have ever had the privilege to devour."
Then pausing a second, remarked, "But I must admit that the tea certainly has a flavour all of its own."
"Oh!" said Gloria, "That's because we make it on bore water mate."
"Strewth!" he replied, "You don't waste much of the pig, do you?"

Merv Webster

From the book A Muster of Verse and Yarns
Some days your the pidgeon and other days the statue.

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