I haven’t been blogging much lately – in fact the busyness of life has meant I haven’t been on social media as much as I normally have done in the past. In 8 days time, we set out for a near 3 week tour of central Australia. We will hit the road with our camper trailer and get lost in the Australian outback. As far back as I remember I have always wanted to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock), Lake Eyre, and travel along the Oodnadatta Track. This particular trip has been in the pipeline for the last 18 months. It’s progressed from tossing ideas around about doing it, through it becoming a reality.
I take my hat off to my wife. She has put up with a constant scattering of mess strewn through the loungeroom, kitchen and backroom over the last 3 – 4 weeks as we started to prepare for our trip. It’s taken a while to work out our food and equipment storage. trying a variety of methods and ideas which ultimately didn’t work out as planned. It’s was only Thursday when it really came together when I had the idea to turn an old gal iron tool box I had on its side and use it as the utility box. Sadly I have had to replace the camp scout box I made as it is too big for what we intend. Basically the sidewise turned toolbox allows me to stack four plastic trunks in the back of the wagon with the tool box jammed between them and the tailgate. When stopping on the side of the road, all we need to do is pull the tailgate down. set up the portable butane stove, put the kettle on, prop up the lid of the box, which allows quick access to our crockery and choice of hot beverage.
We don’t have a car fridge / freezer, though one day we would perhaps like to get one – but for now, we have used ice and coolers with great success. This trip we are going to experiment with dry ice. After talking with our supplier, we have decided on a 2kg block to go into the normal esky (cooler) and an 8 kg block to go into a 55 litre foam box, that they will supply. We don’t expect the dry ice in the normal esky to last more than 2 -3 days. But, it will keep the salt water filled milk bottle I freeze and throw into the esky with the ice we put in there frozen for those 2 -3 days. This means in our everyday cooler, we won’t have to replace the ice in it for at least 5 days and we can keep the pre made ready meals we have made for those 5 days in that cooler.
In the other freezer one, we will place our cryo vacuum packaged meat, frozen vege, bread, and other frozen food stuff, including another frozen bottle of salt water. In this box, I have an aluminium foil sunshade which I am going to use to line the box. As well I have some bean bag pellets which I will use to fill in the spaces between the food and the lined walls of the box. (Though, I only intend to 1/2 fill the box with these beans, as we don’t want them going all over the countryside.) On top of this, I will fold the foil shade over it, which we believe will allow the dry ice to last up to 12 days, perhaps even longer. The box gets taped shut and will be opened on the 5th day, perhaps the 6th to replenish the other cooler with the food we need for the next 4 – 5 days. Though the dry ice would have dissolved by the end of 12 days, the way we have packed it, will allow the frozen meat thats left to remain frozen till we need to use it.
A few weeks ago we bought a thermo cooker from Aldi. I am so impressed with it. The idea behind it is that we start cooking a stew / soup in the main pot in the morning for around 15 minutes, then in the second pot prepare some rice / lentils. Put them both into the thermos and place it into the insulated carry bag, and over the next 6 – 8 hours, the residual heat of the food will cook the food through for you – and when you arrive at your destination – you have a hot meal ready for eating. I have experimented with it a few times and it works well. Today I made a german bread in it. While it doesn’t make the bread crusty, it makes a real nice moist bread which will go well with a stew or soup – or even toasted. I have a few recipes to make a variety of cakes and puddings in it – though, I do like my dutch ovens on the fire for that sort of thing.
Actually it makes sense to use it more at home also. Instead of having to have the stove, slow cooker or oven on for a few hours to most of the day (chewing up power) We only need to use the stove for 15 minutes to get everything hot and simmering, before turning it off again. And at the end of the day, depending on the food temp, we may have to turn the stove on again to heat it up to right temp for another 10 mins. ( This just makes sure any bugs are killed if the temp dropped too low…. say 12 hours after you started it)
Finally I would like to conclude this post with some thoughts on manhood.
A leading Australian researcher did some serious research in Canada and Australia and found that the majority of men between the ages of 18 and 40 were not comfortable in calling themselves men. Nor could they pinpoint a time in their life when they became a man.
I remember a local teenager calling me Mr Bennett when I was 36. I looked around to find my dad – before realising he meant me. Since that encounter I have become firmly convinced that for men to be successful there are three key parts to achieving it.
1) Know yourself – but know that you can’t make it on your own.
2) Know others – allow others into your life.
3) Know God – because through knowing God, he will satisfy the deep insatiable gnawing of our inadequacies – He will instill purpose and sustain hope in our lives.
And so I pray, may the lord and creator of all that is seen and unseen, fill you with the revelation and power of his Spirit, so that you will know him and his ways better. May he heal your hurts, the traumas of the past. May you truly know peace, contentment and not only will you know the Lord can truly satisfy and replace those deep inadequacies – but he will replace them, with the true knowledge, that you can do all things through him who strengthens you.