Just needed to pop to the Supermarket yesterday to grab a few things…as you do. Our “Woolies” here on the station is a little different from your average supermarket….. there are no check-outs, no crowds, no trolleys, you don’t even need your wallet.
Did you know we live 5 hours from town, in the middle of nowhere? If you didn’t then you must be new around here – so a very warm welcome to you, thanks a million for joining us. Our closest Supermarket is 460km away and in a different state and time zone, so we can’t really just pop to the corner store for a carton of milk and a loaf of bread. When we do shop it is in bulk quantities and normally through a wholesaler in town – Mt Isa. The order usually arrives at the station on 2 or 3 chep pallets after Mr Chardy has sent one of our trucks down the dusty road to collect it. No big deal… just what we have to do. It is called outback living. Right?
So a trip to our
pantry “Station Supermarket” looks like this:
Grab your shopping bags, lets hit the shops… no need for lipstick, make up or fancy footwear and you can even take the dog.
So, I sneak out of the house, ensuring the kids don’t hear or ask where I am going, because then the 3 year old will want to come and it will be a major operation…where are your shoes, get your hat, put some clothes on blah blah blah. Just so much easier if I sneak over by myself, and a whole lot quicker. I trot myself over to the “Butcher Shop” aka – our freezer cold room / fridge cold room. Now, just so you have a clear picture in your head, this is less than 100m from my house. So don’t panic, the kids will be ok.
Need some cheese – we’ve got it, loads of it. A pizza base I hear you ask, why of course – millions of them. Oh and what about a cheeky hash brown, fire up the deep fryer we have tonnes of those “fancy restaurant buffet type” little morsels. This is the Freezer Cold Room, where we store all of the beef once it has been broken down, cut up, bagged or turned into sausages or mince. We always have oodles of bread on hand which, mind you, comes all the way from the Cloncurry Bakery (only about 7 hours drive from here). We receive bread, fruit & veg each Wednesday on the Mail Plane. If we need frozen or cold goods this also comes out on the plane. We are very lucky that we have this weekly convenience.
Our eggs also come with the Fruit & Veg order. We order these by the carton, where a carton = 15 dozen. And see that white tub there, that is full of corned beef, soaking in brine. This is our fridge cold room. These are just outside the Station Kitchen, not my house, just so we are clear.
Our potatoes and onions come in 20kg bags. Never short of a spud that’s for sure. We store them in big garbage bins in the cold room.
I fill my 2kg gravy tub from this 7.5kg bucket. Gravy anyone. I do like my gravy.
This is the shed where our dry stores are kept. It also stores lots of other junk. So, drum roll please – this is WOOLWORTHS! Do you think we should have a sign made for it? The white mark on the roller door is from our terrible bore water, it marks everything.
Here we have the leaning tower of toilet paper! My biggest fear is running out of dunny paper, so I normally have a minimum of 6 cartons on hand (where a carton = 12 x 4 packets inside).
Powdered & UHT Milk
Flour, sugar, breadcrumbs and rice all come in big bags, 15kg or 25kg…. bloody heavy let me tell you! And don’t get me started on those weavils. Here is a very dodgy photo – I could hardy see what I was taking a photo of, bit dark in there – no lights or power to that shed – sounds truly hillbilly doesn’t it.
Back home to unpack my groceries. The whole ordeal is over and done with in less than 15 minutes – and that is for a big grocery shop!
And look Mrs Savvy B and DD – you have inspired me and I have even rolled the bags up and put them away….can you believe it?
Now tell me. Do you shop locally, online, order in bulk and have it delivered by the pallet? I know there are many of you out there who shop exactly the same way as I do.
How far away is your local supermarket? 2 minutes? 10 minutes? 3 hours? 5 hours? or even 8 hours?
Is there something in particular about Outback Station Life that you would love to hear about? Sometimes when you live up here it all seems a little boring and mundane, so things that I just do may seem too boring to write about, but these are often the stories you love to hear, so please tell me – what do you want to know?
What is one question you would like to ask me?