Delicate and Dainty versus Rustic and Rough
Let’s leave our sipping from delicate, dainty cups and the endless enjoyment of our delicious sandwiches, cakes, pastries…..mmm.. ..all those yummy delights with our tea and let’s see!
How about Our Tea: Our Tea on an open Fire!!
And so the billy boiled!!
Experienced it? Liked it? Loved it?
No definitely not loved it!
In my youth ( mm.. primary school!) I was a Girl Guide and well, we had camping excursions, learning and gaining, those most prestigious and much sought after badges, that we would then religiously sew onto our uniform.
And of course we would enjoy evenings around a campfire, enjoying the blaze, the heat, the company, the enjoyment of being outside, under our beautiful Southern Aussie sky, our voices singing out the campfire songs, blending with the sound of the crickets and the frogs, such an indelible memory and the joy of just being part of the great Australian bush.
Who am I kidding, I hated roughing it!
Just give me the tea and biscuits!
Of course you had to watch out for the ants and especially bull ants, wow, could they give you a good pinch, always good to get inside and shake out the swag, a vigorous shake just in case…..!
No, not under the starry night skies for me!!
Oops and don’t forget the flies and spiders, snakes and mice and lizards
Typically with the tea freshly brewed from the campfire, the best way to drink it was from a tin or enamel mug, forget the china here, good chance it would be broken before you got to enjoy that first brew of billy tea.
But I have found some glorious kettles and other kitchen/ dining ware, that just might survive the bush and lend some elegance to the adventure as well !
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Black is pretty good, especially if the weather is cool, but add that milk if you can and perhaps sugar to give you that energy boost to tackle that planned hike in pursuit of yet another prestigious badge!
Well tongue in cheek, but all so true!
So billy tea conjures up visions of the long ago outback Aussie explorers , our swagmen, tramping through the bush with their swags, billy cans and metal cups clunking away, attached to their belts or swags.
Made famous by Banjo Patterson, in the song, Waltzing Matilda‘, (composed, 1895).
“…🎶🎶🎶🎶..and he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled, you’ll come awaltzing Matilda with me….🎶🎶🎶🎶….”
So ‘billy’, where did that term come from, well two thoughts;
Not to waste anything way back then, everything was repurposed, so a used tin containing whatever, possibly bully, (close to billy) beef, became a vessel to boil your water in over the campfire.
The other thought, ( which to me, seems to make more sense), comes from the Aboriginal term, ‘ billabong ‘, also made famous in Banjo’s song, ‘Waltzing Matilda’
“….🎶🎶🎶…Camped by a billabong under the shade of a coolabah tree…🎶🎶🎶🎶....”
I have done some research and you may like to visit a website called:
Here you will find Australian Billy Tea and also another called Australian Eucalyptus Tea and more! I am not an Affiliate of this Company, but I would like to find teas that are grown and blended in Australia, so for anyone that may enjoy a real Aussie brew, hopefully each of you can enjoy the best that Australia offers.
Mmm… worth a try? Love your feed back as to; taste delivered, enjoyment delivered, have it again!?
These days in our beautiful land of Aus and I am sure many other countries across the world are the same, that open fires are such a no, no.
During our summers here, our country is dry and can become a tinder box, so open fires are banned.
So flasks of hot water brought from home are a great option. Make your tea on arrival, at your favourite picnic spot, never before, please!, as your cup of tea becomes absolutely stewed and bitter and really just very unpleasant.
These days when we sallie forth on a picnic, we head to the river or the sea, (water! ), the absolute best place to be! A shady spot under a tree, the pleasure of a gentle balmy, breeze brushing against your face, ruffling your hair, as you gaze out across the water at the skyline beyond. The boats, the kayaks, the surf boards, people enjoying themselves and the tinkle of laughter and low voices; mmmm… nothing better!
(Goodness I’ve become a poet!)
As long as you’ve visualised the scene in your mind, that’s what matters, drift away!
Spread that picnic blanket and indulge and enjoy the beautiful picnic packed in our basket!
Close to Heaven don’t you think, remember that citronella, keep those bugs away, then it IS Heaven!
Have a look at the picnic basket, below. I wanted to find one that had a flask and mugs, so that we can enjoy not only a glorious picnic with wine, so many baskets come with wine glasses, but not the mugs as well and so very much needed for our wonderful hot cuppa! With some extras, all needed for that wonderful day under a shady tree!
Have you ever tried damper? It’s like a monstrous scone, really half bread, half scone, delicious with butter, real butter please and buttered warmed or still warm from baking and of course , your beautiful cup of Tea!
To the Pleasure of Tea and the enjoyment of our cup of Tea beneath a shady tree!!
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