The words you mightn't know, Aussie slang -
tucker = food
selectors= farmers granted small acreage
wallaby = smaller breed of kangaroo
damper = simple bread of flour and water
chook = chicken
tea = dinner
ANOTHER CUP OF WATER IN THE STEW
© MONYA CLAYTON 10/10/06
On the back of the old wood stove
Mum kept an iron pot,
Threw in it scraps of tucker -
There never was a lot.
Poor selectors we were then
And living off the land.
Hungry every tea time –
Which made those stews taste grand.
Bits of vegies from the garden
That grew in the back yard –
Midget onions, stringy beans,
‘Taters soft, tomatoes hard.
Pumpkin ‘cause it grew near wild,
Peas like little stones,
And when Dad killed a pig for Boss
The stew pot got the bones.
The only other meat we had
Was wallaby and horse.
Salt and pepper helped them down
And mint leaves and hot sauce.
Often it was thin as soup,
And not enough for eight.
We had to eat it from a bowl
Instead of a tin plate.
It was fine when we had lots of it
And friends called in for tea.
But the times there wasn’t much to eat
Meant a special job for me.
Mum filled cups and cut the damper -
That would be my cue.
For each guest I then poured another
Cup of water in the stew.
I tell my grandkids what we ate
When I was young as they -
Carrot tops and skinny hares,
What we could find each day.
I now eat steak and roasted chooks,
Veg whose names I never knew.
But you know, it never tastes as good
As my old Mum’s watered stew.