Australia was the source of the first refrigeration system, that is the Coolgardie safe. It was a wet hessian box that used evaporative cooling to keep food cool.

Eskies are insulated food containers varying from handy "six-pack" sizes to cavernous sixty-litre trunks capable of refrigerating a weekend's worth of food or beer. No barbie or camping trip is complete without a couple of eskies. The brand name "Esky" has been adopted to describe all similar products.

Home Made Mayonnaise

3 eggs
half cup sugar
heaped teaspoon of salt
good shake of pepper
heaped dessert spoon cornflour

put everything in a polypot with one cup of milk. Beat with beater. Stir mixture with spoon and add a slurp of vinegar - coordination needed to avoid curdling. Add a blob of butter and put over heat and stir until it thickens. Be careful not to let it thicken too much. I thin out Mayonnaise with another slurp of vinegar. Store in glass jar in refrigerator. Can be used when hot to serve with hot corn beef.

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Boxing Day

Find the spirit of Boxing Day...

The [Australian] community encourages drinking to the point of addiction... it goes without saying that most leisure pursuits are accompanied by compulsive drinking, few would think of going to the cricket, football or tennis without an Esky full of cold cans and fewer would go yachting or picnicking without a trusty supply. For many, leisure equals drinking.

Places to go today

In 1968, a tradition was born with Australia squaring off against the West Indies in the first Boxing Day Test match. If you are in Melbourne you could head off to the MCG to watch the giants of the game, but don't try to gain entrance carrying an esky filled with cold cans. Bad behavior in Bay 13 has resulted in these being banned.

If you are in Sydney today pack up your esky and find a good position on Sydney Harbour to watch the beginning of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.

Of course, if you do not have the inclination, or you cannot be a part of these iconic Australian Boxing Day events, you can simply take the esky to your local park or beach and wile away a few hours relaxing, recovering from the Christmas mayhem. And, you don't need to lug a huge one. Most makers of Eskies make them in all sizes. My favourite is the cute little workman's esky which can be seen accompanying outdoor workers all over Australia.

Instant takeaway picnic in an Esky

A packet of cream cheese and a bottle of sweet chili sauce to make a dip. Simply put the cheese on a plate and cover with sweet chili sauce and serve with your favourite crackers.

Left over leg ham on the bone and turkey from the Christmas table.

Fresh potato salad with plenty of parsley and bacon.

A container with greens, tomato, avocado, asparagus, salad onion, radishes ready to put together in a bowl upon arrival.

Small bottle of whole baby beets from a can to serve in a dish.

Home made egg mayonnaise to serve with salad.

Bread sticks and good quality butter.

Australian Wine to wash it all down.

A selection of sweets from the Six White Boomer Collection.

Plunger coffee to add to a bodem.

Boxing Day Games

1. Get the gang together and have a game of beach cricket.