In praise of the Thermos flask

14 August 2007

Apart from buying lunch a few months ago when we travelled away for a friend's funeral, I haven't bought tea, coffee or water to drink while I've been out for years. The reason? Well, you know the frugal word will be in there somewhere, but it's also because I realised it was a habit of convenience and now that habit is broken. The lunch we bought a few months ago also made me realise that now, many shops are serving their drinks in disposable cups, with disposable spoons, sugar and milk in single serve containers, oh, and while you're about it, take a single use napkin. What a waste!

It is so easy to get out of the habit of buying drinks while you're away from home. I must tell you I have a bit of a thing about people in shops preparing drinks (or food) for me. I watched a girl serve a milk drink at a cafe a few years ago, and when she spilt some, she licked it off her fingers! =: O Anyhow, you break the buying habit by having good flasks that will keep your drinks really hot, and you take your favourite drink from home - be that good organic coffee or tea.

When I started work at the Neighbourhood Centre I had to start packing food and drink to eat while I was there. I already had a one litre Thermos flask for the black organic tea I like to drink, but I found that over summer, it's also very good for taking lemon cordial with lots of ice. My good friend Kathleen bought me a great little lunch box a few months ago, one that has a little freezable ice block as well as some small containers that all fit together in one box. It's great for taking nuts, salad, leftovers, cut up fruit, or anything that my heart desires. I like taking a good lunch to work, because I usually share it with whoever is in the office and often the person I share with has not had home made food for a long time. Even a homemade sandwich is a real treat. You can see the post I wrote about that here.

So it probably won't surprise you to know that last week I bought another Thermos, this one holds 1.8 litres. It was bought mainly for our trip on the train, so we'll have enough tea with us for the entire trip, but it will also be used when we travel away in the car, or any time we'll be away from home for the day. Having enough tea for the two of us for a full day is great, and I wonder why I hadn't thought to buy a larger Thermos flask well before this.

In the week since I bought the flask, it's been earning its keep by keeping tea hot for us during the day. We usually drink tea at breakfast, morning tea, lunch time, occasionally for afternoon tea and sometimes for dinner. I've been filling the flask up in the morning after I make our breakfast tea and it's there hot and ready for us whenever we want another cup. It holds seven cups, so there's plenty to keep us going during the day. The great thing about this is that it saves time and it saves electricity as the hot water is only heated once.

When we go on our trip tomorrow, I'll fill the small flask with hot chocolate as we leave at 8pm and we can drink that after we've settled in on the train, and we'll have the large flask full of tea, that will keep us going the entire 17 hour trip. We'll also have a couple of bottles of water filled at our filtered tap at home. Along with our apple cinnamon muffins, Lindt chocolate and sharp cheese and home made pickles sandwiches, we'll be eating like kings as we speed our way north at 160 kms an hour. Who said you miss out when you eat frugally? pfffffffffft

After much thought, yesterday I started work on my simple living ebook. I'm pretty excited about it too as I've thought of a few things that will make it really useful and interesting. I wonder if you can help me with something, and I'd like to get as many opinions as I can on this - like everyone who reads this, including all the lurkers. : ) If you bought the ebook, do you think you'd print it out and put it in a folder, would you just print out the pages with instructions on them, would you read the entire thing on your computer? Or if you have any ideas about use, please let me know them. It makes a difference as to how I do the layout. Thanks your your help.