We spent a really great Memorial Day weekend camping with our friends. We all took turns preparing the meals, between the 5 or so families, each family was responsible for one meal. Ours was Monday breakfast.
The challenge was to make something everyone would like (including little kids), that would keep in a cooler for a day and a half, and was easy to prepare on a camp stove and over a fire pit. JR had the brilliant idea of preparing ingredients ahead of time and par-cooking some of the items that might take longer to cook. We decided to do a nice hash with scrambled eggs on the side. JR also made some delicious paleo-friendly muffins ahead of time.
Ingredients for 11 adults and 8 small kids:
- 2 large sweet potatoes (I mean mutant sweet potato large)
- 1 large red onion
- 1 bag of parsnips (about 6 good sized parsnips)
- 8 mini sweet peppers
- 1 pound of bacon
- 1 bag of young broccoli
- 16 eggs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
Play by Play:
- The day before we went camping, JR:
- Skinned and cubed the sweet potatoes and parsnips then roasted them in the oven until they were starting to get a little soft
- Chopped the large onion into pieces approximately the size of your pinky nail (or one half size of a pinky nail if you have those fancy, long ‘do-me‘ nails)
- Chopped the broccoli into small pieces and roasted them on a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper - something we are becoming pretty familiar with
- Packed all the ingredients into separate zip-lock bags
- In hindsight, one more thing we could have done is chop the bacon at home – instead we did this at the campsite, which wasn’t a big deal but I just thought to myself as I was doing it “I wished I had my nice sharp kitchen knife at home” and then I thought “why didn’t I do this at home and pack it into a zip-lock like JR did”…because I’m not JR, that’s why…
- Chop the bacon into half inch pieces while the campfire goes from flames and smoke to nice hot coals
- Using a huge cast-iron grill, I cooked the bacon until it was just barely beginning to crisp up, still pretty chewy looking though
- Add the onions, you can actually see in the photo above, that I just added the onions – I let this go until the onions started to turn translucent
- Throw in the par-cooked sweet potatoes and parsnips – I want those to cook longer than the sweet peppers and the broccoli – I love it when the root veggies in a hash gets its crisp on!
- At the same time, JR is slow cooking the eggs on the more controllable heat of the camp stove
- Now we add the peppers and broccoli, it’s probably OK to leave it on for a while or take it off at this point – since people were ready to eat, we called it good and served it up
- JR finished the eggs right on cue
- And to top it all off, JR produced delicious paleo-friendly muffins from where they’d been stowed for the last day or so, to everyone’s delight
Either everyone was just plain starved and would eat bark off a tree, or it was actually pretty tasty. I believe the latter because we have the great fortune of camping with a group of wonderful cooks and I don’t think anyone went hungry. It’s actually a little nerve wracking with all these awesome cooks around. We did make an extra little batch of the hash without the broccoli because of a special request for one of the little campers (our only mistake there was not setting aside enough – after two servings the little guy wanted more…a very good sign).