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At the end of the summer a small group of us went camping. The trip had been planned as a youth outing, but competing options and conflicting commitments had reduced the number of youth to zero. Rather than relinquish the reservation at Susquehannock State Park, we decided to carry on. The campers included one of our pastors, his wife and their three children; my son and his wife; and myself. Our group turned out to be the only one in the park, so that was quite nice.
Pastor Josh made a great chicken and vegetables meal in foil over the coals of our campfire. We took a hike to watch the sun set over the Susquehanna River, and then returned to the campfire to make S’Mores.
I’ll never forget that on one of our many camping trips to Vermont, my daughter, (who was a great little camper, by the way), asked if we were going to make “oars.” We had no idea what she was talking about until she emphatically reminded us that we always talk about making “some oars.” Whenever we make them and she’s "in the house," we still refer to them as “oars.”
I volunteered to make breakfast. Since there were kids along, I thought they might enjoy breakfast sandwiches, and planned accordingly. I packed up the Coleman stove that my dad bought in 1962 at Goldberg’s in Philadelphia. He purchased it along with a canvas wall tent, dining fly, and other assorted camping equipment that we used on our first family camping trip to New England. That stove has been from coast to coast, and still works like a charm.
BREAKFAST SANDWICHES AL FRESCO
For each sandwich you will need:
- 2 strips bacon (or 1 slice of Canadian bacon)
- 1 English muffin, (use a fork to separate the halves)
- 2 eggs, scrambled with 2 Tablespoons of milk
- 1 slice cheese
- margarine or butter
- salt and pepper
There is really no recipe this week, just a description of how we made and assembled the sandwiches. The first thing to do is to cook the bacon. Even though it will cool while the other ingredients are made, it will warm up nicely when placed in the sandwiches with other hot ingredients. When it has cooked to the desired level of doneness, allow the bacon to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
One word of advice: Do not attempt to pour hot bacon fat into a plastic cup!
Toasting the English muffins is the next order of business in the outdoor kitchen. When I was a kid, part of the camping equipment that Dad purchased was a “toaster” that was to be used on top of the Coleman stove. Forget it. By the time the bread was toasted, it was as dry….well, it was as dry as toast, if you know what I mean. Instead, “toast” the bread by buttering the insides with margarine or butter and pan-fry the halves. To get a nice toasty texture, you can apply a little pressure with your spatula in order to increase muffin to pan contact. When the muffin halves are toasted to your liking, stack them and, if possible, keep them on the stove in a pan or other metal container.
While the muffins are toasting, you should have time to prepare the eggs for scrambling. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of milk for each egg. Whisk the eggs until fully scrambled. It helps if the pan you are using for scrambling is hot, (droplets of water sizzle on the surface), and coated with butter, margarine, or cooking spray. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan to a depth of about ½” to ¾”.
When the eggs are done, (not too dry), place some on top of half of a muffin, top with a slice of cheese, then the bacon and the top half of the muffin, and you’re good to go.
As you can tell, we had some chopped onions leftover from the previous night’s dinner, so we sautéed them and included them for those who wanted them.
If you’re not already aware, everything tastes better in the outdoors. Egg McMuffins were no contest to these breakfast sandwiches. Enjoy!