I didn't grow up camping- it just wasn't something my family did. We were the type of family that, if we did go on a vacation that wasn't solely to visit family, would get a hotel in a tourist town, typically on the beach, and do typical vacation things. Once, as a nine-year-old, I insisted we go hiking for my birthday, and I loved it. That was the closest I got to an in-the-woods vacation. (My mom, on the other hand, hated the hiking, mainly because about 2/3 of the trail was mud.)
My husband's family, however, loves to camp, so my first tent-camping experience was just a few years ago. Since, I've been camping fewer times than I can count on my fingers, but I have already decided I love it. Besides loving the outdoors, the woods, the fresh air, and the serenity, I discovered I love camp cooking- especially breakfast. So, when my college friends started to plan a reunion in northern Indiana, and jumped at the chance. It was just going to be us & another couple camping, so I volunteered to make breakfast for everyone. It would be fun.
Well, as word got out about the reunion and people started finalizing plans, the 4-person camping trip turned into 12 then, at the last minute, 14, then, at the very last minute, 16. I went shopping for food when the planned-on number was 12 campers, and figured the food would stretch to feed the rest. It did. I was pleasantly surprised, after my Aldi shopping trip, that this large-scale breakfast was not more than $20! (I saved the receipt on purpose, but can't seem to find it at the moment.)
Here was the plan:
2 frying pans
"camp pie maker"
a couple spatulas
What I brought along:
2 doz eggs
1 lb sausage
1 package ready-to-eat bacon (You could use regular bacon. This is what I had on hand & threw in to the pile at the last minute.)
3 packages refrigerator biscuits
2-3 frozen orange juice concentrate
What I did:
- I figured that everyone would get up & be ready for breakfast all at once, so I planned on cooking in shifts, because cold eggs are gross, and because I only had 2 burgers to work with. The potatoes take the longest, so I peeled those & started cutting them up first, into small pieces, about a centimeter square. When a friend awoke and offered to help, I outsourced that task.
- Next, I started on the eggs: Crack 6-8 eggs in a frying pan, add about 1/3 cup milk, and mix till scrambled. Let cook over the Coleman stove. When 2 potatoes were cut up, those were put in the other frying pan with about 2 Tbsp butter. I found another friend to attend to those while I took care of the eggs.
- I outsourced the biscuit-making to my husband. This is everyone's favorite part of the meal, but the slowest because only 1 biscuit can be made at a time (unless you have more than 1 pie iron): Spray both sides of the pie iron generously with cooking spray. Place 2 refrigerator biscuits in the middle of the iron, close, and put into the campfire. brown on one side, then turn until done.
- As people got up groggily and started eating, I quickly made a pitcher of orange juice from the frozen concentrate and water. This was a very portable way to bring this amount of orange juice camping.
- When the eggs were done, I handed those out to the people who were awake, and quickly cooked the bacon. The type I brought doesn't take long to cook, and they are done when the slices are covered in bubbles (or, when they start to bubble, if you like chewier bacon. I'm a crispy-bacon girl myself.) the bacon was moved to a plate for people to grab as they liked.
- At this point, the potatoes are done, and those were handed out. I had a friend helping make sausage patties, and as those were made, I put those on the hot pan. Simultaneously, the second batch of eggs were started & finished.
- The sausages finished cooking and were handed out, and more potatoes were cut & put to cook in to sausage grease. These actually turned out tastier :) Everyone was awake, and the last batch of eggs were cooked.
By the end, everyone had their fill. No food was wasted, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Not everyone got a biscuit- in retrospect, I would have brought more & started them earlier. I was glad friends were helpful in all parts of the meal. And the best part: I had fun!
We were camping up at Indiana Dunes, and later drove to South Bend- in the neck of the woods of this week's Make It From Scratch hostess, Amy! Check out the carnival Tuesday!