I would like to share a recipe with you. It’s not really a recipe. Its more of a tip. A camping tip. You are going to have to work for it though. (Pssstt! You can always scroll down!). Iam Bi-polar. This week I started fast cycling.
“Up, Down, Down Up, Baby anyway you want to go” – That’s the Blues and that’s what Iam right now. I don’t do anti-depressants. I don’t like them. They only can bring you to a functional plane a little below normal. Normal in this respect would be acceptable; but sub-normal functionality coupled with the inevitable side-effects are not. I try to address depression holistically; using train of consciousness techniques. It works, sometimes. You are wondering by now where all this is going. What is this all about? Well its about “Gourmet Omelets for Campers”, I did warn you you would have to work for it.
Do you like to go Camping? I do. I was introduced to camping when I was six. Six is a magic age. I learned to read when I was six. That was magic all right. I was sent to YMCA Day Camp. It was fun. They taught you to swim. I already knew how to swim at that age. I had my first dip below Foul Rift. It is the only Class VI rapid on the the Delaware River. My Aunt Maria and Uncle Hubert Had a farm on the bluff above. Ask me about Hubert’s Pig sometime. He had a wooden leg! When I was five I started to really learn to swim at the YWCA on Friday nights. During Day Camp swimming I pulled a kid out of the water. He had gotten in over his head. I pulled him out by his hair. Maybe I saved his life! I like to think so; but he didn’t. I don’t think he liked having his hair pulled. I don’t blame him.
A couple of years later I started going to Camp Hugh Beaver, In the Poconos, above Delaware water gap. I was a day-camper, family camper and regular camper there for years. They didn’t believe I could swim at first. They restricted me to the baby area. Took a little while to get that fixed. Now Iam an Advanced Fish. That means you have unrestricted access to the lake and all the facilities during the day at least. I learned a lot of good stuff at camp. Campfires, Storytelling, Indian Lore, Singing, gigging eels, The Chinese Water Torture. They call that water-boarding nowadays. I learned that when I was nine. On the same day I learned How to Light a Fart. That was my first day as a regular camper. It rained and we had to stay in the cabin. I loved that camp. When I was eight at family camp I learned two songs from Andy Gall at a campfire. It took me a long time to learn it but here it is:
I started real camping when I was fifteen. A friend had a car. We went to the Auto Races. At Watkins Glen I discovered the Beauty of the Fingerlakes. That’s one of the reasons why I went to Cornell: camping! My camping gear at this time consisted of a blanket. Two weeks after I got my drivers licence I went to my first Folk Festival. This changed my life forever. I’ve been going to festivals and camping ever since. Oh this is when I met Pete Seeger. That’s a pretty good story. Ask me about it sometime. You don’t need much equipment to go camping but two things I’ve found indispensable are a hat and functional rain gear. When I started my rain gear was a blanket. I quickly graduated to a poncho. It was rubberized; what they call a Sear’s Poncho. I finally got a real poncho in Tuscon. Hand-woven wool, warm, repels water but doesn’t sweat. The fringes on the bottom drain away rainwater. Caution: a Serape is not a poncho. You can get them both in desert areas like Tuscon, but don’t be confused. Why do they make ponchos in Tuscon anyway? It only rains three days a year there, usually in April; but Oh, that’s when the wildflowers bloom!
Gourmet Camping – Omelets to order
Many people associate camp cooking with burnt hot dogs, canned beans, Freeze dried backpacker meals and instant coffee. Nothing could be further from reality where I camp. As often as not I camp at folk festivals these days. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for over 45 years. You make a lot of hungry friends in that amount of time and sooner or later your going to have to feed a bunch of them; all at one time. Iam a good camp cook but preparing meals for 16-20 people can be a logistical nightmare when you are in the middle of muddy field and you only have an hour or so to work with. Pre-planning is necessary, spoilage is a problem, cooking and clean-up are all considerations. Actually I let others clean up after I feed them. You have to come back later and handle the sanitation concerns but not in the hour window you are working in. SANITATION IS IMPORTANT! Gourmet dining when camping is a communal affair. “If you take out of the pot. you should put into the pot”. Bring something to Share! I like Lindt’s 60% Dark Chocolate Truffles – Double bag them water tight, don’t let them get wet. Chocolate melts at 97 degrees F. They melt in your mouth. I Call Them Chocolate Orgasms.
Custom Omelets for a Crowd
- Two eggs stirred into a freezer baggy with a tiny amount of milk ~ 1/2 -1 tsp water will will work fine if lactose issues are a concern. Add into the baggy your basic spicing formula. This can become your trademark if you get the right mix. It is important to let the flavors meld. Suggestions: – garlic, basil, oregano, dill, a little black pepper or sweet paprika. A drop or two of Worcestershire sauce is good. No Salt. No Hot stuff. Mix well and seal the baggy tightly. Repeat for whatever number of people you plan to serve and add some extra servings. You can always use the remainder later. Freeze. After frozen put the individual servings in a water tight bag. If you do this right you have a bottom layer of ice in the cooler when you leave home. As long as the water in the cooler is cool, spoilage should be too much of a problem. Don’t let it get warm though.
- Heat up the grille. Two burners. Cast iron fry pans or better a griddle. If you have temperature controls keep them on low heat. Its easy to burn eggs! Have at least two small mixing bowls and a whisk. I wouldn’t worry about making perfect looking omelets either. Your roughing it you know! Keep a garbage bag to hand.
- Prep your service line. Place out garnishes, marinated mushrooms, onions, peppers, ham cubes, a jar of bacon bits with a spoon; whatever. You can prep a lot of this beforehand in baggies! The cheese you should handle. You do know how to make an omelet right? one or two containers of cheese should be sufficient. I like a pre-grated orange cheddar and crumbled feta. UMMV!
- Use heavy duty paper plates – the kind with a rim; not flimsy stuff.
- Ring the dinner bell. A kazoo does nicely, Chef’s bonnet too, if you have one. Put on a show!
- Food Service line: plates, flatware, then garnishes, then egg packet on top. You should be able to figure out the rest.
- I like paper plates and mismatched old Stainless flatware. Use your pasta pot with some dish soap and water in it for the used flatware. If you can’t clean the flatware immediately, (hah), before you take off for the fun, put a generous amount of salt in the pasta pot!