Sunday, April 15, 2012

Campfire Fridays (this week on Sunday)

Peggy asked me to write “a little bit about campfires and cooking” each week for her. Easy right? Every Friday (the day after Thursday if you  I forgot). But somehow I still forget, and Friday morning my dear wife always has to ask me for my article. And I’ve usually forgotten. This week I celebrated the anniversary of my 21st birthday (or as my kids put it..”you’re one more year older than dirt”) on Wednesday and I guess that was just enough “schedule change” to mess me up (again). I can’t remember to write something EVERY Friday, but I do remember the first thing I cooked in a Dutch oven (well not counting that can of beans that I reheated for dinner).
I only remember buying one piece of cast iron cookware… new. All my others have been gifts or garage sale scores. That new 8” (the real little one) oven was a Lodge brand. Lodge is great in that they include a little cookbook of simple recipes with their wares. One of my favorites that they include in it is the Mountain Man Breakfast. It is the easiest and yet most versatile recipe I think I have ever come upon. Fry some bacon in your pan, add frozen hash browns and some cheese, stir it up and crack a couple eggs right over it. No need to mix again, but I guess if you’re fancy… Just let it cook long enough to finish the eggs and you’ve got the best breakfast that I’ve found for the outdoors. But that’s just the beginning. The frozen hash browns have really proven to be the key.
Most important, they make a great ice pack for the cooler (at least until you eat them).But beyond that, you can also make a dinner dish with them by substituting some cream for the eggs, and adding a little chopped cabbage on the bottom. Fry the bacon first, put it in the lid, throw the cabbage on the bottom of the pan. Add some hash browns, some bacon, (mozzarella anyone?!) more hash browns and the rest of the bacon. Add some cream, or milk and let it cook a while (I don’t check the clock… just til it’s done you know).  Now that I think about it, sour cream and milk might even work well (I’ll have to try that one first… live dangerously you know). You can let your imagination run wild for seasonings. Fried onions, garlic, heck add Tabasco (well not around the kids or wife anyway) if you must. See how versatile these things are.
I guess that’s why I remember what I cooked that first  second time I used my new oven. Now if that oven had just been a little bigger so everybody could have tasted it.

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