Breakfast Zen

tenThere are many schools of thought about breakfast on the trail. Everyone has different things they are looking for – speed onto the trail, ease of clean up, light packing weight, how much water you have to work with etc. Some folks mix Carnation instant breakfast with oatmeal for added nutritional density. Some just slam a Gu packet and then power out. Others break out the freeze dried pouches of eggs or granola. A few just pack and go, stopping for breakfast once they are miles down the trail.  Cheryl is happy with a couple packs of instant oatmeal mixed with a Justins’ Chocolate Hazelnut butter and a coffee of questionable quality before quickly stretching her sore legs, popping some Advil and hitting the trail.  Graham however, is not a man who looks causally upon the start of his day. There must be good coffee, good noshes and a bit of puttering  to be had before he’s ready to put his pack back on. At this point of the day he is far less concerned with our speed in getting back on the trail than making sure his hungry belly is fed. Cheryl has decided that its much better for Grahams health if she indulges him in a little morning putter and warm breakfast than if he must be taken by the throat and throttled an hour down the trail due to ill temper.

"Where is my coffee eggs and bacon!"

“Where is my coffee eggs and bacon?!”

In our search to find Grahams trailside morning Zen the path has taken us down a few wrong turns. We have tried scrambled eggs with chorizo… and found that while they were delicious there is far too much clean up and it will leave you with a stinky egg pan to carry. We’ve tried a freeze dried version of biscuits and gravy… WAYYYY too much clean up and so terrible tasting that we wound up not eating it. Instead we wound up packing most of it back into our packs and carrying it another 2 days before getting off the trail. So Gross!! We did Cheryl’s version of oatmeal and go… once. But this time was going to be different. This time the essentials had been gathered.

This morning on the Escarpment we finally woke up to sunshine – after two nights of rain it was clear that this morning would be perfect to test out our next puttering Zen breakfast attempt. Wheat toast, hard boiled eggs, Starbucks and some fruit in the pack. What ensued may have been our most successful meal of the trip.  On this trail we had enjoyed two nights and a full day of rain. We found our tent and rain gear to be awesome at keeping us dry – even our sleeping bags were still dry. We learned that we could break down and pack our tent body while  remaining underneath the rain fly to stay dry. We had enjoyed the company (and whisky) of four crazy dudes the previous evening that had thrown a mini rave in their lean-to by using their headlamps on flash mode and cranking their iPod as the rain poured down. And now best of all – we had found there was hope for Grahams morning Zen! Love this escarpment Trail!

the haps: Starbucks Via - pricey but worth it. Pepperidge Farm Wheat Thins - they’re already flat, you don’t have to worry about your bread getting squished! Two eggs - and the carrier is clutch. An orange - heavy but if you’re just out for a couple days - worth the weight for the intensity of fruit flavor hitting your taste buds. And a little something to snack on while you wait for your egg to cook - Nature Valley granola bar.

gather your Chi: Starbucks Via – pricey but worth it. Pepperidge Farm Wheat Thins – they’re already flat, you don’t have to worry about your bread getting squished! Two eggs – and the carrier is clutch. An orange – heavy but if you’re just out for a couple days – worth the weight for the intensity of fruit flavor hitting your taste buds. And a little something to snack on while you wait for your egg to cook – Nature Valley granola bar.

the path to tastefulness: put your eggs in the water cold and bring to a boil.

the path to tastefulness: put your eggs in the water cold and bring to a boil.

When water has has boiled  you can make your coffee.  Just pour a little of that hot water into your cup with the Via.  Meanwhile a allow the egg to rest covered, in the remaining hot water for 10 minutes. For those sqeamish about making coffee with your egg water, you could boil water seperatly for coffee.

when water has has boiled you can make your coffee. Just pour a little of that hot water into your cup with the Via. Meanwhile a allow the egg to rest covered in the remaining hot water for 10 minutes. For those sqeamish about making coffee with your egg water, you could boil water seperatly for coffee.

 

once you have sipped your scalding coffee and burned your tongue you can toast your bread - very carefully!! - over the open flame from your stove. Let it rest right on the pot supports quickly on one side…

once you have sipped your scalding coffee and burned your tongue you can toast your bread – very carefully!! – over the open flame from your stove. Let it rest right on the pot supports quickly on one side…

…and then the other.  We “butter” our toast with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

…and then the other. We “butter” our toast with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

when your egg is finished and cool enough to touch the outside shell without cursing fold open your pocket knife and gently press your cooked egg to cut it, shell and all, in half over the blade. If that makes you nervous protect your fingers by holding the egg in a cloth.

when your egg is finished and cool enough to touch the outside shell without cursing fold open your pocket knife and gently press your cooked egg to cut it, shell and all, in half over the blade. If that makes you nervous protect your fingers by holding the egg in a cloth.

 

using your spoon (or spork) scoop out the yummy inside from the shell your egg

using your spoon (or spork) scoop out the yummy inside from the shell of your egg

and smash on your lusciously toasted wheat thin. Season as you like - salt & pepper, ketchup? hot sauce? slice of cheese? precooked bacon you warm over the flame?

and smash on your lusciously toasted wheat thin. Season as you like – salt & pepper, ketchup? hot sauce? slice of cheese? precooked bacon you warm over the flame?

 

the result: enjoy as a sandwich! Genius!! Enjoy your moment of breakfast Zen.