Well, just a year and a half after we got all set-up for family camping adventures with a tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses and flashlights …. we FINALLY WENT CAMPING!!!!
Why is this a big deal? Because this Mama has been firmly entrenched in the “I Don’t Do Camping” camp.
It has taken the Husband ten years to get me to agree to go camping with him. Me? In the wilderness? Without a private shower and my own bed? Dirt everywhere? Yeah, haven’t been a fan of the idea.
But, I gave in. After all, we had all of the equipment (thanks to a Coleman contest I won forever ago) and I figured this would get it out of his system. There was just no way it was going to be a fun experience … not with three kidlets all in the same tent as us. Not with air mattresses putting us just a few inches off the ground. Not with me, a novice who wouldn’t know how to do anything in the great outdoors.
The Husband was optimistic. He ignored my justifications and packed our tent and a tub of camping paraphernalia. “Just worry about food,” he said. Right …
Of course I loved my one and only job. I loved planning our menu … loved prepping … and, truth be told, loved cooking bacon over the woody smoke of an open flame.
What? Did *I* just admit there was something about camping I liked????
And … I also liked the crisp mornings bundled in my sleeping bag. Drinking coffee while listening to crazy birds yelling at each other from across the forest. Listening to the Kidlets giggle as they skipped rocks across the water. Watching the Husband breathe the clean air and brush pine needles off his jacket … watching him enjoy every. single. moment. of the trip.
In two weeks, we will reach the ten year milestone in our marriage, and after that amount of time, I’ve learned that it isn’t just about “refining” your husband. Sure, I’ve trained him in few ways but I married him for who he was … not what I wanted him to be. I married a boy who loves to camp, rock climb, and ride a mountain trail. I married a man who needs the outdoors in his life…. needs it to de-stress, to unwind, and to renew.
Keeping him away from all of that? Selfish. Trying to force him out of what makes him HIM? Selfish. Telling him that I won’t do something he enjoys simply because I’ll be dirty for a few hours? Selfish.
This camping adventure was a relationship epiphany, folks.
An epiphany that resulted in me surprising the Husband with Texas State Park Passes and a 40th Birthday Camping Trip with his parents (in just 2 weeks!).
Yeah. The forest air in Huntsville State Park did something to me. I might have gone crazy.
Now, back to my one job for this trip… food.
Despite forgetting to pack a can opener… or oven mitts… or cooking utensils, I did a pretty dang good job of making good some good, open-fire friendly meals that kept up with our grain-free diet.
Our Weekend Camping Meal Plan
We arrived Friday night and left Sunday morning … it was short and sweet. Having just a few meals to prepare was nice for our first camping trip!
- Sweet Potato and Pork Egg Scramble
- Homemade Larabars (for pack-up day)
- Toasted Ham & Cheese Sandwiches on Grain-Free Waffles, Veggies and Fruit
- Nitrate-free Hot Dogs and Apple-Gouda Chicken Sausages, Chili-Cheese Fries (baked in foil packets)
- Foil Packets (veggies, onions, hamburger, etc)
The breakfast we made on the first morning was by far and away our favorite meal. Simple. Delicious. Hearty… the perfect start for a day of hiking and discovery.
(and healthy since I “made” our own sausage instead of buying breakfast sausage, which has a ton of ingredients — including MSG, which never sits well with me)
I had to promise the Husband I would make it again (and again and again), so I snapped a quick picture with my phone and texted myself my ingredients.
And now I share the recipe here … for my benefit as much as yours.
- 4 strips of thick-cut smoked Bacon
- 1 pound Ground Pork
- 1 teaspoons Table Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dried Rubbed Sage
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Crushed Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Palm Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground Cayenne
- ⅛ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 large Sweet Potato, diced (roughly 2 cups)
- 1 cup diced White or Yellow Onion
- 7-8 large Eggs
- Salt/Pepper (to taste)
- Place your cast-iron or ceramic coated cast-iron skillet over your camp flame. Place the four strips of bacon in the pan and cook till both sides are crispy (flipping once).
- Remove the bacon to a plate and cover with foil.
- Place the pork into the skillet. In a small cup, mix together the salt, pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, sugar, nutmeg, cayenne, and paprika. Sprinkle the mixed spices over the ground pork and cook until the pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the skillet, adding it to the foil-covered plate.
- Add the onion and sweet potato to the hot skillet, allowing them to cook in the rendered fat. Cover with a glass lid or foil to allow for steam, which will help the sweet potatoes cook faster. After 4-5 minutes, check the potatoes for doneness.
- Once the potatoes are soft and beginning to caramelize, add the bacon (breaking it up as you do) and the pork to the onions and sweet potato.
- Crack open 7-8 eggs, adding both the yolks and the whites to the skillet. Allow the eggs to cook a few minutes (till set), stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from heat and serve immediately. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
[exceptional-citing quoted=”rachel” template=”bubble-gray” date=”” ]And now … to plan for the Husband’s Birthday Camping Trip. EEK! I can NOT believe I’ve turned into a camper!!!!!!!! [/exceptional-citing]