There are so many things that can go wrong when cooking an egg. Runny, slippery whites. Green, sulphuric, overcooked yolks. Brown, stringy edges.
So imagine my surprise as I stumbled across a perfectly cooked egg — we’re talking perfectly formed whites, molten gold yolk — in the middle of the mountains, cooked in a flimsy pan over a Sterno can on a flat rock in the center of a river.
Part of a new summer adventure experiment we have dubbed ‘Lunch Camping,’ this meal was backpacked into the woods, set up in a convenient location and cooked low and slow. Upon finishing, everything was packed up and backpacked out in time to get to work.
Bacon, toast and eggs all made an appearance, of course, but Mason jars filled with cold-brew coffee really made the entire breakfast experience. Something about drinking the best coffee in the state surrounded by nothing but wilderness seemed peculiar and rare.
It didn’t hurt that cold-brew could be kept chilled. An icy river doubled as both cooler and backdrop.
It was afternoon rather than breakfast time, and the sun was hot nearly everywhere but the shaded enclave where we set up camp. Still, the experience was charming: something about cooking your own food in the wilderness is refreshing. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the primitive heat source alongside a few modern amenities, an appealing mix that has intrigued and fueled campers for years. Or perhaps it’s just something about eating outdoors where the fresh air make everything taste better.
Regardless, the meal was delicious. Although the eggs took a long time to cook over the low little flame, the result was amazing– molten lava yolk the color of marigold, perfectly cohesive whites without any slick, runny unpleasantness.
It may be getting late in the summer, but I have a feeling lunch camping will be on the menu even into the fall.