Picnics have evolved since I was a kid when a butter & sugar white bread sandwich was a fine meal. Or, if it was a special day, bologna (or baloney – your choice) was slapped between two slices of spongy white bread with a swipe of mayonnaise…my parents were obviously thrill seekers.
My parents would have never considered having a breakfast picnic, but let’s take the thought of a picnic as exclusively a lunch meal and throw that cliché away. I suggest….The Breakfast Picnic.
If my parents ever did consider a morning picnic meal, I am confident they would have appreciated having a breakfast picnic that didn’t require plates and flatware. The only kitchen implement they would need – aside from cookware, spatulas and ginormous spoons – is a vessel for coffee.
Get that coffee going first. Percolate it outside using the exterior outlet as you’re prepping the rest of your breakfast. Make sure you have a couple good, insulated coffee tumblers so you can keep your coffee warm during your picnic.
As the coffee is brewing, prep your meal.
As the coffee is brewing, prep your meal.
Should it be oatmeal? Great for energy and easy to make. You can liven it up with lots of different fruits, nuts and granola. However… it’s oatmeal. You’re on a camping trip with kids and… it’s oatmeal. Kids will eat it, but… it’s oatmeal.
Sorry Mr. Quaker, but we want to live a little. Thus, we recommend the versatility of…
- Ingredients? Anything you like with eggs and cheese that doesn’t take a ton of planning: sausage chunks, bacon, onions, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, avocado slices…even berries go well with eggs.
- No potatoes—unless you have leftover open fire-baked from the previous night or a bag of frozen hash browns—don’t start the taters from scratch or it will take a long time and a lot of propane! Pro-tip: raw carrots are propane pigs too.
- Whatever needs to be cooked for your mix, get it started before the eggs. Scrambled eggs can be added into the same pan and mixed all together. A word about bacon though. Depending upon the bacon, you may end up with a lot of grease. Therefore, you will need to decide on whether to use a separate pan for the eggs or dispose of the bacon grease into a can or jar (or carefully sop it up with hearty paper towels). Don’t pour the grease onto the ground. Critters love bacon grease and they won’t stop grub-searching after discovering grease.
- You can make scrambled eggs fluffier by adding one tablespoon of water or milk for every two eggs. Scramble vigorously until little bubbles show before dropping the mixture into the pan. For seasoning, salt and pepper will do, but you can add a touch of cayenne pepper or a few drops of tabasco (for you, maybe not the kids or your mother-in-law).
- For cheese, I’d bring pre-shredded for speed, but you can shred some off a block while the eggs are cooking. I prefer a sharper cheese like a white cheddar, but you can slip in slices of American if you want. No cheese-judging.
- To keep the breakfast burritos warm for your short trek to your perfect picnic spot (remember everyone is hungry so don’t plan a big trail hike before filling up), use foil. You don’t need to go all out and get a super thermal carrying pack that’ll keep food hot or cold for days. They’re nice for a lot of situations, but let’s focus on speed here.
- Drop the tortilla onto the piece of foil, fill with the egg mixture, put that cheese on while the eggs are hot, add your ‘cold’ items such as avocado slices, perhaps some salsa, roll up the tortilla then enclose with the foil.
How to Wrap Up a Burrito
If you want to fold in the top and bottom and make it restaurant-style, the tortilla must be large and very pliable, aka ‘steamed’ so it’s soft. To me, that’s too much effort for camping. Roll it up with open ends. It’s not going to hurt anyone and the foil will ‘seal’ the base so stuff isn’t spilling out.
And…There’s Always Pancakes
What a mess! The butter, syrup… for a picnic? On the contrary! Make them a bit thinner so they are pliable and easy to roll up. Spread a pancake with peanut butter, drop in some banana slices or other sweet fruits, roll them up and let the kids have at ‘em. They’ll love it and there’s minimal mess!
Breakfast Burrito Supply List
- Cheese of your choosing!
- Well-seasoned skillet
- Whatever you like in your eggs – onions, peppers, mushrooms, sausage, ham
After you’ve read this and your mind goes directly to ‘yeah this is great, but I’m not an early riser.’ Fair enough. If you prefer a quick picnic lunch or dinner, those posts are coming soon.