Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are we a part of the group now?

Thanks to Fran and Jonathon's relationship, we spent our second Labor Day weekend amongst a great group of folk.  I'm not even sure how they all originally met, but it's quite a variety of people; 2 scientists, a nurse, a teacher, a social worker, an administrator, plus most of the offspring and assorted dogs.  This year, due to family and health reasons, a couple people were absent, but N and I ended up meeting a few more of their off spring. 
Our destination was Paulina Lake Campground.  The weather forecast was a little iffy, but we all hoped it would be better than what was forecast for the valley.  Can I just say I'm very glad we have a furnace in our tent trailer AND a double sleeping bag that has a heavy side and a light side??  It was cold every night, but the last made it all the way down to 30 degrees.  Thanks to the year before, most of us were more prepared than the last at Diamond Lake.  Cool weather on Labor Day weekend, isn't all that unusual, but it does reduce the number of available activities--not to mention the blue green algae health advisory.  However hiking and sightseeing (can you say, "lava flows"?) works in just about every temperature, thank goodness!

Since our addition was a bit last minute, we didn't cook for the group last summer, but this weekend N, Lise and I were assigned the first breakfast.  Jonathon has lovingly reminisced of the Mountain Man Breakfast, dutch oven recipe whenever dutch oven cooking comes up in conversation.  And so, that was what we chose to make.  We combined two recipes and made a second small meatless batch for the vegetarians in the group.  It took two hours to complete (that's the problem with inexperience), but it turned out delicious.  Maybe we were all starved by that time?  Possibly, but I'm pretty sure it was good stuff.
We doubled the following (except for the bacon) to make two batches:

Mountain Man Breakfast
{slightly modified from David L. Vaughan's, "Dutch Oven Cooking", an excellent resource.}

1/2 lb. bacon
1 medium chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1- 32 oz. bag hash brown potatoes
12 eggs
1-1 1/2 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1 8 oz container hot, medium or mild salsa

12" Dutch oven, 14 briquettes top/10 bottom, 35-45 minutes cooking time.
Preheat Dutch oven over bottom briquettes, brown bacon, cut into small pieces.  Add and cook chopped onion until clear along with chopped green pepper.  Add mushrooms to bacon and other vegetables during last few minutes of cooking. Remove bacon, gr pepper, mushrooms and onion from Dutch oven and place them on paper towel to drain.  Place Dutch oven back over hot coals.  Stir in: hash brown potatoes.  Fry potatoes until golden brown, then mix bacon, gr peppers, mushrooms and onion back in.
Break eggs into medium bowl and beat thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over potatoes, bacon, gr peppers, mushrooms and onion.  Cover with hot lid and cook until eggs are almost set (check every 5 minutes).  Evenly distribute grated cheese over top when eggs are nearly set.  Continue cooking until eggs set and cheese melts.  Serve with salsa available for individuals to add to taste.  Delicious with fruit and toasted (on griddle over flame or fire) English muffins.
One batch feeds approximately 10 people

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