I realize many of the readers have spent a good portion of time in the great outdoors. It is there, in God’s majestic spaces, that one can smell the smells, see the sights, hear the sounds – and yes, eat the food – that makes life just that much more special.
I used to camp about once a month with a group of friends and acquaintances and have fond memories of those times. I miss them. I particularly miss the special meals we would prepare and consume during our times away from the hustle and bustle.
One meal that sticks in my mind was my fabulous "Eggs L'Orange".
Picture a chilly morning around a bed of coals left over from the fire the night before and a small campfire creating new heat and light.
I passed out large navel oranges and had each camper cut them in half and eat each half as one would a grape fruit. So far, so good - curiosity was up, people were intrigued.
Next I gave everyone some farm fresh eggs and had them crack one egg into each half of the left over orange shell "bowl".
Scramble the egg in situ with a small twig.
Set the shells ever so carefully in the coals from last night’s fire.
Now, one of our party commenced to grumbling with the instructions to "crack your egg into your bowl". He basically wanted to be fed breakfast - the lazy sod. You see, we had a tradition whereby we would each take it in turn to purchase, bring and prepare a snack, a breakfast, lunch, or supper while we camped as a group every month. Most of the time, the designated cook would prepare the entire meal and call the hungry campers to the "kitchen" to eat when it was time. Sometimes (as for lunch) the cook would merely lay out a spread of sandwich stuff, fruit and cookies - perhaps some juice, and call everyone to come make their own. So I didn't think I was out of line having the folks "cook their own breakfast". I mean, this was NEW! This was EXCITING! This had the promise of something GRAND!
It was also something I had only read about in books and never actually practiced in person. Did I tell my sleepy, hungry campers this bit of news? Of course not! I entered into the game full of enthusiasm and encouragement. I had my game face on.
Well, the coals were not hot enough. It took a long time for the eggs to cook in those orange skins. More grumbling ensued and even my normally happy campers started to look askance at the cute little orange shell bowls/pots scattered about the ashes and coals.
This was the last day of the campout and some even started breaking down camp whilst patiently waiting for the eggs to cook. By and by, after some repositioning in the fire pit – the breakfast delicacies were ready. It was time to eat Eggs L’Orange!
We sat around the fire in a circle in our chairs, each balancing our hot, now blackened orange peel bowls on our laps. The eggs were baked. They were solid (we all agreed slimy eggs were a “no go”). The smell of oranges wafted into our nostrils. Our stomachs grumbled. And so, we dug in.
The texture was good but perhaps a bit too over done – rubbery even. I think we feared slimy eggs too much. The taste was… well… how do I describe it?
This wasn’t your Mamma’s scrambled eggs. No sir!
Fried egg and burnt oranges.
You know…those two tastes should probably never be together.
I finished mine – there had been a huge build up after all and I had promised everyone it would be delicious. I bravely soldiered on. I gamely choked breakfast down. I did not gag.
I think most of the others tossed their still full orange bowls into the fire and dug out some trail food snacks to tide themselves over until we got back to civilization.
Oh well – at least now we all new what we really thought about Eggs L’Orange.
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared Americans for a Strong America