I am opposed to kitchenware that serves only one purpose. If it can’t be used for a multitude of things, what’s the point? Which is why when my husband decided that we should invest in a plastic container for taking eggs on trips I rolled my eyes. The yellow container looked more like a Barbie briefcase than a practical packing item.
We eventually cut off the less-than-useful handle and cinched it shut with a small bungee cord, and despite the fact that we lost a couple of eggs when the container fell off of a train table as we traveled to the starting point of our Inaugural Trip With Eggs, the first morning that I got to eat scrambled eggs and drink strong coffee with a view, I was convinced. And hey, I could always pack it full of something else if I didn’t want to use it for eggs, right?
Certainly, you don’t need a yellow egg briefcase like ours, but if you’re going to adventure with eggs then you are going to want to do it carefully. Thankfully, a bit of careful packing and attention can pay off when it comes to breakfast. Because if you have eggs, you can make French toast, anywhere.
We took the egg briefcase on a recent morning paddle to brew a little coffee and enjoy breakfast with a view. While you might usually make French toast to take advantage of some bread that’s beyond stale, if you’re making French toast in the wild, chances are you’re not going to set aside the time to let the bread sit and soak for ages. Not to mention that I doubt that you’re traveling with a container big enough to do numerous slices of bread at once.
Because of this, I recommend starting with bread that’s fairly fresh. It doesn’t need to be fresh-out-of-the-oven fresh, but avoid rock hard if you can because the harder it is, the longer it’s going to need to soak. You don’t have time for that; you want to eat breakfast and enjoy the rest of your day.
Can you really make French toast without milk? Of course you can. They just taste a little bit eggier than usual, but hey, wasn’t that the point of packing those eggs in the first place? You can adapt this recipe depending on how many people you are traveling with, what spices you have in your spice kit that you want to use and how big or small your bread slices are.
Let’s talk about the maple syrup situation: It’s not essential, as you can easily swap out honey, both to mix into the batter and to top with. But hey, maple syrup is good in oatmeal too, so why not take a little bottle of it with you next time you’re out on the trail and keep it on hand for breakfast treats?
Backcountry French Toast
Makes: Enough for 4 people
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon oil + more for frying
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
About 8 medium-bread slices
In the largest pot or bowl that you have with you, using a fork, whisk together the eggs until frothy. Mix in the honey, oil and ground cinnamon until well blended.
Soak the bread slices in the mixture; how long you need to do this will depend on how fresh the bread is. If your bread is pretty fresh, you might just need to press the slice down, flip it over and press down on the other side; enough to soak up a little bit of the egg mixture. I like smaller pieces of bread, as I can add a few to the pot and then swish them around in the batter, then flip them over a few times, which seems to do the trick. If you only have large pieces of bread, and they don’t fit in your pot or bowl, you can also cut them in half to make them smaller.
If you don’t have a container big enough to do all of the bread slices at once (you probably don’t) do a few slices first, and you can soak the other ones while you are cooking the French toast. If you are working with a really small pot or bowl, and you have to do one slice at a time, consider stacking a plate with soaked pieces, and then employing a friend to keep soaking the rest while you start cooking.
Place a frying pan on your stove, on low heat. Add a little bit of oil, and when warm, place as many soaked bread slices in the pan as you can comfortably fit. Cook on each side until a deep golden brown; time will depend on how hot your stove is, but note that these can easily burn so keep an eye on them. Once cooked on each side, remove from the pan and continue cooking until you have cooked all of your slices.
Top with whatever you have on hand; maple syrup, honey, peanut butter, jam, perhaps even a sprinkling of trail mix.
Camp Notes is a big high five to the fun of sleeping outdoors and all that comes along with it. You know, camping and stuff.