Last weekend we loaded up an all-American crew and hit the upper Buffalo River to get back to nature, do some soul-searching, some cooking, and some river swimming. We were searching for the reset button and found exactly what we needed.
Saturday morning at a campsite is one of the best places to be in the world, just for the few moments where the world around you gets you moving. Waking up, getting the coffee and fire going, setting up the stoves... it always feels magical to us. It's the first pull of fresh coffee. The cracking sound of bacon crisping up. The good conversations, and even the silence of just watching a meal slowly come together. It's where we feel at home.
We decide to go with our mountain breakfast hash, which is one of the tastiest things our hands know how to create. We start out with two kinds of bacon, with the Arkansas-style hitting our 1920's cast iron skillet first We use our Camp Chef Everest, a pretty killer camp stove. Toss a little Black Gold on there and you have just entered a little place called heaven on earth.
You need this in your life right now. I mean just look at how delicious it is:
Once the Arkansas-style bacon is done (which by the way, is from the Boston roast/shoulder of the hog), we throw on our normal thick-cut slab of bacon next. More Black Gold? You betcha. For these thinner cuts, we season before they hit the pan – definitely helps coat them better and keep the pan cleaner during the cook.
The above photo needed 100% more American flags in it. We'll fix that next time. Anyway, this is about the time we start getting excited. Our group starts wakes up and moseys over to the table in search of coffee, bacon treats, and answers to life's questions. This is what real community looks like, and it's hard to find.
When the bacon is about done, we start our mountain of hash browns to form the base of our hash. Using unpeeled red potatoes and 1" square-cut, these crisp up so perfectly. When you're doing hash browns, use Olde Tymers. Every. Single. Time. Try it once and you'll figure out why this is one of life's necessities. And be sure to toss in some yellow onions and fresh red peppers, thin/long sliced.
We slow cook 30 eggs in the bacon cast iron skillet, leaving a decent amount of bacon grease to add perfect flavor. There's no other way in our minds to cook eggs. Soon as the onion and red pepper hash browns finish up, we toss the chopped up bacon back in with the potatoes, then drop the finished eggs. Stir all the good Lord's gifts in the cast iron Dutch oven, and serve to all large Americans in a 50-foot radius.
This is where we punt our cameras into the river and dive into breakfast with no time to document anything else. We guarantee there were many happy faces and stomachs full of yet another Dead Rooster Co. life-force meal. We hit a 6-mile trail after this to the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies. One of the roughest hikes we've done with how hot it was, but with the fuel of our breakfast hash and a sense of American exploration in our blood, it's always worth it to see things this beautiful:
– A band of large Americans