This dish was first served to me on a campout, when I was 14. Now, when I say campout, I mean that a few leaders agreed to take a group of about twenty 14 year olds camping, to pass off some merit badge requirements for our summer camp. As we sat in a planning meeting, trying to hammer out the details, one of the leaders off-handedly mentioned that his family owned two condos near the area we were talking about camping in. All the eyes in the room were suddenly on him...and that, kids, is how my Great 4th Year Camp Out happened in a condo near the shores of Lake Chelan.
The strange digs didn't deter the more rugged of the leaders from feeding us true camping fare, though! Brother Potter pulled out a huge dutch oven in the morning and proceeded to cook us a one-pot camping feast. He called it, simply, Catastrophe.
The recipe is incredibly forgiving, and fairly adaptable. Basically, this is a mixture of breakfast meat, potatoes, onions, eggs, and (if you like), cheese. Breakfast meat can be sausage or bacon, the potatoes can be hash browns, canned potatoes, or cubed potatoes. Some recipes call for cheddar, some call for Velveeta, and I leave it out entirely.
So. That's clear as mud, eh? I'll give you what I do for my family of 4. With a side of fresh fruit, this is a great breakfast for a lazy Saturday morning, or a fun dinner for a busy weeknight!
1/2 pound of bacon, raw, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups of hash browns (I use the cartons of dried hash browns, and use 1 carton)
6 eggs, scrambled
Toppings: (Take your pick)
In a large dutch oven, cook your bacon until it starts to lose its fat and is sizzling. Add your chopped onions and continue to cook until the bacon and onions are cooked to your liking.
Drain off the fat (or leave it in, if you're feeling feisty), and add your hash browns. Don't stir too much at this point - you want the hash browns to get a little crispy, instead of just steaming them. Let them cook in the remaining bacon grease for a few minutes, then use a spatula to sort of turn the potatoes over, in clumps. Let them brown again. Repeat the process, stirring to break up the browned potatoes, until everything is looking nice.
Finally, add your beaten eggs and continue to cook (gently folding the mixture), until the eggs are completely cooked.
Scoop into bowls and serve with your choice of toppings. My kids prefer ketchup!