I've been thinking about camping a lot lately. One of the reasons I've been thinking about camping a lot lately is that it's more fun than thinking about cleaning pee off the floor. We have just completed our three day family festival of all things execratory, Happy Underpants Days! Some people call it potty training. With the big brother it was called Pee Pee Summer Camp and it took place almost entirely in the backyard in August. That was better. This time around there has been a lot of pee on the wood floors. (All rugs were removed in preparation last Thursday night.)
On Sunday morning, day 3 of Happy Underpants Days!, I decided that a powerful breakfast was in order to get us through our last day. I made hash - the sort that my dad used to make in the giant cast iron skillet over an open fire outside of the VW camper van somewhere in rural Oregon or coastal California on bundled up mornings when all that fresh air and running around made everything delicious, even canned corned beef.
Mine didn't have that. It had little cubes of soft sweet potato, and tempeh, and onions, and kale.
Felix: What's that?
Me: Sweet Potato Hash.
Felix: My have some?
Me: Sure. Why don't you try mine first to make sure you like it.
Felix: Mmm. My want my own.
Felix: What's this? (Scrutinizing a fleck of green in his hash.)
(Here we go, right? This is the point at which he would usually reject the whole kale-infected thing.)
Felix: (Continues eating.)
Apparently somewhere around the 6000th time that we read Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice while sitting on the potty, he got pumped about kale. (On the way to pick up his brother today he also informed me that he is totally pumped about his new Monsters Inc. Potty Seat that I emergency ran out and bought at one of the low points of Happy Underpants Days!. We have since had the opportunity to try out two other potty seats that are way better designed but have fewer monsters which was the key selling point for us. Aw, it seems like just yesterday that there were no licensed characters in our living environment.)
So I was waiting to take the boys camping until Felix was done with naps. And then all of a sudden somewhere on interstate 5 on our way to visit the grandparents after Christmas, I realized that Felix is, in fact, much to our dismay, done with naps, and on the bright side, we can go camping! So, to take a quick break from being extremely enthusiastic about urination, I have been occasionally escaping to the internet to research campgrounds and long for a canoe.
And I've got breakfast covered. This big ol' hearty skillet of balanced nutrition and stick to your ribs delicious would be the perfect way to start the day in the woods. I'll dice everything at home and throw the whole thing in a ziplock bag ready to go in the pan. But until we get a family tent and the weather warms up a bit, this totally works for bundled up mornings right here too.
Sweet Potato Hash
This is the perfect thing to make with a leftover baked sweet potato. If you don't have one lying around, you can also just stab a raw one and pop it in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
makes: 4 servings
takes: about 20 minutes
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh, cubed
- 1 large shallot or half an onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups finely chopped kale
- 1 large sweet potato (about 1/2 pound), cooked and cubed
- 2 tablespoons mild cooking oil
- (To serve) hot sauce, chopped toasted pecans, salt and pepper
Toss all that except the oil together in a ziplock bag if you're going to take this on the road or even if you just want to be ready to throw it on the stove come morning. Heat a large (cast-iron ideally) skillet over medium heat with the oil. Put everything in the pan. Stir it up and press it down in the pan with the back of a spatula. Let it brown. (Alton Brown even has a recipe where he has you press your hash down with a heavy pan lid right now.) When it's smelling delicious and getting a beautiful golden crust (about 5 - 10 minutes), stir it up. Then press it down again to (Alton) brown some more. (About 5 - 10 more minutes.) Depending on how brown it's looking, you might even want to do the stir and press one more time.
Dish up a heaping plate and top with a few good shakes of vinegary hot sauce and salt and pepper and a sprinkling of finely chopped toasted pecans.