Dream. Plan. Live.
½ an onion
1 ½ whole carrots
Few cloves of garlic
1 (12 oz) bottle of pale ale
1 pound of bacon
½ cup Whipping Cream
Start by dicing the onions rather small along with carrots. Brown the onions with garlic before adding the carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once caramelized add a full beer. Simmer until liquid is evaporated then set aside and cool. In the meantime, fry up some bacon. I like mine extra crispy, this makes crumbling the bacon easier. Again, once finished set aside. Finally, the quiche batter. Crack the eggs and add some heavy whipping cream to it with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and cream until combined.
For convenience sake (at work) I used pre-packaged pie crust for the quiche dough. However, quiche dough/ pie crust is very easy to make. Once these are made and prepped they are ready for the basecamp baking show.
Bake the crust slightly before adding the other ingredients. This will make it nice and crispy as opposed to soggy. Then layer the cheese, bacon, onion-carrot-beer mix, and pour the quiche batter on top. It takes about 20 minutes for the quiche to be cooked all the way through. Pick it up and shake slightly, if there is any hint of jiggles, bake a little longer. Depending on appetite, serving size for this is between 6 and 8 bellies (out of a 12 quart Dutch oven). ENJOY!
Mmm, look at all of those goodies!
Dice up the onions and carrots pretty small.
Time to add a little color to these onions…
&& add the carrots.
Nice and caramelized.
Everything tastes a little better with some beer.
Liquid is dissipating from vegetable concoction and bacon is sizzling.
Crispy bacon being broken down into bacon bits.
Eggs and whipping cream…
All mixed together.
All you need in your base camp pantry, ready to go.
Line the bottom and about an inch high with pie crust/ quiche dough.
Build your fire. Doesn’t have to be large, just need some hot coals.
Looking good and baking the pie crust at the same time.
DON’T OVER BAKE IT! It’s going back in on the hot coals.
The layer of cheese.
Layering onion-carrot-beer mix.
Finger licking goodness.
Pouring the quiche batter over the layers of yumyum. Don’t pour in one spot. Move it around as you pour.
Make sure not to fill over the crust!
Waiting is the worst part of this game.
Almost done! Don’t check it too often. When you do the heat escapes and it cooks slower.
&& It is finished. Enjoy!
Trouble shooting: I baked the crust for about 5 minutes and that was too long. It ended up getting a little roasty toasty on the bottom as I waited for the quiche to bake completely. Also I highly suggest making an olive oil dough or preparing a homemade pie crust for the shell instead of using pre-packaged ones from the store. It tastes much better, is cheaper in the long run, and doesn’t require much extra labor. If using an olive oil dough, it does not require the pre-bake step that the pie crust does. However, it will have a texture similar to a soft bread rather than a flaky crust.
In less than a week, yours truly, Goatman, will step back onto the Appalachian Trail to finish the last 969 miles of a thru-hike that began in 2013 with a 1200+ mile trek. The time for planning, prepping, training, and ruminating is over. And good riddance.
I know this may come as no surprise to many of you that know me, but you may as well stamp “Type B Personality” on my forehead. Making lists upon lists, worrying about details, lusting after improvement: not my style. Luckily for me, the AT isn’t an expedition. Nor is it a race, or a chore, or a job. And that’s what makes it so great. The AT is an adventure. Look that up in the dictionary.
Having read the other installments of the Return of the SLOBO series, you may think I really have everything together. Surely, a man conceited enough to presume to tell you how go on a very personal, very emotional adventure should himself be a shining example of the Fully Prepared Backpacker. Welcome to reality: I have no idea what is coming. Having hiked long-distance before, I know only one thing to be true: the trail teaches what needs knowing and nothing but putting feet to dirt is going to help you in the end.
Disconcerting? For some, I suppose. We are raised with the idea in mind that knowledge is inherently important to a task. I would argue that wisdom trumps knowledge a majority of the time. Knowing that you have 17.8 miles until you camp for the night and that water is 5.2 into the hike tells you very little about how your day is going to go. The elevation charts in the guide books are convenient fantasies and often misleading. It never rains for days on paper.
Am I saying to throw the guidebook off a cliff, sell your bag to a bear, and head off into the Great Unknown with only your cunning and sturdy stick to keep you safe? Or course not (okay, sometimes I get in a mood and say exactly that, but don’t listen to me all of the time. It’s bad for you.) I still stand by everything I said in the early articles concerning physical and mental training, buying gear that keeps your safe, happy, and moving, etc. All good ideas. Unfortunately, they are only that. Ideas. So you read the articles with good intentions in your heart, but now it’s go time and you didn’t hike as much as you wanted before setting out, your legs aren’t in the best shape they could be, you took some last minute things and now your pack is heavier than you wanted, and your mind is scattered and racing worrying about all of the “What Ifs”. Now what? Do you cancel your plans? Do you say, “Maybe next year”? Do you justify an existence in which your dreams are not manifested into reality?
You hit the trail. And you hike. And you get stronger and smarter and more wise everyday. Suddenly, you’re hiking the AT and you’ve done a week and you’re still scared, more tired than you’ve ever been, and still not so sure you’re ready for all of this. And then you hike for another week and realize that you are as strong as you want to be, that exhaustion is uplifting if related to a purpose, and that no one is ready for this! And then you hike for another week.
Excuses make terrible hiking partners.
In the end, trails are for hiking, not analyzing. I cannot wait to shut my silly mouth, strap up, and go. The next time you hear from me, I’ll have some good stories for you, I’m sure, and I’ll be sharing some here if I can.
See you out there.
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