This past March, I went winter camping with my kids. It was one of those campouts when, in the rush to leave, things were left behind. While trying to fix breakfast the next morning I realized I had forgotten to bring a frying pan or spatula. Without either, I was unable to scramble the eggs for breakfast. While pondering what to do, I remembered I had once seen a friend cook scrambled eggs by boiling them in a plastic bag. I had often cooked oatmeal in Ziploc bags by pouring boiling water into it, but I had never tried it with eggs. I had always been curious. So, I pulled out a Ziploc and cracked a couple of eggs into the bag. I zipped up the bag and squished it in my hands to scramble the eggs. Then it went into the boiling water. The results were pretty fair. It would have been better if I had remembered salt and pepper. The only thing was it didn’t really taste like scrambled eggs but an omelet.
That got me thinking. All I would have to do is to chop up normal omelet ingredients (orange peppers, onions, etc.) and toss them into a Ziploc bag. And make sure to pack a couple of eggs. Then all I would have to do is crack in the eggs, squish it up, and boil them. Since that campout in March I have wanted to try it out. Who wouldn’t like a delicious hot omelet (without the mess) on a cold morning while camping? But alas, I have not had the opportunity to do that. So this last Saturday morning after I fixed the kids breakfast I tried it. I chopped up onion, green pepper, mushrooms, cheese, and sausages which I tossed in a Ziplock bag with a couple of eggs. I also put in some salt and pepper. After squishing it up in my hands I dropped the whole bag into some boiling water.
Almost immediately one of the kids came screaming to me about some disaster and I had to help them out. Since the omelet was boiling instead of frying, I didn’t have to worry about burning it. After a few minutes I came back and it seemed cooked. So I pulled it out, dropped it on a plate, and ate it. Let’s just say it was perfect. It tasted just like a regular omelet. It was also shaped nicely because I didn’t scramble it while trying to flip it. My wife tried a bite and loved it too. Best of all, the only clean up was throwing away the Ziploc bag. So now we have a new recipe in our camping cookbook.
Ziploc Omelets would also work well for a multiple day trip. You just have to make sure the ingredients will stay fresh without refrigeration. All the ones I listed above will last several days, but you would have to use vegetarian sausage. Eggs are fine as long as you leave them in the shell.
While I was “cleaning up”, Rebecca reminded me of another tip. Since the boiling water is still clean, you can reuse it for your morning cup of hot chocolate, reducing your fuel needs for the meal. That is true for us since we always boil water in the morning for hot chocolate anyways. With this meal we cooked everything in one pot at the same time.