April 2, 2016
For the first half of my bike touring life, breakfast was instant, as in instant oatmeal. I didn’t use a stove to cook; I used it to heat water. Period. At one point, I gave up on carrying a stove altogether. It was a lot of weight to lug around for the limited pleasure of hot water and packaged oatmeal. Then I met Kat.
Breakfast on the road has never been the same. She is a camp breakfast goddess. She travels with a small kitchen kit filled with herbs and spices including — smoked sea salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, dried shallot flakes, and sun-dried cherry tomatoes.
And we carry another essential element … eggs. I never thought of packing eggs while bike touring (do it carefully). Eggs were reserved for car camping. But don’t you need to keep them refrigerated? In the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Scandinavia you do, although eggs purchased in these countries will last for a few days outside the cold box. In the rest of the world, eggs don’t need to be refrigerated. That’s why you see them for sale in outdoor markets. Here’s a good explanation of Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn’t.
One of the first words we learn in a foreign language is eggs. Eggs are an inexpensive, versatile source of protein, and they use a lot less fuel to cook than pasta.
Kat is a master of bike breakfast burritos, omelets, scrambles, and frittatas. Each journey brings new flavors: omelets sprinkled with Nigella seeds in Turkey, breakfast burritos fattened up with giant avocados in Colombia, scrambled eggs laced with chili peppers in Thailand, simple eggs sprinkled with fresh green kampot peppercorns in Cambodia. Traveling with Kat makes any bike tour, a culinary tour as well. My life is better for it.
So spice up your bike travels, get creative with campsite cuisine, and leave the instant packaged oatmeal for emergencies.
Photos by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at yellowtentadventures.com.