One of the unique things that my family did when I was growing up was to have breakfast picnics at a local forest preserve. We never did this with just the four of us, but as a planned event with extended family or friends. I remember having a breakfast picnic with my Aunt Ginny and Uncle Jack — perhaps that was the last one. I think it was when Jeremy was visiting us one year.
Anyway, we’d load up the car with bacon, eggs, coffee, cast iron pans, an aluminum stovetop percolator, flatware, dishes, tumblers and cups. We’d drive the 10 minutes or so to the forest preserve and unpack it all. Since the breakfast was being cooked over an open flame, the men did all the cooking. The kids ran around and played on nearby swings, the women set the tables.
Dad always made “egg coffee”, claiming the egg helped keep the grounds out of people’s cups. I don’t remember ever tasting it. My Aunt Ginny would not drink it — I don’t exactly blame her.
A quick Google search suggests my dad had a point about the egg keeping the grounds out of people’s cups.
Adding the egg helps clarify the coffee, allowing the grounds to separate from the water easily. The egg white extracts the bitterness from the grounds and enhances the caffeine. The result is a light, clear brew with absolutely no bitterness or acidity and a velvety texture that’s easy to drink.The Spruce Eats: Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee
I think my dad learned this from his mother who was Danish — so maybe the Danes also made egg coffee.
These occasions were so special — a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and the food tasted better eating at a picnic table outside. (Now that I think about this — lots of people had this experience, but it was usually during a camping trip. My family was not a camping kind of family, so this was special to me.
The impetus for this blog post are the dishes that we ate off. I have them in a box and should get rid of them, but just can’t bring myself to toss them. I won’t eat off the dishes or drink out of the cups or tumblers because they are probably packed with carcinogens. Below are a few plates and drinkware.
I even have the picnic basket that once held these plates and drinkware, but it’s full of other things somewhere in the kneewall.