January 16, 2010

Ahhh....the Pennsylvania Farm Show

I'll admit it, I haven't been to the Pennsylvania Farm Show since I was in 8th grade as part of a school trip - which was almost 20 years ago. Time flies when you're having fun I guess...

No, I'm not going this year either (it's ends this weekend), but something about squaredancing tractors is sort of amusing to a city boy like myself.

What am I getting at? Well besides the large population of livestock and Amish folks, the one thing I fondly recall from the PA Farm Show was the food court! We're not just talking fresh fruits & vegetables (yeah, there's a lot of that healthy stuff), but there's also obnoxiously gluttonous delights like BBQ, pies, milkshakes, apple dumplings, and gigantic sticky buns!  I think I took care of a month's worth of caloric intake that day on sweets alone.

There's also a unique concoction called Trout Chowder. While I've never had it, after looking at the recipe it looks like it could be tasty.  The only ingredient I'm skeptical on is the ketchup.  I'm half-Italian, so ketchup in/on anything but a burger & fries seems like some sort of sin.  But then again, everything is better with bacon!

Deluxe Trout Chowder
1 pound trout fillets fresh or frozen
1/4 cup chopped bacon or salt pork
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups boiling water
1 can (1 pound) tomatoes
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
chopped parsley

Remove skin and bones from fresh or thawed frozen fish. Cut fish into 1 inch pieces. Fry bacon or salt pork in a 3 quart saucepan until crisp. Add onion and cook until tender. Add water, vegetables, ketchup, and seasonings except parsley. Cover and simmer 40 to 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add fish, cover and simmer about 10 minutes longer, or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6

Recipe courtesy of Pennsylvania Aquaculture Association & PennLive.com


  1. Hey, that looks good! I have never filleted a trout, though. Always just gutted them and fried them whole. What would be the smallest trout that could be caught that would yield a decent fillet?

  2. The Farm Show and the Sportsman's Show were annual events for us growing up in Lebanon. they became sort of cheesy, but now that I've moved away, I sort of miss them


  3. Owl - I'd think you could get an ok fillet from a trout about 10". You could maybe go down to 8" but would need some mad knife skills. I don't harvest that often, but if I do it's usually only on "opening day" stockies that are typically 12-14" at minimum.

    Wolfy - I hear ya!