The family vacations we took with my parents were typically to parks in California. Sequoia, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe. They were simple vacations, all within driving distance. There were eight of us, and we usually stayed in cabins inside the parks, ate in the park concessions, and spent our days hiking or going on ranger walks.
We just returned from a family trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and though my parents are no longer alive, I thought of them often during this particular trip. I knew how much my father would have enjoyed the wildlife, and I was sure that my excitement at seeing bison and bears would have paled in comparison to what his reaction might have been. I thought of my mother and knew how much she would have loved being with us, to have had the opportunity to see her grandchildren all grown up, and get to know her granddaughter-in-law. I knew that they would have “kvelled” when their youngest grandson broke the family record of never having caught a fish, by catching a beautiful trout in Lake Yellowstone. I was grateful for the memories I had of watching my mother prepare fish, so when I found myself suddenly faced with the task, I was able to stun, kill, gut, and scale the trout as my husband and kids looked on. An hour later the trout was presented to us on platters, graciously prepared by the chef at Lake Lodge.
We’ve been home for a week, but I am still thinking of our trip, and especially Yellowstone. Instead of our typical Shabbat dinner, tonight we are having fish. Trout, of course.
As one of the guides said to me, “Americans are always going somewhere else, but there is plenty of beauty in our own backyard.” Amen and Happy 4th of July. Shabbat Shalom.
The chef at Lake Lodge told me she soaked the trout in milk for a few minutes, then lightly dredged it in flour, and seasoned to taste. The only thing I changed is that I added some cornmeal to the flour mixture for extra crunch, and pan-fried the trout in my cast iron pan.
1 3-4 pound trout, boned and cut into fillets
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour and equal amount of cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
3 Tb butter
1 Tb olive oil
Soak trout in milk to cover for about 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Combine flour and cornmeal and add seasonings. Lightly dredge trout, then shake off excess coating. Put butter in a cast iron pan along with olive oil. Melt butter and place fillets in hot pan, skin side up, for about 5 minutes, depending on size. Turn over and cook an extra five minutes, adding more butter if necessary. Serve with lemon wedges, fresh corn and a cold beer.