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PA Baker 01-17-2007 11:54 AM

Not My Average Tuesday Night
Last night, DH and I attended the inaugural gala for the PA governor. What an amazing experience! What made it more exciting (probably only for me:rolleyes: ) was that as we entered there was a sign saying that Food Network was going to be taping a segment. I'm not sure what show--it's been awhile since we've watched much tv around here because of Sofie, but there was another sign that said something about the one food station being filmed for a Chef's Challenge.

Anyway, it was a black tie affair, with about 3,000 people in attendance. We were able to get more dressed up that we have in years! The first two hours were a concert, featuring such a huge variety of performers--gospel choirs, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Tramps, Mike Reid (a prolific songwriter who's written all sorts of famous songs, including I Can't Make You Love Me), Monica Mancini (Henry Mancini's daughter) and even Jon Bon Jovi who performed a duet with our first lady.

The food was a wide variety. Governor Rendell is an infamous junk-food junkie so they had cheese steaks from Pat's King of Cheese steaks in Philly, a sausage sandwich from his favorite greasy spoon here in Harrisburg, Yocco's hot dogs (famous in eastern PA). But then there also was an amazing carving station, great crudettes, and the station that I think was being featured by Food Network which was serving wonderful food made with ingredients native to PA--apples, mushrooms and venison. I'm not a venison fan usually, but these things were wonderful. We sampled a venison, raisin and apple sausage baked in philo dough, spicy venison wontons, an individual pizza with mushrooms and goat cheese on puff pastry, jumbo shrimp stuffed with venison and mushrooms and wrapped in bacon, and some part of venison (DH said if you're not sure but it tastes good, don't ask!:lol: )wrapped around steamed asparagus and a slice of mushrooms.

The dessert table was huge, but we were awfully full by then. I had a mini eclair, cheesecake, a great mini fruit tart and an amazing hazelnut tort that had about 8 very thin, delicate layers of hazelnut mousse, chocolate cake and some sort of luscious cream. OK, we weren't that full by then!:pig:

So I guess you'll have to keep an eye out for PA on the Food Network!

RMS 01-17-2007 11:56 AM

Sounds exciting (and delicious) PA Baker, thanks for sharing your fun with us!

jkath 01-17-2007 11:58 AM

Wowee! Sounds like quite an eventful Tuesday night, PA!! How fun!

Katie H 01-17-2007 12:00 PM

Sounds like a great party, PA Baker. Wasn't it nice to dress up in "big" people clothes for a change? Real life dress-ups!!

Buck would've pulled up a chair to the section of the table with the Yocco hot dogs. He's an Allentown boy and, every time we visit back there, he likes to stop at the nearest Yocco's stand for some dogs. I've found a recipe on the Internet that comes close to theirs, so we can almost replicate his experience here at home.

Glad you had a fun time.

urmaniac13 01-17-2007 12:02 PM

Wow you had some evening to remember!! Glad that you had such a grand time, I wish I could have sneaked into at least that dessert segment!!:tongue:

I spent about a year in Scranton many years ago, so I am familiar with some local specialties... are Yocco's hot dogs like Connie Island's Texas wiener?

kitchenelf 01-17-2007 12:04 PM

You certainly know how to make the most of a night out!!!!!!!!!!! How exciting. I'll just stay glued to Food TV so I don't miss it! :chef:

middie 01-17-2007 12:12 PM

Jon Bon Jovi who performed a duet with our first lady

I know you told him about me didn't you Pa ???????????

PA Baker 01-17-2007 12:35 PM

Middie, you seriously were the first person I thought of when I heard that he was performing! We were about a dozen rows back from the stage. DH took a couple pictures with the low-res camera on his phone, so if they turn out I'll post one for you!

Katie, I didn't know Buck was an Allentown boy! I'm an Allentown girl! I lived there for a good half of my childhood. You'll have to ask him if he's heard of Wescosville (by Trexlertown, where the Velodrome is)--that's where we lived.

Katie H 01-17-2007 12:40 PM

PA Baker, I'm glad we have unlimited long distance with our phone provider. If you and Buck ever got on the phone together, it would be all over. Of course, he knows of Trexlertown, et al. His mother still lives in Allentown. Been there almost all of her 92 years. Just moved out of the family home of 40+ years into a small apartment.

We have plans to get back to Allentown sometime this spring. Look out Yocco's hot dogs!!

Dorney Park rocks!!! At least the old Dorney Park. The new one is beyond belief for us old geezers.

PA Baker 01-17-2007 04:03 PM


Originally Posted by urmaniac13
I spent about a year in Scranton many years ago, so I am familiar with some local specialties... are Yocco's hot dogs like Connie Island's Texas wiener?

Sorry, ur, I didn't answer your question earlier. I'm not quite sure what a Texas wiener is, but I know a Yocco hot dog has a chili sauce on it. Actually the dogs are kept in it and they fish them out so they're really well-coated. Sounds unappetizing the way I described it, but people love them!:lol: :smile:

Buck 01-17-2007 04:57 PM

Hey, PA!
Katie told me I'd want to post to this thread and she was right. Native born and raised Allentown boy. Lived in the west end near Cedar Beach swimming pool. Ate tons of Yocco's and miss them to this day. Graduated Allen High School class of '62. Loved Dorney Park before they went and messed it up.
For Christmas Katie gave me a piece of heaven: a jenny-wine authentic imported from Lancaster County Stolzfus ring bologna. Life just doesn't get any better than that!:clap:
Nice talkin's to ya.

JoAnn L. 01-17-2007 06:56 PM

Dear PA, I loved hearing about your great evening. Thanks.:smile:

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