I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Men’s Wild Game Dinner again this year and the fare was nothing short of spectacular. Now, to put a fork in a possibly controversial topic before it can get wound up, this dinner is not a gathering for men to complain about their wives and lives or a “networking” event where we men get together to plot how we’re going to exclude women from [insert anything here]. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand of us meet in a church to eat a fantastic wild game dinner and discuss ways in which we can be better men to our wifes and fathers to our children. Dinner is then followed by a keynote speaker who shares his story in finding God and becoming a better husband and father. There are a few women (literally, like three this year) who attend and dozens who volunteer so the event is anything but estrogen free, but it’s really a pep rally for men t celebrate manly things.
So, moving on to the dinner it is important to remember that those of us who enjoy and indeed shoot our dinners are generally not too worried about presentation – if the grub’s good, it’s all good… For starters, we were treated to elk (or maybe it was moose – can’t remember) chili and venison summer sausage, cheese and crackers. Both the summer sausage and chili were fantastic. On a side note, last year they had squirrel noodle soup (think chicken noodle soup only with squirrel instead – it was fabulous) and I really missed that this year.
We sat and talked about hunting and fishing as we ate our appetizers, trading stories of deer camp, bear camp, fishing and attempting to fish on the US/Canadian border (ah, you’ve gotta love bureaucracy). Promptly at 6:30 tables were dismissed to line up for the main dinner. Again, remember that the presentation means nothing if the grub’s good – and oh my was it…
Starting from the upper right corner of the plate and moving clockwise, barbecued goose and duck (a little overcooked so it was rather tough), wild turkey and stuffing (phenomenal), BBQ venison meatballs (spectacular), Au gratin potatoes (delicious), Fried pike (amazing) and obscured by the cole slaw cup, upper middle, was venison roast with carrots and onions which was my absolute favorite – it was so masterfully prepared that you could cut the meat with a plastic fork – I don’t have enough of a masterful command of the English language to explain exactly how good that roast venison was.
If you read my post from yesterday, about paczkis, you can look at that dinner and think one of two things… That hypocrite, or the more proper: I was saving space for the good stuff! The truth is, I don’t have any idea what the calorie count is on that dinner, nor do I care - and you can be certain that there wasn’t a crumb left on that plate (cupcake included). In the end, I’d much rather ride off that dinner of starch, protein, carbs and veggies than a couple of paczkis which nutritionally, add up to bupkis. After all, when you look at food as fuel, the choice is obvious.
After dinner and discussing manly things with the guys at my table, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be home with my wife (who I’d talked to earlier in the day and I could tell she was having a tough go) and my kids, so I made a quiet early exit before the speaker and went home to try to do some good there.