Sportsman's spread: Wild game on the menu for community dinner
Anyone who's never eaten wild game before — or has a hankering for some more — will have the chance Saturday to sample a large spread at Flat Springs Baptist Church.
Pastor Gary McCullough, an avid hunter when he's not preaching, is working with other church members to put together the seventh annual dinner. It will include game local outdoorsmen brought in from the air, land and sea, as well as scrumptious side dishes and desserts. The dinner, which is free and open to anyone who wants to attend, starts at 6 p.m. at the church at 4148 Deep River Road.
"We'll have some saltwater fish, mostly trout," McCullough said. "... And numerous venison dishes — lasagna, steaks, barbecue, all kinds of venison dishes. And I haven't got this confirmed yet, but we usually have some wild duck. And we will have beaver, raccoon, nutria. In the past, we've had bear and alligator meat, but I haven't gotten those yet this year."
Plus there will be standard dishes like baked beans, slaw, hushpuppies and more.
"There will also be chicken for those who don't want to partake in the wild game, and there will also be a table of desserts made by our ladies," McCullough said.
He said the meal is just a good time for fellowship. At least one church member, Randy Keck, actually joined because of the dinner. Keck now leads the church's ministry to provide a large meal once a month to the Ronald McDonald House, and he's also helping out with Saturday's feast.
He provided the raccoon meat and wants to help prepare some quail and deer.
"I also want to cook a mystery meat," Keck said. "I'm not going to tell anybody what it is 'til after we're done eating. It'll be a surprise, but a good one."
After the dinner, there will be a speaker and door prizes. The prizes include donations from local businesses and from an artist who attends the church. The speaker will be multiple-time state turkey calling champion and devout Christian, Bill Williams.
There will also be a display of stuffed animal trophies provided by McCullough and his wife, along with fellow churchgoers and Cape Fear Taxidermy.
Keck encouraged anyone who's free on Saturday to come on out.
"It's a good time of fellowship for the sportsmen and even for the people that don't hunt," he said. "It gives everybody a chance to sample some of the meat the good Lord provides us."