It’s gotten so Ellen Petty doesn’t even have to call anymore.
The Pawlet resident and coordinator of the Pawlet Fire Department’s annual Wild Game and Chicken and Biscuit Dinner doesn’t have to look hard to find volunteers.
“It’s gotten to the point where people come to me and say they want to help with the game supper,” Petty said.
Dozens of community members come together each year to make the event, which will be held for the 45th time on Saturday, Nov. 16, a reality.
Nearly everything, from the venison meatballs to the coffee is donated by members of the close-knit community.
“The whole town gets involved,” Petty said. We solicit mashed potatoes and pies; Cabot cheese is donated; the drinks get donated and the veggie salads on each table are all donated.”
Throughout the year, local outdoorsmen donate the spoils from their hunt. Petty said volunteers will cook roughly 15 venison roasts and four to five bear roasts. There will also be wild goose and chicken and biscuits to complement the nearly 80 pies that have been cooked for tomorrow’s meal.
Petty said organizers contact local residents asking for donations of everything from soft drinks to vegetables.
“We try to be accommodating depending on what people want to donate,” she said.
Some of those donations, like pie, come ready to eat. Others, such as squash, need to be prepared prior to the meal.
“Everybody does their thing and brings it to me,” Petty said.
On the day of the event the food is brought to the firehouse. Members of the fire department dish out the food to hungry diners and other volunteers make sure glasses and salad bowls are full.
Petty said that according to lore the event, which is one of two major fundraisers for the Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department, was originally held in the town hall and then the Pawlet Church before finding its home at the fire house on Route 133.
Last year, 357 people attended the event. Petty said many people from out of town plan hunting trips and family outings around the dinner.
“We average around 300 people. It all depends on the weather. Fortunately, it sounds like the weather will be good this weekend,” Petty said. “We get a lot of people from over the mountain.
The menu will consist of moose meatballs, venison and bear roasts, venison stew, venison meatloaf, chicken and biscuits and salad. There will also be a hodgepodge of homemade pies and drinks available.
But the food is second to the spirit of community togetherness.
“It’s a community event,” Petty said.
Serving will begin at 5 p.m. and the dinner is held at the firehouse on Route 133 in Pawlet. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children younger than 12.
For more information, call Petty at 325-3495, the firehouse at 325-3222 and leave a message.
Pawlet isn’t the only game supper that will be held in the Lakes Region during the next few weeks.
The community of Rupert will host its Gourmet Game Supper the following week.
The meal will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Rupert Fire House located on Route 315 in Rupert.
This dinner has attracted hundreds of diners over the years and expectations are that the tradition will continue.
The menu will include but is not limited to: venison stroganoff, vension Swedish meatballs, teriyaki moose, sweet and sour moose meatballs, bear, pheasant, duck, and this year a little bit of gator and for non-game lover’s, roast beef and turkey. Of course, non-carnivores will enjoy mashed potatoes, Vermont maple syrup pies and cakes.
The cost is $11; children 12 and under cost $5 and proceeds benefit the fire department.
There will also be having a gun raffle, and Mettawee Community School sixth graders will be waiting tables for tips and having a 50/50 raffle to benefit their Boston trip in the spring, while Rupert 4-Her’s will be holding a silent auction with lots of items.
If you have any questions or need more information, call 394-2491 (evenings) or 394-7844 the day of the event.
The 44th annual Tinmouth Game Supper will also be held on Saturday, Nov. 23, allowing ambitious diners to attend two dinners on the same day.
This classic Vermont community event is the Tinmouth Volunteer Fire Department’s largest annual fundraiser and attracts upward of 500 people every year.
The all-you-can-eat menu includes: venison and moose sauerbraten, game cornbread chili, secret marinated roasts of venison, moose, and bear; smoked moose, wild Italian meatballs. Also: chicken and biscuits, mashed potatoes and squash, salads, rolls, beans, and over 100 homemade pies.
Serving will begin at 4 p.m. and takeout will be available.
The cost is $15; $10 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children younger than 6.