Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Raccoon Dinner on Groundhog Day

A postcard summoning us to the Danville, Ohio Lions' Club's 65th Annual Raccoon Dinner arrived several weeks ago. Phil and I dutifully loaded the pit bull and the mini-shepherd into the car and headed for our cabin in Knox County. This festive community fundraiser happened to fall on February 2nd this year. Phil's sister, Cathy, arrived from Marietta on Monday afternoon. She and I donned our new raccoon socks and headed for Danville. Phil followed, stopping on the way to pick up our good friend and neighbor, David.

Hundreds of people crowded into Saint Luke's Community Center for the dinner. The rafters were hung with icicle lights. Tickets for several fifty-fifty drawings were raffled off, and also a hunting rifle. Cathy won $111.00 at the the fifty-fifty drawn at 6 PM. None of us held the winning ticket for the hunting rifle, which was just as well, since at least three of us are probably too old at this point to learn to shoot straight. People come from miles around for this event. I don't think Joe the Plumber showed up, but the diner who traveled the greatest distance came from Sydney, Australia.

Here's what we had for dinner: baked raccoon, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, rolls, and homemade cake. YUM! Although raccoon does not taste like chicken, it's not that bad. Kind of reminds me of beef. The raccoons are trapped during raccoon season. They are frozen until the weekend before the dinner, when about 25 volunteers turn on their ovens. They dust the cut-up raccons with flour and brown them in Crisco before baking them to fork-tenderness.

Cathy had some homework to do before a meeting of the Muskingum Valley Presbytery in New Philadelphia, OH, the next day, so we two did not stay for the after-dinner program. After the crowd was serenaded by Danville High School's own "Devil Land Jazz Band", they enjoyed a talk by Bill Hosket, who was an All American at Ohio State University and a member of the U.S. basketball team that won a gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.


Xanadu said...

I've never tasted raccoon (or groundhog)! LOL. Sounds lie a good time was had by all. $111 is nothing to sneeze at. Good for her. Hugs.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh my goodness. We've run over a couple of raccoons with our car. (One was big enough to do $1,300 worth of damage.) I've never contemplated eating one!

forsythia said...

Xanadu and Ruth: I never thought I'd eat raccoon either, but it's for a good cause. The Danville Lions Club funds all kinds of community projects with the money they raise.

happypitbull said...

Raccoon, lol! And here I thought I was outlandish for cooking venison and quail from local sources. We're trying to eat foods that are "greener" and healthier. Is raccoon considered a healthy earth-friendly food? Then again, I don't know where I would get raccoon around here.