Diocesan News

Wild Game Feast Comes to David City

DAVID CITY (SNR) - Father Bernard Kimminau is bringing his traditional (and successful) wild game fundraiser to his latest parishes, St. Mary in David City and Assumption in Appleton.

All are welcome to attend the feast this Saturday, March 20, in the Aquinas High School gymnasium.

“I’m excited about how this one is going to go,” Father Kimminau said.

Father Kimminau started this fundraiser out of necessity. As pastor of St. George Parish in Morse Bluff some years ago, he needed to come up with some extra cash to pay various parish bills. He decided to use all the wild game he’d acquired through his hunting and fishing trips to host a feast for his parishioners.

About 50 people attended the first event. They enjoyed it so much, it became an annual tradition. More people attended every year.

When Father Kimminau transferred to St. Mary in Dawson and St. Anne in Shubert, he brought the wild game feast idea with him. His new parishioners were equally enthusiastic. In fact, the annual feast became so popular, they eventually had to move it into the 4-H Building at Humboldt to accommodate the crowd.

Of course, with that many guests, Father Kimminau hasn’t been able to provide all the meat single-handedly for a number of years. Fortunately, he has parishioners who also enjoy hunting and fishing to help out. He also has a rather elaborate system of networking.

“I have people who give me game, and people who have connections,” he said. “We have game from Sterling, Falls City, Omaha, western Nebraska, Montana…”

The menu is surprisingly varied, with basics like duck, pheasant and deer, as well as less common fare, such as elk, buffalo, big-horned sheep, frog legs, turtle and crawfish.

Not only are there many different kinds of game, each item will be prepared in a different way.

“Not everything is battered and fried,” Father Kimminau stressed. “I’ll have lasagnas, meatloaf, barbecued meat, kabobs, some roasted meats… I’ll have roast pig with sauerkraut and dumplings.”

One parishioner is making a traditional Cajun dish, crawfish etouffee, a tangy, tomato-based stew. Another is amending his crab rangoon recipe with a different ingredient.

Father Kimminau, who has become quite a cook, is going to use some wild turkey to make cordon bleu. He’s actually tried this before but had some trouble keeping the ham and cheese inside the turkey. Now he’s got a parishioner with a solution.

In fact, he’s got a couple of helpers with catering experience. They will be a big help as Father Kimminau supervises the preparation and cooking of some 30 to 40 main dishes. New wild game selections this year include bear, mountain lion, and beaver.

“The biggest problem with wild game is sometimes people overcook it. If you overcook it, it can be tough and dry,” he explained. “It takes effort.”
Meanwhile, ladies of the parishes will provide the salads, side dishes and desserts. Father Kimminau is certain that anybody who comes will find dishes they enjoy.

“Just keep an open mind,” advises the priest, who has personally tasted a great variety of wild game, including sandhill crane, alligator, moose and many other delicacies.

In addition to the adventurous wild game feast, the parishioners have also organized a silent auction and raffle to add to the festivities. Prizes include guns, a handmade quilt, gift certificates from area businesses, beefsteaks and homemade pastries.

“The big part of it is just to get people together to have some fun and experience something different,” Father Kimminau said. “Come and have a good time!”

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the meal will start around 7 p.m. The door charge is $15 per person. For more information, call St. Mary Parish in David City at 402-367-3579.

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