Crossway Church held its annual Critter Cooking dinner on Saturday, Feb. 4. The line was out the door at this event with more than 300 guests who came to taste the foods of the land.
The menu consisted of turkey burgers, sausage, hash, lasagna, chili, beaver stew and wontons, wild turkey Brunswick stew, catfish, squirrel, rabbit and more. In previous years they have had alligator, quail and crab. This year no one had these to share. As for those who do not have the taste for the wild animal foods cooked, there was rice, chicken bog, corn, ham with rice and Country Bull. As the guests had their plates ready for some good eatin’ vittles there were younger children whose parents asked the server not to tell them what they are putting on their plate, they think it’s all chicken. Others were lined up to eat a big plate of vittles while for some it was their first visit and wanted to ‘try’ the vittles.
The cooks were busy early Saturday morning cooking-up the vittles with the ladies in the kitchen making potato salad, desserts and making tea and lemonade. Smokers, grills and pots were fired up at the back of the church with 17 men spending time cooking and telling stories of their catch. Larry, one of the cooks, said, “We catch the critters throughout the year and eat some and save some just for this event.” He shared his concerns of the youth today that are not prepared to live off the land and keep up the farms in our area. He said he felt the kids will sell off the land because farming the land with crops and animals is hard work and feels one day there will be a time when some will be forced to learn the trade in farming just to survive. He said, “It is good to take the kids out for squirrel or rabbit hunting, to start at an early age to teach them how to survive off the land and the opportunity to share gun safety.”
Outdoor activities were popular for all ages using a bow and arrow aiming at a prop of deer, bear and bobcat. Clay shooting with shotguns gave guests a chance to show off their aim and hit. But, the one that struck most was the bow and arrow challenge where there was a three-way tie shooting 60 feet. They had to move the target another 10 feet to have a winner. Grant Nealy won the challenge and won an archery bow for his win. Also included in the outdoor sports was ax throwing, where both men and women competed in hitting the target.
Vendors had their wares set up in a room off the dining hall. G & J Bling Bling selling jewelry, DWG Taxidermy (843-319-8675), Coastal Trail Outfitter (www.teamcto.org) promotes youth hunting and fishing club, Outcast Water Fowl, and Gobbler Down (www.Gobblerdown.com) who was selling tickets for $15,000 worth of guns that will be raffled and winners will be contacted by phone. Brad Gray from Aynor said, “We support the wounded veterans and take them hunting throughout the country, we travel to areas like North and South Dakota and Texas to name a few.”
The organization’s 2019 Hunts of Honor website addresses the program (www.huntsofhonor.org).