Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another Prairie Fairies Fowl Supper for the Annals

Being a born and raised Vancouverite, I have no first hand knowledge of the Prairie phenomenon of the annual fowl supper - a tradition where, apparently, every town, large or small, holds at least one community dinner to celebrate the Fall harvest and to share in a down-home turkey dinner.  Each town and supper sports its own style and traditions, but my guess is that none of them come close to matching the flare of Vancouver's own classic - the annual Prairie Fairies Fowl Supper.

This year's event was the 13th Annual and it is the signature event for the Fillmore Family Foundation.  The Prairie Fairies Fowl Supper started in 1997, when "a group of Saskatchewan transplants" held the first event in an historic Vancouver church basement for 85 guests.  The early years of the dinner saw such growth in popularity that the dinner continually had to move to larger venues - until it arrived at its current home at the Hellenic Community Centre where it sells out to 700 guests.

It's a "can't miss" ticket for Boo and me.  We gather up a gang and our loose change and head out to stuff ourselves on turkey and saskatoon berry pie. It's become such a regular event on so many people's calendar that it's often the only time each year that we bump into some old friends and acquaintances.

The Fowl Supper has morphed into a major fundraiser over the years.  Prior to this year's dinner, the Foundation had raised over $440,000 for a variety of non-profit agencies that deliver programs and services in the areas of nutrition, housing and health.  This year's beneficiaries are A Loving Spoonful, Out In Schools and McLaren Housing Society.  There's little doubt that the most visible face of the Foundation is Linda Fillmore - a feisty "Prairie widow" with a taste for naughty double entendres and lavish outfits.  She's a very naughty girl  - but one with a big heart and pure prairie fairy resolve.

A perennial highlight of the event is the jelly salad contest.  If you're looking for inventive ideas for your next jelly salad, you only need attend one of these dinners.  Winners have included a curling sheet, a map of Saskatchewan (complete with grain silos), a child's fishbowl and this year's jelly portrait of Linda herself.  The salads are often neither enticing, nor edible - who knew Barbie could play a role in so many rude jello activities - but they're always fun.  I had the greatest intention of entering this year's contest but I was thwarted, earlier in the day, when I was preparing to start my multi-levelled extravaganza and discovered that I needed to leave it in the fridge overnight to gel.  Ooops.  Guess there's always next year.

Being a Prairie-inspired event, beer is the most prevalent beverage, but it is a largely gay event as well.  So, there are wines and cocktails to be found.  I've just come to realize that the wines are going to be limited in scope and excitement.

1279.  2012 Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc (W.O. Western Cape - South Africa)

We opted for the Sauv Blanc so that I'd at least have one bottle to add to The List.  After all, I needed some reason to write about the evening on a wine blog.  Let's just say that the Fillmore's have been serving Two Oceans at their events for a couple years now and, while it's a drinkable, bargain wine, the Fowl Supper is generally the only time I grab a bottle.

Our gang this year was a mix of regulars - like Mr. D., Elzee and Tyrant - and a threesome of newbies.  It was the first dinner for Mr. Principled, Nature Boy and KFP and I think they all enjoyed themselves.  With this year's Barn Dance theme, I was hoping to get in a little two-stepping or a Boot Scootin' Boogie but Boo wasn't feeling all that well and we left before the dancing really got under way.

Whether or not my boots got to boogie, it's safe to say that the evening was another big success.  One more Fowl Supper under the belt.  Another wine added to The List.  Big bucks to charity.  What's not to like?  Now, I just have to be better prepared to finish a jellied salad for next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment