September 1, 2014

Annual depot dinner set for May 4 at VFW hall

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STANDISH — The Standish Historical Depot will host its eighth annual dinner May 4 at the Standish VFW hall, trading out game dishes for the “bounty of the lakes.”

According to organizer Ron Schwab, Dixie Dave Minar will be preparing the meals, which were changed from game animals to fish after a general consensus that people wanted to switch the menu up.

“That was in response to considerable discussion, and people telling me they were tired of game dinners,” Schwab said. “We’re not going to buy tons of walleye or perch because they are quite expensive, but we will have good representation of things that come out of the bay.”

Among the items on the menu are deep-fried Cajun catfish, pecan-encrusted whitefish, lake trout italiano, salmon, sheephead, deep-fried perch, and walleye New Orleans. Schwab said he also is considering adding pheasant stew to the menu as well.

For appetizers, Schwab said they will be serving smoked salmon spread, home-smoked turkeys from his own property, deep-fried smelt, and assorted cheeses.

“Home-smoked turkeys and chickens taste different from anything you get at the store,” he said. “I make a lot of effort, going out and buying pretty decent cheese, and some of the trays you get commercially are not all that flavorful.”

“I have one guy who comes to get his bleu cheese fix,” Schwab added. “There were probably 3-4 people mowing down on that bleu cheese at the last meal we had.”

Additionally, he said the depot will have a silent auction with dinner, much like in previous years. In keeping with the fishing theme, fishing rods and other equipment will be up on the auction block alongside guns and hunting gear. The event will also be emceed by Mike Avery of Outdoor Magazine, Schwab said.

Tickets are available in advance at the depot, Arenac Abstract & Tile, and at Arenac-Bay Veterinary Services. Schwab said they will also be sold at the door, but he would prefer that people get theirs in advance so they know how much food to prepare. He added that people can preorder tickets and pick them up at the door, as well.

“We’re aiming for 150 people,” he said. “If we get more than that, I would be shocked, and most happy to be shocked.”

All the proceeds will go toward the Arenac County Heritage Route Authority’s projects, and the depot itself. Schwab said the dinner usually raises a few thousand dollars.

Tickets are $35 per person. Appetizers will be served at 6 p.m., May 4, with dinner following at 7 p.m. For additional information, call the depot at 989-718-3021.

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