It’s officially hunting season — I have a very love-hate relationship with the concept of hunting, but I’ll save that rant for another time.
Disclaimer: I am a lover of all animals, except probably sharks and snakes. I do not tolerate the mistreatment of animals and think that people like the CEO of Centerplate … and anyone who endeavors to kill an elephant … deserve to rot in hell (ok, mini rant).
That being said, I know how much the boy (and the crazy black dog) loves it, so I don’t interfere. I’d rather he be outside exercising and bringing home food than smoking pot on the couch and watching video games (which he wouldn’t do anyway, but still). There are far worse hobbies.
Due to his passion for hunting, I knew just what to do for Chase’s 25th birthday party last summer: A Game Dinner featuring meat that our friends had hunted themselves, a baked potato bar, cocktails, and hunting-inspired table décor.
At the time, we weren’t blogging, so I took zero photos. Thank you to Rachel for documenting the evening! Here’s how it went:
- I opted for a Paperless Post to add some class and (hopefully) receive an accurate head count, as it was a sit-down dinner.
- A “Happy Birthday” sign made with a fish patterned paper background
- Bar and food buffet tables with similar themes of burlap and hunter green
- I went for a full hunting theme for the decor but added some sophistication with three round tables (borrowed from work) and about 30 chairs (borrowed from Tara Bella Flowers). The tables featured:
- Simple white cloths that dusted the grass below
- A burlap overlay to add some texture
- A brown unscented hurricane pedestal candle (already decorating my home) in the very center
- An arrangement of antlers, borrowed from guy friends — each antler is different, so I leaned a few against each other around the candle to create some volume
- A large, 3D metallic “25,” ordered from Etsy — it would be very easy to use initials in this same format
- Mason jars filled with shotgun shells (which the boys happily gathered for me) and pheasant feathers (from birds Chase had hunted at a friends’ estate in Weezer, Idaho). These came together organically — my original plan was to weight the shotgun shells and put place cards in a slit I made at the top of the shell, a seen on Pinterest
- Votive candles — there wasn’t any light out there otherwise
- Simple place settings including a white plate and napkin, silverware, and water glasses, all rented from Barbara’s Party Rental
- Place cards with a forest green border and names written with silver sharpie
- Whiskey, a gin cocktail, and a keg from Sun Valley Brewery (not the kind you want to take a keg stand with, but that didn’t stop us) along with bottles of wine on each table
- Venison (deer) tenderloin bites as an appetizer, cooked by Sagen. I think garlic and butter were the important ingredients here — that’s the only deer or elk I’ve tasted that I’ve enjoyed
- Duck popper appetizer bites including bits of duck breast, bacon, and jalapeño, held together with a toothpick (thank you, Casey and Taylor!)
- A baked potato bar (because what’s more Idaho than that) including butter, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and bacon bits
- Pheasant with cherry and sage (thank you, Rachel!)
- Elk steaks (thank you, Cody!)
- Sautéed zucchini and squash
- A green salad
- Beautiful peach and berry pies with duck and fish cutouts (Thank you, Taylor!)
It was a super fun night with great food and company. I even admitted to enjoying the venison (deer) that Sagen made — a first for me!
Thank you to everyone for contributing to this group effort and celebrating cha-se!