By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
28th game feed draws 1,200
Sue Inglis serves up fried calamari. - photo by HIME ROEMRO

What’s in a porcupine meatball?

According to Larry King, Chuck Vanderpool, and others from the Stockton Sportsmen Club, the meatball-type concoction is a mix of antelope, bear, boar and elk.

At the annual Costa’s Wild Game Feed on Friday, they credited Ken Hicken for coming up with this recipe along with duck poppers. The latter was a jalapeno popper wrapped in bacon.

They arrived at about 8:30 a.m. at Manteca Trailer & Motorhome – the home of the benefit event for the past four years – grilling close to 400 duck poppers and 500 porcupine meatballs.

This was the 28th year for the Wild Game Feed in Manteca. Proceeds along with donations will benefit families in the community in need of assistance during the holidays.

“That’s the best part of being part of this – it’s for the kids,” said Mike Reams, who worked alongside the grilling group consisting of King, Vanderpool, Bob Valverde, and Buzz Chain.

Organizer Jim Costa praised the 100 or so volunteers who helped make the Wild Game Feed possible, saying: “It’s all 100 percent donations – they donated their time, food, everything.”

As for attendance, he was estimating a turnout similar to that of a year ago. “Last year, we fed 1200,” Costa noted.

Those who came, no doubt, ate hearty. Served up was a myriad of hunted-down wild game. Try deer, bear, elk, wild pig, and pheasant, for example.

“My favorite is the smoked salmon,” said Vicki Costa, who has been involved in the Wild Game Feed for the past 13 years.

She favors the spaciousness and cleanliness of Manteca Trailer, recalling the days when the event was held at various locations in town.

Four different places have hosted the event over the years.

“We’ve also grown quite a bit over that time,” Vicki Costa added.

Take the dessert table. It wasn’t too long ago that the Wild Game Feed consisted of a couple of pumpkin pies and a tray of cookies. On this day, she awaited Burgess Bakery’s donation of 30 pies.

“Now, we have four or five tables filled with desserts,” said Vicki Costa, who is the wife of John Costa.

No food will go to waste.

Any leftovers will directly go to feed the needy.

Included were the assortments of side dishes and entrees, from elk salad to deer salami.

Non-game foods such as au gratin and mashed potatoes along with raviolis, Portuguese beans, macaroni salad, scallops, to name a few, were also served up.

Many folks are already marking their calendars for next year’s feed.

“It’s always one big reunion,” Vicki Costa said. “I see many of the same people each year.

“They’ve been here with their children and grandchildren.”