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Talking turkey with kids

Area students explain how they would make a Thanksgiving feast

Staff writers

“What’s on the menu and how are you going to cook it?” was the question asked of Marion County students in preparation for the Thanksgiving meal.

Hunting with a sniper rifle, cooking a turkey for 12 minutes, and layering a pumpkin pie are a few of the humorous ideas below. Bon appetit.

All but one child at Peabody-Burns elementary said they would hunt a wild turkey — with bows and arrows, sniper rifles, and sharp knives — before cooking the bird.

Tavin said they might buy it from the store like his dad did last year.

All but Tavin said they would oven bake the turkey – from 12 minutes to an hour — Tavin has a “turkey cooking machine.”

In their hunting process, few remembered to pluck the turkey. Most just shoved it in the oven, after taking out the “parts we can’t eat.”

Two or three children wanted stuffing cooked with the bird. Some said they would use seasonings, mostly pepper.

Bentley would add a lemon and Gavin, a lime.

Bentley was quite the chef, adding liquid “through a big needle” for moisture.

Entrails would not all be disposed of for Bentley.

“I’d put the liver in a container for fishing,” he said.

Marion fourth grader Noah Schmidt is going to fix both a turkey, which he plans to hunt, and ham. He’ll take the feathers off and after rinsing, cook it in a Crock-Pot for an hour.

He’d prepare instant mashed potatoes and a tray with vegetables assembled to resemble a turkey.

He’ll use his mom’s cookbook to make a pumpkin roll and buy a pumpkin pie at the bakery. Tea, lemonade and water round out his menu.

Trenton Sprowles, 7, said he would Google recipes, ride his bike to the store, buy the ingredients, and return home to cook the turkey. His mom will make the turkey but he’ll handle the stuffing.

Green beans, baked mashed potatoes, and drinks finish the meal. For dessert, he’ll make a cherry pie and bake 30 minutes.

Goessel Elementary teacher Dale Wiens’ third grade class knows exactly what to make if given the chance.

Quinli Unruh chose pumpkin pie as her dessert. She would visit Dillon’s for the ingredients, including canned pumpkin.

When making the pie, she would choose to layer the ingredients, Quinli said.

“On the top there will be whipped cream,” she said. “It’ll be pumpkin pie, whipped cream, pumpkin pie, and then the crust.”

She would add extra sugar for sweetness, and bake the pie 30 minutes in the oven.

Another student who chose pie was Josh Kahns, who wanted a blueberry and raspberry pie.

After getting the supplies from the store, Josh would make the pie with the help of his mom, and bake it for 13 minutes.

“Then I would add more fruit, called banana,” he said. “I’d just put one slice of banana on it.”

He would eat seven slices and his mother would eat one, Josh said.

When making mashed potatoes, Brianna Klassen would need a full bag of potatoes, she said.

“Wash the potatoes and then scrape off all the bad parts,” she said. “Then warm them up for three minutes.”

Brianna has a specific method of mashing the potatoes, chopping first and then stirring them. Despite the skins, she prefers to leave them on.

When they are mashed, chives and bacon are added to provide more flavor. The last step is the toppings, Brianna said.

She prefers sour cream and salt, but her sister eats potatoes with ranch dressing.

Delaney Duerkson takes a more homey approach for her sweet potatoes. After getting fresh ones from her garden, she washes them and cuts them in half, then heats them for five minutes in the microwave.

Levi Hill would hunt his turkey, and cook it over a fire for 50 minutes, with pepper as primary seasoning.

Cael Jackson also wanted a wild turkey, and paid particular attention to removing feathers and the innards.

“Then when you get back to your house, you can cook it on a fire,” he said. “If you’re going camping, you could put sticks up that are shaped like a V and then hook it on them.”

Centre Elementary provided yet more students keen on wild turkey.

“I would wait until Thanksgiving, go out and shoot a turkey, feather it, stuff it, and cook it,” Scott said.

Evan said the same thing, except he planned to smoke it.

Kenzie said she would buy it, wash it, bake it, and gobble it up.

Kaitlyn said she would buy and smoke the turkey.

Jymer added a few more details.

“I would buy it, smoke it, cut it up, put it on a plate, and eat it,” he said.

“I would fry it,” Colby said.

Connor came up with a unique and perhaps odd way of preparing turkey.

“I would stuff it with green bean casserole, put lemon-lime juice on it, fry it, then put more lemon juice on it and add tomato juice,” he said.

“I would buy it, put it in a big pot, and kill it,” Natalie said.

Hadleigh said she would gut it, wash it off, stuff it, and cook it.

“I would skin it, roast it, and eat it,” Bella said.

For Addison, it was simple — buy it, cook it, and eat it.

Lacey was looking forward to eating stuffing with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Hillsboro teacher Tena Loewen’s second grade class was full of students with creative, and sometimes accurate, plans for what they would choose to make at Thanksgiving.

Connor Amstutz chose a wild turkey, but he did not discount the help his family could provide.

“I would ask my dad to kill a turkey, and then put it in the oven for about an hour,” he said. “Then I would eat the legs.”

His choices for toppings were less typical, erring on the sweeter side.

“Maybe some frosting, and ice cream to cool it down after,” he said. “I would also put some ice cubes on.”

Autumn Dykens preferred apple pie, and she would make 10.

“I would start with the bottom crust,” she said “Then I would mash up some apples, put in some honey and some apple cinnamon, and then mix it all together as the filling.”

After adding the main portion of the pie, Autumn would cover the pie with a second layer of crust and poke holes in the top to release steam. She would then bake it for 10 minutes, topping the pie with whipped cream after it cooled.

Instead of the usual Thanksgiving turkey, Mason Bartel chose chicken, due to its availability.

“We have chickens at our farm, so we took some of the mean roosters and we brought them up to a stump to chop their heads off,” he said.

After cooking the chicken and adding salt, pepper, and a few other seasonings, he would start by eating the wings.

Last modified Nov. 19, 2018

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