For tips on Thanksgiving turkey preparation, where else would you go but to kids under the age of 7? At the top of my list this year are the youngest Poison Spider Elementary School students, many of whom live in the ranchland west of Casper. That gives their advice a definite Wyoming cowboy/cowgirl flavor.
To borrow just one conversation overheard by the photographer for the Casper Star-Tribune’s Thanksgiving “Talking Turkey” section, here’s a dialogue between two students about turkey, starting with a boy’s comment and the correction from a young lady:
“You got to pluck it.”
“No! First you got to raise it. Then you got to rope it. And then you kilt it. Then you can pluck it.”
Turkey-roping west of Casper is an event I must see.
Brylee from Poison Spider offers a cautionary tale of Thanksgiving: “So you have to raise a baby turkey till it is a audalt. Then you have to slaughter and the wrost part is the guts and cook it.”
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From Pineview Elementary comes this advice from Dex: “Buy a turkey (make sure it’s dead) at your local grocery store. Then put it in the oven, (make sure it’s cooked) cook it, and my favorite part, eat!”
Another Pineview student, Charles, is very thorough (and creative with spelling). He says, “Pluck da feathers, cut off da head, remove da organs, get bread and vegatables, heat up da bread and vegatables to make stuffing and cook it for 1 hour 30 minutes.”
This cooking advice could easily become a New York Times bestseller. In fact, thanks to Twitter, I’ve discovered other recipes from young chefs. Another helpful take on turkey comes from a recipe gathered by kindergarten teacher Kathy Hollenkamp in Mt. Vernon, Ill. It calls for one turkey and 10 handfuls of seasonings, baked in the oven at 50 degrees for five hours. Sounds dangerous to me.
The same teacher, whose daughter helpfully shares the recipes on Twitter, gathered a recipe for mashed potatoes: Take 5 potatoes and one gallon of milk and cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes.
Jordan Adams posted Ariana’s macaroni recipe from his nephew’s pre-K cookbook, which called for a fascinating list of ingredients: melted cheese, macaroni, apples, strawberries (because they’re healthy), toys, backpack and doll.
But for a truly unusual take on the Thanksgiving turkey, we come back to Poison Spider, where Sheridan advises, “get a plane piece of paper pait your hand, put that hand on your piece of paper. Then you got your turkey.”