When preparing your Thanksgiving meal this year, if you should drop your bird, be prepared to apologize.
According to Bulloch Academy pre-K students River Williams, Joseph Hand, Averitt Rushing, Monroe Richardson, Edyn Bowen, Crews Marie Dooley and Emma Phillips, Thanksgiving turkeys are a tricky holiday menu item. We sat down with this excited bunch of students recently to ask for their advice on cooking a turkey — and we got way more than we bargained for.
As we sat down in the BA cafeteria to talk, some of the members of the group expressed concern. It seems that students had been pulled out of class that morning to get their flu shots, and we were asked several times if we were going to give them shots. We assured the group that we were only there to talk turkey.
A sigh of relief was breathed by all.
When we got down to business and asked what’s on the menu during this special holiday each year, the first answer the group called out was “turkey.” The second was “mac and cheese.”
“I can’t make a turkey, but my Mom and Dad can,” said Edyn.
Buying a turkey in the store is certainly an option, according to these students, but it’s even better to hunt for one.
When asked where you’d get a turkey, Emma was to the point.
“You shoot it,” she said, with a coy little smile.
“I think my dad gets our turkey from the store, because we don’t have any turkeys at home,” said Edyn.
We mentioned the fact that turkeys in the store are most often frozen, and we asked how one might go about thawing out the bird.
“You put it in the oven to make it hot,” said Edyn. “Or you could just put in the mac and cheese. But you can put mac and cheese in the microwave.”
We asked the group if you should clean the bird, whether it had been shot by Dad or bought in the store.
“No,” said Edyn. “But you do if it gets dropped, because you can drop a lot of things. If you do, say sorry.”
Then, the group concurred, it becomes necessary to wash your turkey.
We pointed out that when you buy a turkey, it often comes with the bag of giblets inside, which includes the heart, liver, neck and gizzards. We also pointed out that no one really knows what gizzards are. The students, while surprised that there is a bag inside the turkey, were not grossed out by it at all when we showed them pictures.
They didn’t seem to know what the items were in the bag, but they were certain that they were all part of the turkey. We asked, “What do you do with this stuff?”
“You cook it and you eat it,” was the general response.
“Cook it in a pan and when you cook it you put it in a pot and then put it in the oven, so then you can eat it,” said Edyn.
Eggs go with it, they all agreed.
When preparing your turkey, you don’t have to preheat the oven, the group said — but you should make sure your oven is hot enough. There were varying answers as to what the temperature setting should be.
“I think 2,” said Averitt.
“I think 21. That’s really hot,” said Edyn.
“I think it’s 1,055,” said Monroe.
The answers were also diverse when it came to how long you should cook your turkey.
Edyn said 21 minutes, but Emma said 24 minutes. Monroe opted for a much longer cooking time, saying it would take “around 1,055 minutes.”
Stuffing was a whole other matter. While the group didn’t really know what it is, they had definite ideas about how to cook it.
“Stuffing means that you cook it when you put it in a pan,” said Edyn.
“You put turkey in it and you put it in the oven to bake. And when it gets done you have to measure it,” said Crews Marie.
Everyone knows that when you take the turkey out of the oven, and bring it to the table, someone needs to carve it. When asked who carves the turkey at their houses, most of the group said Dad gets the job, but some said Mom does it.
“One time, my Mom had it 22 units long,” Edyn said about her mom’s knife. “One time it cut her and it was bleeding. And bleeding means there’s blood.”
“I’ve never had turkey before, but I know my Mom and Dad have,” River said.
Crews Marie said her favorite part of the turkey is the skin. Edyn agreed.
“I like to put chocolate ice cream on it and sprinkles — that’s how I like my turkey,” she said.
“My favorite part of the turkey is the brownish stuff. It’s kind of, like, brown. That’s my favorite part of the turkey. I think that’s the skin,” Emma said.
Joseph said his favorite part of the turkey is the mouth.
“The noise,” he said, laughing. “Gobble, gobble, gobble.”
The group was a bit divided as to what you do with the leftovers. Some said you throw them in the trash with the paper plates you ate on. Some said you store your leftovers.
“If you don’t finish it all, then you save it in your ‘frigerator. You put plastic on it and on a plastic plate, kind of rolled up, so it can turn in little circles. When you get it off, it will be all sticky, so warm it up,” Emma said.
“My Mama eats turkey all the time,” Edyn said. “And eggs. She doesn’t like it with any toppings on it. But it will get old if you don’t put toppings on it.”
When asked what they’re thankful for, the group had all sorts of answers.
“I’m thankful for God who made the whole world, and my friends and my family, and my sister and everything else,” said Averitt.
“I’m thankful for all the toys in my room. And I’m really thankful for Santa and Christmas. And I’m thankful for my family, and I’m thankful for the decorations that Santa’s going to get me,” Emma said.
River said she is thankful for God, while Crews Marie simply said, “Nothing.”
“You’re thankful for something,” Edyn told her.
“No, I’m not,” Crews Marie answered, crossing her arms and smiling.
We finished up our time with this animated bunch by taking a group photo, while they smiled and said, “Turkey!” Then they all went back to class, waving — and thankful that talking turkey doesn’t involve needles.