Every year countless people stress out over cooking the perfect bird with all the fixings for their family.
Relax. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is child’s play. And to prove it we talked to — who else? — children. Specifically we got advice from Patrice Hardy’s first-grade class at Center Elementary School.
How do you cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey?
Oooh! Oooh! Fifteen hands shoot up.
“You get some silver stuff and you put the turkey on it,” says Jaziyah Drake.
A … baking pan? Oh, you mean aluminum foil!
“Yeah! And then you get some salt, and you put it around there and you wrap it up.”
“In the salt.”
Salt. Got it. Then what?
“I think you keep it in the foil, and then when you take it out you put some more salt on it.”
And then you go to the doctor and have him check your blood pressure.
Nothing. So what temperature would you set your oven on to roast this salty bird?
“I think like 30 or 40.”
Because if you put it any higher that would just be nuts, right?
Low and slow. I get it. You just might want to check with a cookbook before going with that exact temperature.
Le’Marion Shears raises his hand.
Yes? How would you cook your turkey?
“I’d put salt on it, and I’d put it in foil and put it in the oven for 10 or 40 minutes.”
Ten or 40?
“Then I’d get it out and I’d eat the turkey.”
The best part, am I right?
Just make sure it’s done first, OK bud?
So where do these turkeys come from?
“I’d get the turkey from Price Chopper,” says An’Jelikah Spotwood.
OK, good. But where do the grocery stores get them?
“It’s all the way down the street.”
That far, huh? Anybody else? Where do we get turkeys?
Iron Morris raises his hand.
Chickens? What are you saying, Iron?
Now we’ll need some potatoes or stuffing for this feast. Anybody know what goes into stuffing?
“Puff stuff!” declares Xavier Dale.
“Big puffy things.”
OK, that clears it up. So, you get the big puffy things, and you … toss em in a bowl?
“I don’t know.”
Come on, this is Thanksgiving. We need to get stuffed! What else do you put in?
“Uhh, there’s oil in there,” says Xavier.
OK. Puffy stuff and oil. And?
“And that’s when we put it in the oven. Then you pray, and then you eat it.”
I definitely would pray before I ate that. Anybody else?How would you cook a great Thanksgiving meal?
Tanesha Williams raises her hand.
“I would cook the vegetables first, and then cook the turkey.”
“We take it out (of the refrigerator) and put some salt on it, and chop some pieces up for my brother so he won’t eat the whole thing.”
Good call. Growing boys are gluttons, am I right? But tell me about the veggies.
“I would cook the green beans first because they are the healthy ones. They are a little soft when me and my dad cook it, but when my uncle cooks it it’s a little rough to eat. It almost makes people’s teeth wiggle.”
That’s not good. What’s he doing to those poor green beans?
“He puts like sour stuff in it, and … he chops up some hard stuff like wood.”
So let me get this straight. Your uncle chops up hardwood to put into the sour green beans, and that makes your … teeth wiggle?
“And he paints it green.”
The wood, I’m assuming. Not your teeth.
“But I didn’t eat it.”
“Did you know my brother eats Play-Doh?”
I did not know that.
“It was cheese (colored) Play-Doh with pepperoni. But he thought it was a real pizza, and he ate it.”
Blechh. Better get him some real food fast. That kid is starving!
Anybody else? If you were going to make a Thanksgiving meal, how would you cook it?
“I would put it in the oven, and then I would put some grease on it,” says Jay’den Martin.
You’d … put grease on it before you cooked it?
“Yeah. Then I would put (the oven) on 50 seconds, and then I would take it out and start eating.”
Perhaps we should put you in charge of desserts, Jay’den. Do you like pies?
What’s your favorite?
How would you cook that?
“I’d put the pumpkin in the oven with a big pan on the bottom. Then I’d put it on for 20 seconds, and it’s probably going to melt into a pumpkin pie.”
Cool! I always wondered how they made those. How big of a pumpkin will I need to melt?
I’ll write that down.
“Have you ever (eaten) grape pie?” asks Tanesha.
Can’t say I have. How do you make that?
“We chop up the grapes. … Then all we got to do is add some soft stuff on the bottom, and then put the grapes on top.”
Mmm, soft stuff. OK. What else? Anybody know how to make a green bean casserole?
Khalif Mims does.
“First you cook the green beans, and then you cook the casserole, like with chopped up salad and vegetables inside of it,” he says.
Hmm. Never tried that. OK, last chance. If I was coming over for Thanksgiving, and you wanted to cook me something special that would blow my mind, what would you cook?
“Uhh, spaghetti?” says Jay’den.
That would do it.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody — no matter what you end up eating.