ESCANABA - Of course, by now, most of you have already completed your grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and have your favorite cookbooks or recipe cards spread out on the kitchen table. Some of you may have already traveled out to the woods or area farms in search of that elusive gobbler.
But before you get too sure of yourself and drag out the mixing bowls and baking pans, you might want to touch base with the kindergarten students in Michele Pangborn's class at Holy Name Catholic School. The youngsters have assured me that no matter where they plan to have Thanksgiving dinner - either at home or gramma's - they are fully prepared to step up and not only share their culinary expertise, but will also be willing to help prepare the meal.
While a great deal of hand motions were used to help describe their cooking and baking techniques that are not easily translated into instructions on a recipe card, each child was confident that if you follow their directions, you can already chalk this up as your most successful Thanksgiving dinner ever.
Holy Name kindergarten students of Michele Pangborn
The youngsters are as follows:
Since Colton's daddy hasn't gotten a turkey yet, he suggests that steak would be a great alternative for Thanksgiving dinner. You can buy one at Walmart. First you put salt and pepper - "two shakes" - on it and then "leave it in a pan until the fire goes through it" (about five hours).
What's better with steak than French fries and Colton has a great idea for preparing them. He suggests you purchase them at Elmer's and put them in the oven for five hours "and I think six hours more." Corn is a good vegetable for Thanksgiving and is also easy to obtain. "Take it out of the grass, wash it and eat it. You don't even have to cook it," Colton said.
Prepare Brownies and chocolate candy for dessert. You can get both of them at Elmer's.
Wash your meal down with chocolate milk, because, as Colton says, "chocolate is very good for you."
You're all invited over to Luke's grampa's house for dinner. His dad will get a turkey in the woods. He'll shoot it and take all the feathers off. "He'll just pull 'em off," Luke said. Then you cook the bird in the oven for one hour. Turn the oven "all the way up to eight" degrees. Instead of regular potatoes, Luke suggests you try orange sweet potatoes instead. You cut the peelings off with scissors. Don't even bother cooking them. You can also serve potatoes with ranch dressing instead of a veggie.
Get some chocolate ice cream "at the ice cream store" for dessert.
Luke suggests chocolate milk as a good beverage.
You're all invited to join Aidan and his family at gramma's house on Thanksgiving because he said his grampa and mom and dad will be there, too.
Forget the traditional turkey or ham for Thanksgiving dinner. Aidan suggests fish. "My dad makes it at the IGA. He stirs sugar on it and cuts off the tail. And then he cuts off the fins, And then cuts off the head and takes the bones out." His dad will cook it on the outside grill.
Serve with French fries and "tatoes" and corn. Aidan's mom will prepare the "tatoes" for you. "My mom gets 'em someplace but I don't know where. She cooks 'em with sugar and puts mashed potatoes on them and cooks them in the oven."
You will just love the cake that gramma will serve for dessert. "She makes it and it's very good," said Aidan. "It's chocolate and vanilla and white and it's soooooo good."
Water, milk and juice will be served with your dinner.
Kathryn "Katie" Lewis
Gramma's house will be the place to be on Thanksgiving because Gramma will get a turkey at a farm. Katie said she will kill it and cut it up and pull off the feathers when it's dead. Then you put it on top of the stove and cook it for two hours. You won't need a pan.
To make the mashed potatoes that Katie suggests, she will peel them and then cook them for two hours and then "just mash 'em up." Then you put butter and cream on them and mix them up. Fresh green beans are what Katie recommends for a vegetable. "You can buy them at Walmart and you don't have to cook' em." But if you must, cook them for two hours.
Katie also has a fool-proof recipe for making pumpkin pie. "First you cut the top off a pumpkin and get the guts out and put the guts in a can and then cook it for two hours," she said. "Then you buy a can with pumpkin in it." Once you get the crust prepared (you're on your own here because Katie doesn't have a clue how to make it) you bake it for two hours. "I cook everything for two hours," she said.
Serve with Sprite.
Victoria regrets that she won't be going to gramma's house for Thanksgiving dinner because "she lives in Texas and that's far away." Although her family tried to catch a turkey at grampa's house, they were unsuccessful so you'll just have to go buy one. To prepare it, Victoria suggests you "put it on plastic - something like a pizza or pie one" and bake it for 20 or 30 minutes or else for two or four minutes.
Red potatoes are yummy, according to Victoria and all you have to do is get some at a potato farm. Cook them for "four minutes or five minutes, or six minutes or 10 minutes." You have to leave the peelings on, though. Don't bother with carrots because Victoria doesn't like them. Instead, have corn. "You just have to cook it and it turns into a lot of popcorn," she said.
Victoria's family will be enjoying cherry Jello, white pudding or even vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Serve with chocolate milk.
The welcome mat is out at Isabel's house for Thanksgiving dinner and she said she's prepared to do all the cooking. First she'll buy a turkey at the grocery store and just cook it in the oven ("you don't need a pan") for two days at 141 degrees.
She plans to make mashed potatoes by peeling them first and putting them in the oven ("you don't need a pan") and cooking them for 131 hours. Then she'll mash them with a fork. Cooked corn Isabel style is delicious when you cook it for three hours.
Isabel will also try her hand at making apple pie for dessert. First she'll make the crust out of flour and sugar. Then she'll peel four apples and put it on top of the crust and bake it for five days.
Water is Isabel's beverage of choice "because it's good for you."
Charley said Thanksgiving dinners are always served at his house and you're invited because Charley will be helping out. His first item of business will be to set the table. Ham will be served although Charley has no idea where he will get it from. But no matter - just get one and bake it for 50 minutes.
Don't even think about enjoying potatoes with your ham because Charley doesn't like them. But if you must go out to get some, he said you can find them at the baseball field. Carrots are only a good vegetable choice if you serve them with raw with dip.
For dessert, just go to the Super One and purchase some cup cakes - white ones.
There's quite a choice for beverages on Charley's dinner table. You can choose between champagne, wine and pop.
Thanksgiving dinner will be at Ashton's house this year. He plans to buy a turkey and cook it "in a long rectangle big thing - a huge thing - under the stove with the bones at the back part." Bake it at 10 degrees for either five hours or "just one hour if you want."
Potatoes are really good if you mash them, according to Ashton. But first you must peel them and cook them for five minutes and "then put dip on them." Forget the veggies because Ashton couldn't think of any he likes.
Chocolate candy and popsicles (any kind) will be served for dessert.
Wash your meal down with chocolate milk.
You can all go to Gavin's gramma's house because that's where he plans to be for Thanksgiving dinner. He said he's perfectly able to help out in the kitchen by purchasing a ham at Walmart and putting it in a pan in the oven. Then cook it for two hours in a "super hot" oven at three degrees.
White potatoes will have to be peeled with a peeler and then cut up before cooking them. He suggests they be cooked for about six hours. Then mash them "with a masher thing." Green beans are Gavin's veggie of choice.
Forget the pie. Gavin thinks chocolate ice cream would make a better dessert.
Serve with water.
It's a toss up for where Ayden will be having Thanksgiving dinner this year. "We usually go someplace else but I think it's gramma's this time," he said. Ayden plans to go hunting for a turkey in the woods. After shooting the turkey, he will "rip off the feathers and throw them away." Then he'll put the bird in a pot on the top of the stove and cook it for 25 minutes.
He'll then go to a farm to get the potatoes "if you really want them" and cook them for 24 minutes. He doesn't think they need to be peeled. Then you mash them "with anything you want to." The farm will be a great place to get the corn that Ayden plans to serve for a vegetable "if you really want them." Then cook them for three minutes.
Ayden is also an expert at making apple pie. "First you get some apples and slice them up and put sugar all over them." Then you make a crust ("but you'll have to cook it first"). Then you add flour ("but I don't know how much you pour in"). Put the crust on top of the apples and bake it for two or three minutes.
Water and milk are both good beverage choices.
Bayli said she's going to her friends' house for Thanksgiving dinner along with her mom and daddy. She will purchase a turkey from Walmart and put it in a cupcake pan and put it in the oven. Bake it for eight minutes at three degrees.
Get red potatoes from "Penney's" but you won't have to bother cooking them before mashing them. However, you will "have to use that thing that takes the peels off." Bayli's response for a vegetable was baked beans and she has a perfect recipe for them. Her mom gets water and puts fresh beans in it. Then she adds macaroni and cheese and either cook or bakes it. "You can do either one," she said.
Making pumpkin pie is also a cinch, according to Bayli. "You get special 'gradients and then make a crust with salt and pepper from Walmart." Mash and peel the pumpkin Add salt and put it on the crust. Bake it for three minutes.
Bayli said her mom will be drinking wine for a beverage but she'll probably get juice that tastes like grapes.
Eric said his gramma will be a guest at his home for Thanksgiving dinner and you're invited as well. He will purchase a ham from the store and put it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at two degrees.
Mashed potatoes are no trouble at all for Eric. You peel them with a knife and cook them for 40 seconds. You won't have to mash them "'cause they're already mashed up." Then you get 50 carrots and peel them with a knife and cook them for 50 minutes.
Cookies are a perfect dessert according to Eric. "Turkey cookies - you get them at the store." They will only cost you 50 cents.
Wash down you meal with water.
Elizabeth said her mom and dad are planning to have guests at their house for Thanksgiving dinner and you're more than welcome, too. Her dad is in charge of getting the turkey and he plans to "hunt one down." Then he'll shave off the feathers and cut it up before putting it in a pan. Bake it in the oven for 40 minutes at 44 degrees.
Elizabeth's dad bought a potato peeler ("the same kind you use for apples") so he will be in charge of the potatoes as well. He'll cook them for 44 minutes and mash them with a masher. "It's hard work," Elizabeth said. Peas and corn will also be served.
Dessert will consist of a pumpkin pie because Elizabeth said it's her favorite. She'll buy it at Walmart. "You can just eat it cold with water."
Michelle said her family sometimes goes to gramma's house for Thanksgiving dinner but her parents haven't told her yet whether they are going there or not. But don't worry - no matter where you go, Michelle will make sure the dinner is perfect. She plans to serve "a little bit of chicken" that she'll get in the woods. "My dad will catch it and cut it's head off," she said. Then she'll put it in a pan and cook it on top of the stove for five minutes.
Having French fries aren't a problem at all if you just to to McDonald's and buy them. Serve them with corn that's cooked "just a little bit."
Chocolate ice cream is Michelle's dessert of choice.
Serve with "a little bit of milk."