THANKSGIVING COOKING: KID COOKS RULE

Our Thanksgiving cook-off was a major success. So much so that we unanimously voted it the 1st annual Family Thanksgiving Cook-off (we need a better name). The food was great, the kids really helped with every dish, and nobody got hurt except me who managed about five minor burns while trafficking pies in and out of the oven. It’s probably a good thing that I never rounded up that brulee torch.

Elise was proud of herself for: chopping, whipping, stirring, sautéing, rolling, and peeling herself through 2 pies, sourdough-sausage stuffing, and green beans with bacon.

Jack came in strong with brining and roasting the turkey, peeling and sautéing glazed carrots, putting together a caesar salad and making whipped cream for the pies.

Of course there were needed breaks along the way… a game of kitchen wall-ball, a trip to the park, some make-believe dress up princess thing, a wrestling match… But they always came back to it. They didn’t want to miss having a hand in each dish. It was pretty cool.

As for a winner, well, in the end it was a tie until Jack made a good point that his sister pretty much voted against every one of her own dishes (pie and bacon aside). Let’s just say she had way more fun making the food than eating it.

The Feast!

The Feast!

Chopping, a pairing knife works well for little hands.

Chopping, a pairing knife works well for little hands.

Sauteing veggies for stuffing

Sauteing veggies for stuffing

Cooking.  Everyone's into it!

Cooking. Everyone’s into it!

Can never be too dressed up.

Can never be too dressed up.

Kitchen Wall Ball Break.

Kitchen Wall Ball Break.

Apple and Pumpkin Pies

Apple and Pumpkin Pies

Whipping Cream

Whipping Cream

The Final Voting

The Final Voting

Thanksgiving: Paper Mache Turkey

Paper Mache Turkey

Paper Mache Turkey


We wanted to make a turkey centerpiece for our Holiday Cook Off. Now, see, I have issues. A project like this originates simply enough. Like “oh, let’s just cut out some hand-turkeys, color them and call it a day.” But then this weird part of me takes over. It starts with a “Hmm, how can I make it round? Paper mache and a balloon?” then it moves to “Oh, those tie dye leaves my neighbor made are pretty, that could work for the feathers” and then, well… then it’s on. Soon the kitchen is covered in glue and food coloring and there’s just no turning back.

This is what Fumbleweeds is about, winging it all the way through. So I’m going to level with you. The following instructions will likely make no sense. I am not entirely sure what I did to get this thing together.

All in all, it was an ok project that needs some fine-tuning. The kids had fun with the feathers, painting, and about 2 mins of the paper mache. It’s a multi-day endeavor with all the drying of things. And it’s messy. Paper Mache is very messy.

I like this twist though… we decided to write all of the things we’re thankful for on the turkey body over the next few days. Kinda like a Thanksgiving turkey cast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Supplies

Supplies


Paper Mache Turkey
Supplies:
– Fall colored cardstock
– Unbleached cone coffee filters
– Food Coloring
– Glue
– Shredded newspaper
– a balloon
– Sharpie
– Scissors
– masking tape
– brown paint

Paper Mache Turkey Body

Paper Mache Turkey Body


Turkey Body:
-Mix 3/4th Glue to 1/4 water in a pan
-Blow up a balloon
-dip strips of newspaper into glue mixture, pull each piece through fingers to get rid of extra glue, place onto the balloon
-Repeat this until the balloon is fully covered with at least 3 layers of paper/glue
-Tie string or dental floss around the tied part of the balloon and hang somewhere overnight. Put a towel or bowl under it for the dripping glue.
– Wipe up all the messy glue all over your kitchen before it dries and becomes a big pain in the butt (lesson learned)
– Once dry, paint the turkey body brown

Painting the body

Painting the body

Food Coloring Tie Dye Feathers

Food Coloring Tie Dye Feathers


Feathers:
– Draw a feather on the coffee filter (see pic of supplies)
– Cut out feathers
– Put a little water in a shallow pan
– hold each feather over the pan and drip food coloring on it
– Then dip the feather into the water to “spread” the food coloring around
– Lay out flat to dry overnight

Food Coloring Fun

Food Coloring Fun

Turkey Head

Turkey Head


Turkey Head & Base
– Draw and cut out a turkey head from dark brown card stock
– Cut out a yellow beak and tape or glue dot onto the face
– draw eyes with a sharpie

– Cut out a red waddle and glue it to the neck

Back of the turkey

Back of the turkey


Assembly:
– Don’t cut off the knot of the balloon in the paper mache turkey body until the end. It gives structure so it doesn’t cave in
– Take a piece of card stock (I used yellow, brown would have been better) and cut into a semi-circle and mold around the largest part of the turkey body and tape. I used packing tape but I think masking tape would have been better and easer to cover over with paint at the end. Speaking of, paint over this taped up rear end with brown paint.
– Glue the “feathers” in a fan design onto the front covering all of the cardstock
– Cut off the tip of the balloon and either glue the turkey head over the hole OR, using strips of brown paper, attach it around the body of the turkey (see pic).
– Make a base by taking a long strip of card stock, make it into a circle and tape it together to make a stand

Our Turkey Guy

Our Turkey Guy

Turkey Love

Turkey Love

Thanksgiving Cooking: Kids + Knives + Fire. This will end well.

Who out there watched Masterchef Junior? Seriously, if you didn’t you should. And if you did, you are probably thinking what underachievers your own kids are at this point. I kid, I kid… but these were some pretty amazing 9-13 year old kids wielding some serious cooking skills and restaurant quality dishes.

This is the first “show” we watched as a family. Meaning, not an on-demand age appropriate cartoon that the kids zone out on as we quickly move around the house getting tasks done. No, I mean a show we actually sat down together to watch, stayed glued to throughout, and discussed together. It was the most interactive TV that exists.

I say this because it’s left a lasting, ACTIONABLE impression on my kids. My son, a traditionally “focused” eater, has started asking to try new things. Things like roe at sushi and stuff with herbs on it. Trust me, this is BIG. And both kids have been popping into the kitchen more, asking to help. I think it really empowered them to see kids near their own age doing stuff we typically associate with adults (and kicking butt at it.)

So this Thanksgiving, inspired by the show, the kids decided they want to make our own cooking contest.

Thanksgiving Cooking Contest 2013
We’ve split into two teams, secret recipes are in the works. We will make a full traditional turkey dinner with an abnormal pie-to-people ratio. Kids will chop, sauté, brine, and roast. There might even be a blow torch in the mix.

Team 1: Mike & Jack
Team 2: Kristin & Ellie

Stay tuned…

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!