Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Challenger K-8 kindergarteners learn how to cook Thanksgiving meal

Challenger K-8 kindergartener Abigail Keister, 5, butters a turkey as she and the rest of Margie Yurtinis’ class prepare food for a feast as part of learning about the first Thanksgiving. Several parents were on hand to assist.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Challenger K-8 kindergartener Abigail Keister, 5, butters a turkey as she and the rest of Margie Yurtinis’ class prepare food for a feast as part of learning about the first Thanksgiving. Several parents were on hand to assist.

SPRING HILL

At a table just outside of Margie Yurtinis' kindergarten classroom at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, children, assisted by visiting parents, peeled hard-cooked eggs.

"Humpty Dumpty is breaking out of his shell," said Jordan Destaffaney, 6.

Just inside the door, other children were coating turkeys with butter. Nearby, children were filling Bugles snacks with peanut butter, topping them with colored cereal balls, making tiny cornucopias.

Parent Nathan Brooks sat at another table, where children tore bread slices into chunks for stuffing. Also on the table sat a pan of sauteed onions, ready for mixing when the bread was done.

"We're making really good stuffing. Yummy stuffing," said Brooks' son, John, 5.

Happy to chat, John admitted he does not care for bread crust, but he is willing to pick it out. He is okay with crusts, though, if the bread is straight from the bakery.

Off to Brooks' right, another volunteer worked with children preparing radishes, carrots, celery and parsley. To Brooks' left, children were making sweet potato casserole, the kind with marshmallows.

Aubrie Carlson, 6, and Jackson Hoyt, 6, said sweet potato casserole was a first for them.

Emma Bauknight, 5, and Aden Juan, 5, worked on pumpkin pies, mixing milk and eggs.

Nearby, other pies were being created — thankful pies, made of paper bowls and muslin crust and filled with paper apple slices where the children put things for which they are thankful. The children were assisted by eighth-grader Amanda Litwinsky, 13, who comes to Yurtinis' class as one of her electives.

All this cutting and cooking was part of Yurtinis' annual Thanksgiving feast, which was held the next day. She has been doing this for 33 years.

"The reason I do it this way," she said, is "the children learn from it. They measure. They talk about ingredients, and it's real. It's a really wonderful thing with the home/school connection."

This is the culmination of an early American history unit. The students learn about Pilgrims and Native Americans, incorporating other disciplines, such as math and writing, as they go.

Several parents helped out. Robin Barrett tended the turkeys.

"I had to rinse (them) and take out all the fun stuff and butter and season them," she said.

Over at the stuffing table, Nathan Brooks was joined by his wife, D.D.

Said Nathan: "It's good experience for the children to see what goes into a Thanksgiving meal."

They both admitted their inexperience. With their parents living close by, they have always left Thanksgiving up to them.

So when D.D. Brooks suggested why Yurtinis does this, she laughed and said, "We wouldn't want them to be 37 and never made stuffing."

Challenger K-8 kindergarteners learn how to cook Thanksgiving meal 11/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight

    Military

    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  2. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  3. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues

    Crime

    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  4. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. Hudson man, 19, killed by hit-and-run driver while walking in street, FHP says

    Accidents

    A 19-year-old Hudson man walking in the street Friday night was struck and killed by a pickup truck that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said.