The gourmet cooking magazine, Bon Appetit, offers deliciously complex recipes for an elaborate, exotic and scrumptious Thanksgiving turkey.

A cider-brined turkey with star anise and cinnamon contains warm sweet spices balanced by cider, ginger and cilantro—while a roast turkey with sausage, apple stuffing and pan gravy is part of the magazine’s Thanksgiving Hall of Fame, with portions enough to serve 16.

Delicious sounding recipes, indeed.

But what would happen if cooking the Thanksgiving feast were left to a passel of preschoolers? What would the holiday meal look and taste like if young children were allowed to take over?

For the third consecutive year, the Star-Exponent decided to find out.

This year, the would-be chefs interviewed were 3- and 4-year-old students from Culpeper Head Start. Precocious and willing to interact, the youngsters donned Pilgrim hats or Native American headdresses on a recent day when Thanksgiving food—with all of its unique flavors—was the hottest of topics.

Four-year-old Jaxon White shared his ideas on making the holiday great.

“Today we’re going to pass out food,” he said, adding, “Take a turkey and cut it up and then give it to people and then do mashed potatoes.”

Jaxon planned to cook the turkey for four minutes and doctor the side dishes just right, Julia Child style. “In the potatoes, put some ingredients like butter because butter always makes stuff good,” he said.

For dessert? Pumpkin cake, of course. Jaxon promised to help clean up at both of the Thanksgiving dinners he planned to attend—at his nana’s and aunt’s houses. As for what he’s thankful for, that was easy—“For God making us food.”

Four-year-old Adrienna Robinson contributed a unique approach to fixing her holiday feast.

“I’ll make a turkey head and I’ll make two eyes, a mouth and two legs and a back and a stomach,” she said, adding she was going to get her turkey from Walmart, as did most of the other children. “We need to cook it for 24 hours.”

For dessert? Turkey ice cream, Adrienna said, adding, “It’s going to be yummy.” The little girl planned to help wash the dishes standing on her step stool. As for what she’s thankful for this Thanksgiving, “Watching Pocahontas on TV.”

Three-year-old Mia Hendley said her turkey would be five pounds and she’s going to cook it on the stove for five minutes.

“With some blueberries, Taco Bell and carrots,” she said.

For dessert, she will serve up some apples from Walmart, and she planned to help out by playing. Mia said she was most thankful for her nana.

Three-year-old Harper White proposed cooking her 30-pound turkey in a pan with white sauce for a thousand hours. “Then you pat it and then you eat it. My daddy is going to cook it,” she said.

For dessert, Harper imagined a delectable combination of pizza and lollipops.

“I will help clean up, but first I have to cook with daddy,” she said, adding she’s thankful for “All of my family.”

Four-year-old Jada Ravenel planned to cook her family’s Thanksgiving turkey in the frying pan until 5:30.

“Everybody at my house will eat it—my dad, my sister, my brother, my papa and mommy,” she said and on the side, “Cheese, ham, chicken, and sugar, but no vegetables.”

Jada said she’s most thankful for her mommy.

Her twin brother, Jordan Ravenel, recommended cooking his six-pound turkey in the microwave for three seconds. And on the side? Chicken, another turkey and broccoli with jelly. For dessert, Jordan preferred macaroni. He said he was thankful for his daddy.

Four-year-old Alaina Humphrey planned to cook her super large turkey—enough to feed 80 people—on the stove for 20 minutes. “We’ll have some apples, carrots and even tomatoes, my daddy’s favorite thing. We’re going to make some pickles and some hamburgers and French fries,” she said, adding, “I’m going to Disneyland.”

For dessert, Alaina said she’d fix up turkey pie containing ketchup, sugar and turkey, of course. She said her mom and dad would clean up the mess after dinner.

“I sweep up the tables,” she said. Alaina added she is thankful for a fun day.

Three-year-old Kendrik Warner focused on some recent hunting action in his household, when asked how he would fix up a Thanksgiving turkey.

“My dada got a deer with a shotgun. We’re going to eat it. We was just going to get the deer and when it hit him on the belly, the deer was fighting with my dada,” the little boy said.

Besides deer, Kendrik’s side dishes would include tomatoes and beans, and for dessert? A bigger turkey.

“Turkey’s got feet and a big old back,” he said, adding, “My gammy has big turkeys, a brown turkey.”

Kendrik said he would help out on Thanksgiving Day by cleaning up fast and playing with his toys, for which he was most thankful—Hulk and cars.

Three-year-old Ayden Robinson said he’s going to serve cake with macaroni for Thanksgiving. As for the turkey, he’s going to get it from the barber shop and cook in a pan on the stove with Mentos for five hours. Ayden’s feast will include broccoli and carrots. For dessert? Chocolate cake and pineapple juice. His teachers will do the cleaning up.

Finally, 4-year-old Jamarion Tibbs said he’s going to get his 50-pound turkey from Target.

“Got to cut it in half and I eat it with my spoon,” he said, adding, “And put some cotton candy on it. I cut it and put it on the stove with horseshoes.”

Jamarion also planned to serve a thawed duck from his family’s freezer.

“I’m going to cook pizza,” he said of eating dinner with his family.

Asked what he was thankful for, the little boy had birds on the mind: “I’m thankful that I can walk the turkey and the duck.”

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