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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Entries in thanksgiving (3)

    Friday
    Nov142014

    How to Host a Turkey Shoot (Camera Required)

     

    Our family has never been big on after-turkey day flag flag football. Instead, we've been known to drag out a jigsaw puzzle, mix up a spirited holiday eggnog, or round up a posse for the sorta-annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. No firearms required. All you need is your smartphone, your car keys and a few willing turkeys. . . ummm relatives.

    Turkey Shoot Rules & Regulations

    Rule #1: Each team shall consist of a minimum of 3 turkeys (contestants), one automobile, and one Polaroid camera.

    The first time we tried this was 1998 when my sister and family lived in Silverado Canyon, an isolated canyon in the Orange County hills of Southern California. As I remember, the crowd that year included kids of all ages, aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, and bewildered guests. My sister worked out the "Destinations" using local landmarks and the teams were pretty evenly filled with at least one "local" in each group.

    Smartphone cameras would work as a good substitute for the Polaroids, or you could use the fun new Instax Instant Film  cameras. Everyone likes to see their picture actually printed, so it might be worth borrowing a few instant-print cameras if possible.

    Rule #2: The objective of the competition is to navigate your team between suggested destinations and return with photographic proof of your adventures.

    This Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot is a riff on an old fashioned scavenger hunt.  The Regulation Handbook needs to list the Rules (VERY important to family harmony) and destinations with points.

    Rule #3: Depending upon the degree of difficulty, each potential destination has been awarded a point value.

    More points awarded for a photo of a live turkey than a pogo of a bale of hay.

    Rule #4: Teams which demonstrate ingenuity by devising a means to have a stranger operate their camera, (so that all team members appear in the photo) will be awarded 10 bonus points per destination.

    And, THIS, is where family harmony can begin to break down. The rules state that "a stranger" must operate the camera -- because Polaroid camera's didn't work with a remote shutter release, duh -- but what if you "know" the "stranger." Does the team still earn the points? 

    Rule #5: No team is allowed to leave the canyon.

    It's a good idea to establish geographic boundaries or you may lose your contestants.

    Rule #6: Desitnations may be visited in any sequence.

    Another good rule that helps to spread out the teams in your area. Watch out for neighbors who may help or hinder teams that follow the first one. Folks seem to get into the spirit of the event. It might be good to heat up more cider for the after-party.

    Rule #7: Return to the host's home at the designated time.

    Our teams dragged home in a most untimely fashion. Penalize tardiness with a point loss to get the turkeys home before dark.

    Rule #8: The team with the highest total point score will be honored at the Gala Awards Ceremoney and be exempt from dishwashing duties.

    Prizes are always welcome! Recycle old trophies, or make your own with chocolate turkeys!

    Turkey Shoot Destinations

    (Customize for your neighborhood. Don't make 'em too easy.)

    Turkey Class - 35 points each

    With a live turkey

    With something that embodies the spirit of Thanksiving

    In front of a "Kids at Play" sign

    In front of an Eiffel tower (!)

    Sitting on a hammock

    Stuffing Class - 30 points each

    On top of a castle

    In front of a roaring fire

    In front of a "Road Ends" sign

    With two dogs owned by a stranger

    On a boat

    Cranberry Class - 25 points each

    With a horse

    Standing next to a fire truck

    On a walking bridge

    In front of a "Happy Thanksgiving" sign

    Sitting on a bale of hay

    You won't want to miss a photo of all the teams, maybe holding up their winning photos.

    Turkey Shoot Handbook

    Turkey Shoot Variations 

    City Version

    My sister reminded me that the original version of this game included city destinations such as: Have your photo taken with a Starbucks Barista (you could add a Pumpkin Latte!). 

    Newspaper Edition

    The Newspaper in Education website includes a Thanksgiving Newspaper Scavenger Hunt that's a good option if the weather isn't cooperating with an outdoor driving shoot.

    Wednesday
    Nov272013

    Talking Turkey

    I've never met a turkey I didn't like. Even dried up old curmudgeonous fowl can be artfully disguised in a lovely soft roll slathered with gravy or cranberry sauce. But, turkey and all the trimmings are not "our" holiday, so we often find ourselves aproned and whisk at the ready in someone else's kitchen.

    USTurkey

    I now travel like Strega Nona with an apron and my favorite whisk. Please don't think you are imposing if you ask me to make the gravy. I was taught by the masters (or mistresses) and make darn good gravy. The secret, said one grandmother, is to keep it HOT. The secret, said another, is to brown the flour. I do both. And when it's hot and bubbling, the quart or two or three stays piping hot in a slow cooker or large thermos jug. 

    I also bring my own basic ingredient -- raspberry jello (hard to find in London). What's Thanksgiving turkey without Auntie's Cranberry Jello Salad? It's just another dinner. Don't like jello? Don't worry. The traditional American cranberry has enough pectin to congeal in any mold! Cook with sugar and orange peel until thickened and place in a stoneware mold to chill.

    FransCranberryJello |www.thefamilycurator.com

    The best part about Thanksgiving dinner, I think, is that everyone in our family expects a traditional meal -- turkey, stuffing, gravy, green beans, pumpkin pie. One pie per kid.

    My earliest memory of Thanksgiving is a confusion of people and tables and chairs all set up in my grandparent's front room. I don't remember anything about the meal except I didn't want to eat it. My wise grandmother Arline disappeared into the kitchen and returned with the can of Reddi Whip. Dessert hadn't been served, but she simply filled my plate with whipped cream and sat down at her own place. Now that was a meal to remember.

    Pumpkin Pie

    Thursday
    Nov222012

    Thanksgiving Blessings from The Family Curator

    TgivingPC 01f

    TgivingPC 01r

    At this certain time of year,
    We think of friends both far and near.
    We count our blessings, one-two-three,
    And give a heartfelt thanks to Thee.

    Happy Thanksgiving
    from The Family Curator

    Postcard from the collection of Arline Allen Kinsel.