Thanksgiving 2017: It's All About the Potatoes in Arlington
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Thanksgiving 2017: It's All About the Potatoes in Arlington

Serenity Burs, 3rd grade, says sometimes they drive to North Carolina to see her "ge ge" but this year they will be going to her grandparents and aunt in Baltimore. They will have turkey and mashed potatoes and "mac and cheese, my favorite. There is a lot of food." She says, "I get to spend time with my sister and my dad and mother and we have fun."

Serenity Burs, 3rd grade, says sometimes they drive to North Carolina to see her "ge ge" but this year they will be going to her grandparents and aunt in Baltimore. They will have turkey and mashed potatoes and "mac and cheese, my favorite. There is a lot of food." She says, "I get to spend time with my sister and my dad and mother and we have fun." Photo by Shirley Ruhe.

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Josephine Lynn Thomas, 3rd grade, goes to her grandparents in the country in Pennsylvania. "My grandpa hunts turkeys and I help him pick off the feathers." Then they make a little fire pit outside and collect wood from her grandpa's farm and cook the turkey, "oh, about half an hour." They have mashed potatoes and corn "and my grandma taught my mom to make the old family recipes like lasagna which was my great great grandpa's favorite." Josephine is grateful at Thanksgiving when they pick up her birth mother at the airport "because I don't get to see her very often."

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Cyana Still, 5th grade, says her grandmother makes great real homemade applesauce and cherry pie which she serves in a buffet with a tower of three pies including pumpkin and blueberry. She says they have a big dining room table for holidays, and the buffet goes on the kitchen table. This year they have a new turkey pot and, "I take off the skins of the yams and add milk and mash them with a fork and add a lot of cinnamon and sugar." It is special at Thanksgiving when her godmother comes from Texas "where I was born."

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Blen Solomon, 2nd grade, says she goes out with her mother to buy the Thanksgiving dinner with cornbread, mashed potatoes, pumpkin and apple pies and a turkey which her mother brings home and warms up a little. She stays home with her sister and mom on Thanksgiving and her favorite "is eating the food."

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Obayar Janchiydorj, 4th grade, is Mongolian so "last year we didn't know about Thanksgiving. I think my mom will try to make a turkey this year and we'll probably have salad." He says “I have a lot of things I am grateful for, most of all having the whole family together, my baby sister, older sister, mom and dad."

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Danny Cushman, 5th grade, drives to Charlottesville "to his stepdad's brother's wife where there is a big crowd with their kids, the cousins and friends. First we talk, then we get our food, then we pray, then we eat and have dessert." He says they make the turkey a special way by putting it in a pot on a fire outside the house. "The fire heats up the water and we boil the turkey and then it cooks inside. And we have a new special way to make mashed potatoes this year in the blender." Sometimes after dinner they build a fort with big sticks or make a huge pile of leaves and hide in them. "I tell the kids to go get my mom; I want to jump out and scare her."

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Miles McBride, 1st grade, drives with his family to his grandparents in Arlington. He says they have mashed potatoes, his favorite, and macaroni and cheese and ham, and they grill a chicken. He says they have a big round table with enough seats for everyone. His cousins and aunt are there, “a lot of people, about nine.” Sometimes after dinner they play sports like tag or basketball or baseball and it's especially fun to play poison frog at the table where everyone closes their eyes and someone gets tapped to become the frog.

School children at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School on South Queen Street chatter about Thanksgiving, with the common themes being family and mashed potatoes.