Part of the joy and craziness of being a family are those traditions that you grow up thinking are normal but you later find out existed only in that family bubble.
My family is a creative bunch. We are also all a tad crazy. Both aspects tend to reflect in our traditions. No more so than in our favorite family Thanksgiving tradition – Apple Turkeys.
I am not positive what year the apple turkeys began but I am 37 years old and I don’t remember a Thanksgiving without them. So, they must have come in when myself and my cousins were pretty young.
Apple turkeys are a great activity to keep kids (and grown up) kids busy while the meal is cooking. They are pretty easy to do too. All you really need are enough apples to cover every participants, a pile of various candies and toothpicks.
This year, it was just myself and my boyfriend Chris. So, my candy pile was smaller than usual but in general the idea is that everybody brings a couple kinds of candy that they think will lend themselves to apple turkey building. It all goes into the stockpile for everybody to draw from for the construction of their turkeys.
My sister, on the other hand, had her two boys, my parents and her in laws. So, her pile was a bit bigger.
With the tools laid out, the toothpicks are used to attach the candy to the apple to make them look your own personal brand of apple turkey. The two bellow are what myself and Chris came up with on this Thanksgiving.
Here is a shot from a family apple turkey building day a few years ago. As you can see, possibilities are endless though and that is part of the fun. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it as long as everybody is having fun.
Now, I will say that over the years that my family has added a bit of friendly competition in the mix. At the end of the build session, we line up all the apple turkeys and vote on who did the best job. That was a bit more fair before my sister and cousins started to have kids. Now, they come with their own built in voting block. Not fair!
These days, the family is spread all over the world. Facebook has come to the rescue to keep our family tradition alive. In recent years, we have been setting up a Facebook event where various branches of the family add photos of their apple turkeys when they are done making them. We’ve been taking that opportunity to invite family friends to the event in hopes of growing the apple turkey Thanksgiving tradition to beyond our family. Why not grab some turkeys and candy and try it out at your next Thanksgiving family gathering?