Let's talk turkey | Nicole Culver

Nicole Culver - Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review
Nicole Culver
— image credit: Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review

The Review visited Ordway Elementary to talk turkey — and Thanksgiving — with some of the school’s first-graders.

Nicole Culver, 7

Do you like Thanksgiving?

"Yes! I like it because I like eating a lot of food. It's so good. I love the mashed potatoes. That's my favorite part."

Do you help make the mashed potatoes?

"Yes. And I made up this recipe called Willies. It's where you put meat, mashed potatoes, and corn, and you put them together in layers. Across the top, put butter on top. And it's really good."

It sounds very elaborate.

"It's delicious. I made it up."

What's your secret for making it taste so good?

"Well, my secret is ... [Whispers] It's the mashed potatoes."

[Whispers back] It's the mashed potatoes.

Do you have turkey, too?

"No, there's no turkey in the mashed potatoes part."

Oh. A lot of people have turkey on Thanksgiving. Do you?

"Yeah. And we make Willies on Thanksgiving and I always eat them all up! I eat like every single crumb of them on my plate cause it's so good. And sometimes I get seconds. But sometimes when I get seconds, they are all gone because they are so good. I made it up. I made up the Willies. It's really so good!" [Makes lip-smacking sounds.]

Do you know how to cook a turkey?

"Uh-uh. But I know how to make pizza."

Where did you learn to make that?

"My daddy. Actually, I know how to write my name in cursive."

Really? That's something.

"You go ...mmmm....mmm...mmm! Easy." [writes name with finger on desk].

So your favorite part about Thanksgiving is eating. What's your second-favorite part?

"Playing in the yard."

Having you been learning about the Pilgrims? Why did they come to America?

"Because they needed to."

Do you remember how they got here?

"On the Mayflower. And I actually found dinosaur fossils before in Wyoming."


"Mmm-hhmm. Dinosaur fossils. And for show-and-tell, I'm going to bring one. I might even bring the biggest one I have. Or I might bring, the actual shell."

Wow. Pretty fancy.

"Yeah, it's pretty hard to find them. I had to dig, dig, dig, dig. It was hard. And I had to get rocks and throw them on the ground, and try to make them crack open. And it wasn't any type of rock, it had to be a certain type of rock."

So, Thanksgiving's coming up. What are you most thankful for?

"God. That's all I can say."

Now, what's the name of that recipe you do?


Willies. How did you come up with that name? Was it named after somebody?

"No, I just made it up. I made it up when I was 3 years old."

Well, it sounds pretty delicious.

"Delicious - it is. You should make it when you get home."

I wrote down what you told me; how to make it. It sounds pretty good. It's in layers.

"Yes, it's in layers. And you might want to get a big, big plate to do it. Because, maybe an animal, when you are sleeping, an animal might come in and eat it." [Laughs.]

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