Little boy in the 70's holding turkey he killed

Scrapple, Pickles & Nog: A Very Special Parthenon Thanksgiving

Is that too much thigh for November? You be the judge.
Is that too much thigh for November? Or just for a boy in general? You be the judge.

Chit’lins. Jorts. Subzero treks across Wisconsin. If you’re anything like us, these can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving.

For most of you fancy folks, Thanksgiving means parades, tossing the pigskin and Norman Rockwell paintings. But it is not so for us. We prefer our Turkey Day a little rougher around the edges.

So take a break from reading Buzzfeed Thanksgiving finishing up your work and let us school you in the wonderful – and often weird – foods, events and traditions that make our Thanksgivings memorable.

And remember: If someone isn’t frozen or throwing up when it’s over, you’re doing it wrong.


Andy: A scrapple a day

Our family stuffing has scrapple in it. November 9 was National Scrapple Day. There is an Apple Scrapple Festival in Delaware. All facts.

For the uneducated, Wikipedia defines scrapple as, “a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with flour and spices and formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf that is pan fried before serving.”

That sounds like what Vikings would eat. All your side dishes are pretty much fairy food.

Michael: Cool rider

My family owned an old 1943 Chevy and my dad thought it would be neat to arrive in it for Thanksgiving dinner. The problem was that Thanksgiving dinner was at a friend’s about 4 hours away, and the car had no heat. So we drove halfway across Wyoming and back in subzero weather.

This, in combination with what Michael’s mother did to him on Halloween, makes Michael’s parents the official winners of the Parthenon Badass Parenting Award.

Ashley White: Don’t call ’em chitterlings

Chit’lins – not chitterlings – are a family tradition. They are boiled for hours in water seasoned with garlic powder and salt. How many hours? I don’t know. I just know they taste amazing drowned in hot sauce.

Just a bunch of Starks being pretty and doing good.
Just a bunch of Starks looking pretty and doing good.

Bobby: Let’s bolt

Our Thanksgiving tradition is to participate in the Boulevard Bolt. It is a 5-mile walk/run that has raised more than $2 million for organizations serving the homeless. About 8,500 people participate every year.

You may now commence feeling guilty that your traditions are based on eating yourself comatose while Bobby is exercising and helping the homeless.

Carlton: Turkey slayer

wishbone from turkey Carlton killed
The wishbone from Carlton’s kill.

When I was about 12, I shot a turkey which we ended up using for Thanksgiving dinner. Heroic image of me and deceased fowl at the top of this post.

Carlton appears to still have this intact wishbone in a photo album, which secures his place as the most meticulous and self-controlled 12-year-old of all time.

 Candace: Drink up

My favorite contribution to Thanksgiving is a drink I introduced to my husband Andrew’s family: Red Roosters. You freeze vodka, orange juice, and cranberry juice so it becomes a slushy.

Plying the in-laws with alcohol? We’ll drink to that.

Jacky: It’s a process

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is my Grandpa’s stuffing. The process (it’s not a recipe) is a two-day long adventure, filled with weird secret ingredients and techniques. A few of those:

  • Leave 6 loaves of bread out overnight with the fan on.
  • You will need all the grease from 2 lbs of bacon.
  • “The process” serves 50 people, and the batch will not turn out right unless you make the full amount.

Eric: Not pictured

In a surprising move to absolutely no one, Eric forgot to wax nostalgic before taking off for the week. We believe this clip captures what he will be doing tomorrow.

Joe: 2 pies for the price of 1

My parents grew up during The Depression, and they still believe in stretching food as far as it can go. Every Thanksgiving my mother divides the ingredients for one pie into two shells, thus the two pies that should have been one. I still look longingly at all things deep-dish.

Ashley Brantley:

I was 8-years-old the Thanksgiving I discovered egg nog (non-alcoholic, of course). My parents told me I was on my own if I made myself sick, so I downed a quick gallon. When we started down the mountain from my aunt’s house, though, I was definitely not on my own while emptying the contents of my stomach into the back seat of my dad’s Taurus. And that’s why you can’t bluff a kid with a belly full of nog.

football trophy
Matt: Let’s talk about the use of the word “giant” with regard to this trophy.

Matt T.: Turkey Trophy

We used to have a family football game every Thanksgiving complete with a giant turkey trophy that gets winners’ names on it every year.

Nancy: Pickled pair

Does everybody have pickles on their Thanksgiving table? Well, we do. Sour pickles, pickled tomatoes, you name it. My cousin and I always had to slice them, and we would snack and talk and laugh while we sliced. My cousin passed away a few years ago, and Thanksgiving pickles really aren’t the same without her.

A Smörgåsbord of pickles should be required at every meal.

Matt P.: Where there’s smoke

My wife and I were unable to get home the first Thanksgiving after we were married. We decided to buck tradition and make steaks and some sort of green bean-thingy. I managed to set off the fire alarm in our apartment, but the food was mostly edible, so I consider it a win.

Tim: The Turkey Triangle

Thanks, Alton Brown.