Thanksgiving Craft You can Eat: Apple Turkeys

Thanksgiving Crafts you Can Eat

By Pia Hinckle

Thanksgiving, when I was a kid, was always a massive affair. My mother would roast a monstrous turkey that barely fit in the oven; friends and family would bring side dishes of all stripes and sizes, and my sister and I would ride with my dad in the 1969 white Chevy Impala convertible to pick up the cake.

My dad wasn’t much a cook back then (being from the Irish-German side of the family where fruit salad came in a can, thank you very much) so this was his way to bring something to the table (and stop for a quick pick-me-up at a favorite watering hole.)

Late November often brings a wave of warm sunshine to San Francisco and more often then not I remember the top down in the convertible (with the heat blasting as often required in Northern California) as we rode across town on Thanksgiving morning. “Gobble, gobble, gobble!!!” the three of us would yell at every passerby from the Castro (our neighborhood) to North Beach (our destination).

After picking up the Sacripantina cake at Stella Pastry, there would be the inevitable stop for “just a minute” at Gino & Carlo’s on Green Street or Cookie’s on Kearny Street, where we would be treated to Shirley Temples and play dominoes while my dad, a journalist, and editor at the time of the radical magazine  Scanlan’s, offered a T-day round to whoever was at the bar.

Back home, guests would start arriving in the late afternoon. We would play tag around the house with cousins and the children of grown-ups we didn’t know. When it came time to eat, the kids would be corralled at their own table and given something to do so the grown-ups could get on with the important chatting, drinking, and eating.

Apple Turkeys were a perfect way to keep us occupied. We had apples, we had toothpicks, raisins, and mini marshmallows—what’s not to like? They are also a completely edible (except the toothpicks) and totally compostable craft activity!

Apple Turkeys


  • Apples (1 for each turkey)
  • 1 box raisins
  • 1 bag mini-marshmallows
  • Toothpicks
  • (Optional: yellow raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruits)


  1. Take 4 toothpicks and make legs for your turkey. (Children under 4 may need help to do this.)
  2. Use toothpicks to create a “tail” on the backside of the turkey by inserting them at all the same depth in a fan pattern. Leave enough room between picks to decorate each pick with a mix of dried fruit and mini-marshmallows.
  3. Break a toothpick in half and decorate with raisins for eyes.

Note: Small children should be supervised.   They may not have the motor skills or hand strength to insert the toothpicks, and well, kids and toothpicks.

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