Talking Turkey: TAHS Serves Up Traditional Holiday Meal

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As a rule, lunch in the high school cafeteria is not usually considered a “can’t miss” event. However, last Thursday’s cafeteria meal was a definite exception to that rule.

That’s because Thursday was the annual Thanksgiving feast, a long-standing Tyrone tradition that most students and staff look forward to. Few students pack, skip lunch, or eat at the café on Thanksgiving meal day and teachers who rarely eat at the cafeteria will leave their leftovers at home and buy lunch.

There’s a lot of extra work and preparation for this one meal. Since I came to Tyrone the Thanksgiving meal has been special. It’s a meal a lot of people look forward to”

— Cummins McNitt

Behind the scenes, there is a lot more work put into this meal than most students realize.

According to food service director Amanda Grove, the cafeteria staff starts to plan the meal about a month in advance. They spend time looking at the numbers from last year, deciding what to make, and how to make it.

This year all of the food for the Thanksgiving meal was prepared fresh and cooked right here at the school.

“There’s a lot of extra work and preparation for this one meal. Since I came to Tyrone the Thanksgiving meal has been special. It’s a meal a lot of people look forward to,” said Grove.

This year their were some new additions to the menu as well as what Grove hopes will be a new tradition: teachers and staff helping to serve the meal.

One of the guest servers was TAHS social studies and drivers ed teacher Cummins McNitt.

“I had a blast. I know it was pretty corny of me to wear the pilgrim hat, but why not get into the spirit of it all,” said McNitt, “I believe that service to other is one of the most important things we can do in this life. To have a chance with our student body was great.”

Students walked through the lunch line as usual and got to choose what they wanted to eat, except instead of just the lunch ladies serving the food, teachers and staff were serving as well.

High School Principal Tom Yoder and Acting Superintendent Leslie Estep were even serving up fresh apple cider to the students.

Head chef Tammy Delbaggio, who has been the head chef at the TAHS cafeteria for 26 years, was excited to serve this special meal to the students and staff.

“Everybody works hard to make the meal more special for the students. That’s why we decorate the kitchen,” said Delbaggio.

Of course, turkey is the heart of the meal, and this year all the turkey was dressed, roasted, and carved in the school kitchen.

I thought that the meal was great. Everything tasted amazing and it was a fun surprise seeing some staff members serving the food”

— Lucia Isenbeg

Classic Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, sweet corn, and homemade gravy accompanied the turkey.

Another big addition this year was homemade deserts. The cafeteria staff served two types of graham cracker-crust pudding pies, chocolate and vanilla, along with pumpkin pie, of course.

The middle school and elementary school cafeterias also prepared their own specialty desserts, like apple cobbler and several types of pies.

Junior Lucia Isenberg was pleased with the meal.

“I thought that the meal was great. Everything tasted amazing and it was a fun surprise seeing some staff members serving the food,” said Isenberg.

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