For most, Thanksgiving might stir peaceful images of families sitting down to a meal and feeling content, maybe even a little sleepy. Not here! Around my family and friends, Thanksgiving has become another venue for outright competition as we struggle to make the biggest, tastiest, most outrageous creations we can, and then further compete about how they were made or consumed.

Whose turkey is the most heirloom, organic, and local? Whose pumpkin pie is the richest? Who can eat the most Thanksgiving dinner? (Two years ago, I ate 7 lbs and Saul beat me with 10 lbs that he claims he still hasn’t lost!)

So, for this Thanksgiving, to help celebrate a cornucopia stuffed way beyond its limit and literally exploding with excess, Instructables is holding a Take Thanksgiving to the Next Level contest. Anything and everything Thanksgiving related is eligible and great documentation counts just as much as great concepts. Some ways you could take Thanksgiving to the next level:

  • Triple-decker pumpkin pie, topped by a double-decker pecan pie, with homemade icecream on top.
  • How, where, and why you found a specific breed of turkey that is raised only by one farm, fed only organic grubs, and sung lullabies every evening before it went to sleep. Or, how to hunt a turkey -- whichever, really.
  • Thanksgiving games, particularly unruly, rowdy ones, or games that lead to even more excess, like “increase in body-fat during Thanksgiving dinner” competitions.
  • Unique recipes, especially secret family recipes, or recipes not usually considered part of Thanksgiving. What better way to bring more excess than to increase the potential list of things to make?
  • Elaborate, solar-powered, blinking LED, DIY Thanksgiving centerpieces.
  • Standard recipes documented so lovingly, beautifully, exactingly that they raise the bar for the already awesome recipe keyword. Use macro-mode pictures when appropriate!

Need some inspiration? turkey tek’s Thanksgivings sound about perfect to me with a recirculating gravy fountain, giant pies, and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Chicken Salad and Salmon Tartare Coronets set the bar for documentation; see if you can meet or exceed that level.

Prizes for the Instructables that really take Thanksgiving to the next level are:

Grand Prize
The three super-best Instructables will win beta Eye-fiEye-Film. These SD cards are 802.11g wifi enabled and will upload your pictures directly a some of the major photo sharing and storage services. More information here.

First Prize Package!
The three best Instructables will win On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and a Tanita UM080 Scale with Body Fat and Body Water Monitor. With this prize pack you can read about the savory amino acids, learn how wine is made, and better understand long-chain polysaccharide networks all while charting exactly where that turkey ended up.

Second Prize
10 projects will win one year magazine subscriptions to your choice of Make (digital or print version), Craft (digital or print version), or ReadyMade.

Honorable Mention
15 Projects will be selected for honorable mention and will win an Instructables patch to sew onto your bag, jacket, turkey, or wherever.

All entries must be published and entered in the Thanksgiving group by end of the day November 30th (one week after Thanksgiving).

Step 1: Contest Overview

How do I enter the Thanksgiving Project Contest?
Any project related to Thanksgiving posted publicly and entered in the Thanksgiving group on the Instructables website during the month of November 2006 will be automatically entered in the Thanksgiving Project Contest. If you have questions about specific project ideas, post them as comments and we will respond publicly. Users who wish to post a project and not be considered for the contest will be given the opportunity to decline any award they might win.

How to Win
All contest entries will be judged for merit. Projects will be evaluated for at least the following:

  • instruction quality, including:
    • completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
    • clear, concise text description
    • clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred), use macro mode for close up shots
    • use of photo-notes where appropriate
    • list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
    • safety notes (if appropriate)
    • usefulness
    • originality
    • technical merit

See: Tips for Project Authors

Projects not written in English will be considered at the discretion of the judges.

Project Contest Prizes:
Grand prize
Beta Eye-fiEye-Film cards.

The prize packs including On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and a Tanita UM080 Scale with Body Fat and Body Water Monitor.

Second Prize
10 one year magazine subscriptions to Make (digital or print version), Craft (digital or print version), or ReadyMade.

Honorable Mention
15 Instructables patches

May I submit multiple entries?
Yes. You may submit as many entries as you want. Each project posted to the Instructables website during November 2006 that is related to Thanksgiving is a separate eligible entry in the contest. Entries may also be split into multiple Instructables Projects when appropriate.

Who is eligible for the contest?
The Contest is open anyone who is 18 years or older as of their date of entry, regardless of your place of residence. (see notes in contest rules for foreign entrants).
And how old is this?
did the dumb creator of this website ctreate that stupid dumb b|ass| turkey !
Halloween? That really <em>is</em> the next level of Thanksgiving!<br/>
Arg! Cut and paste strikes again!
turkeys go to hell!
canida how about a taxidermy led turkey!
wow, my birthdays on the 30th :P
there's not nearly as much possibility for this contest as there was for the last one and who would honestly want a scale that smart (creepy and depressing all at the same time) but I've been told that a few of my recipes are pretty good I'll do this just for the halibut (cooking humor)
I disagree. I think there's all sorts of exciting things worth doing and documenting. Don't be fooled into thinking there's fewer possibilities around a meal just because you happen to already eat three times at day. I take turkey tek's comment as proof.
we've been thinking for some time about the potential merits of cooking a turkey with <strong>lava</strong> ( see e.g. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instanthawaii.com/cgi-bin/hawaii?Volcano.cook">http://www.instanthawaii.com/cgi-bin/hawaii?Volcano.cook</a> ) <br/><br/>unfortunately, <strong>lava</strong> seems to be in short supply in our locale.<br/><br/>any advice on obtaining <strong>lava</strong> would be quite welcome.<br/>
is this a website only for americans? or did you convince the mexicans to celebrate your silly holidays too?
Nope - but the owners do indeed live in the United States (and we were to believe you knew everything - just like your fate; we should never believe you :P). If you would like to have a Mexican Revolution Day (Nov. 20) Contest - you're more then welcome to do that on your website ;)
I honestly think I would rather win second prize than first prize.
You clearly don't realize how AWESOME the McGee book is. We pull it out all the time during dinner parties to settle discussions/bets, to identify the olfactory and structural differences between the phenolics and the terpenes, or just to get the history of monosodium glutamate. Where else are you going to find electron micrographs of egg yolk granules? This isn't a cookbook- it's a reference text. There are enough charts, graphs, diagrams, molecular models, and micrographs of all types to entertain even the nerdiest science and engineering types. (We've determined this empirically.) This is one of those books that you learn to appreciate over time, then realize you could never live without.
I know most of those things, though.
I guarantee this book has a great many things you <em>dont</em> know.<br/>
i agree with crash, i know everything
Hold on, hold on... 10 lbs.!?!?!
That turkey looks like he's planning to poison Thanksgiving dinner! And he's got a scary monobrow.
how bout a robotic exoskeleton for turkeys so they can hunt people
damn, that's actually a good idea..
iono "secret" family recipe :P We'll see :P "With this prize pack you can read about the savory amino acids, learn how wine is made, and better understand long-chain polysaccharide networks all while charting exactly where that turkey ended up." Haha! :P

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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