By Sarah Lehr
According to lore, the Pilgrims celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving in 1621. The date of Kenyon’s first “Peircegiving” ﾗ a tradition arguably just as illustrious as that fateful Plymouth Rock feast ﾗ remains unclear. AVI Foodsystems worker Mary Shaw says Peircegiving has graced the campus for at least 26 years, since she started working at Kenyon.
Peircegiving, an annual meal prepared by AVI in anticipation of Thanksgiving, will take place this evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Each year, AVI closes the servery and heaps traditional Thanksgiving fare on the tables of the Great Hall. Peircegiving distinguishes itself from any other Kenyon dinner, in part, due to sheer volume.
Shaw explained this year’s meal will involve “just a lot of turkeys,” eight cases of spaghetti squash and 400 pounds of mashed potatoes. This reporter expressed incredulity at such a monstrous amount of spuds, but Shaw insisted Peircegiving’s potato dishes rarely make it to leftover status.
Lydia Shahan ’15 waxed enthusiastic about the mashed potatoes, as well as about the green bean casseroles of Peircegivings past. Shahan upped the event as a “resplendent, hectic, splendid feast.”
She urged Kenyon students to “surrender all expectation that it will be a short meal. If you let the chaos get to you, you’ll just be upset.”
Since the Great Hall ends up being used for serving food rather than seating and since Peircegiving is an unusually popular meal, the chaos stems from a mad rush for a table.
“Second to my joy that Peircegiving is coming is my fear that I will not successfully stake out a place in line, or a table, or that Peirce is going to run out of chairs,” Kristen Prevost ’15 said. “That is a yearly struggle.”
Prevost typically arrives for Peircegiving at 4:45 p.m., but this year she has a meeting that lasts until 5 p.m. “I’m planning on sending agents in to stake out tables prior to my arrival,” she said.
Alex Andrew ’17 will try a more laid-back tactic this Peircegiving. “[Upperclassmen] told me not to show up at four because ﾅ you can show up at seven and there’ll still be food.”
Andrew, in response to a question about how he’s been preparing for his first Peircegiving, said, “I don’t think I’ve done anything.” The juniors at his dinner table in Thomas Hall clicked their tongues and shook their heads at his na?vet?.
Claire Popovich ’15, who plans to claim a table at 4 p.m. and to get in line for food at 4:45 p.m., offered round praise for Peircegiving. “We should be really thankful for [it],” she said. “It’s what makes Kenyon, Kenyon.”
Popovich had only one suggestion for improvement. “They should have a real [live] turkey just walking around Peirce,” she said.
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