It doesn’t really matter if you have your air conditioning on right now, or that the temperature feels like summer, you can still feel Thanksgiving in the air. The supermarkets are crowded and the shopping malls even more so as our country prepares for a day spent with family and friends. The buzz is palpable, isn’t it? No matter what your circumstances this season, surely there is still so much to be grateful for, living here in the San Gabriel Valley.
Unless, of course, you’re a turkey.
Benjamin Franklin famously thought they should be our national bird, but of course their showier relative took that honor, leaving the turkey to become our favorite national dish at this time of year. Their wild counterparts are able to fly up to 55 miles per hour in short bursts, but the domesticated turkey is alas too fat to gain much velocity, let alone lift.
With more than 20 distinct sounds, they communicate via clucks and gobbles, including one particular shriek that can be heard a mile away. Each turkey has its own voice, recognizable by others as individual and unique. We realize in telling you this that there is also a scientist somewhere who is responsible for discovering that fact, making the idea of a turkey language specialist a viable opportunity for those interested in a career outside of HVAC.
Domesticated turkeys are delicate birds, with farmers requiring specialized air conditioning systems to maintain a safe ambient temperature for their flocks throughout the hotter months. With more than 5,000 feathers, turkeys are nevertheless well-plumed. Sacred to the ancient Mayans, Aztecs and Toltec peoples, their wild ancestors were revered as jeweled birds.
According to historians at the Smithsonian Museum, turkey was indeed served at the very first Thanksgiving consumed by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag counterparts in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts back in 1621. According to Englishman and Thanksgiving dinner guest Edward Winslow, writing a friend:
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week.
At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.”
This holiday 88% of Americans are expected to consume some form of turkey. In 2016, we ate more than 736 million pounds of it on Thanksgiving, apparently (the country, not just the San Gabriel Valley!). In 2012, America put away more than 46 million whole birds. This year, who knows?
Whatever your plans, join us in giving thanks this year for so many blessings. Let us all remember those who are not as fortunate, and take a moment to perhaps share a smile, or even a place at our tables with someone who needs a friend, a favor, or just a little bit of extra hope this year.
From all of us at Air-Tro, we wish you the very best of holidays. (626)357-3535