A few months after Jim and his roommate moved into their new apartment, he invited his mother over for dinner. When Mom arrived she was a bit surprised to meet Jim’s breathtakingly beautiful roommate, Krista. Mom had assumed her son’s roommate was a guy. 

During dinner Mom couldn’t help but notice the playful banter between her son and Krista. Giddy energy. Affectionate looks. Laughing together at “inside jokes.” Mom obviously suspected they might be more than just roommates. 

After dinner Jim walked Mom to her car and said, “Mom, I know what you’re thinking, but Krista and I are just friends.”

Mom replied, “Of course honey. I think it’s wonderful that you found such a nice roommate.”

A few days later Jim and Krista decided they wanted to have some friends and family over to their place for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

As Krista was taking inventory on their dishes and silverware to make sure they had enough for 12 place settings at the table, she noticed that her special gravy ladle was missing from the kitchen drawer in which she usually kept it.

Krista asked Jim, “Have you seen my silver gravy ladle? I just used it last week when your mom came over for dinner but now I can’t seem to find it.”

They turned the apartment upside down but couldn’t find the ladle. Baffled, Jim sent his mom an email asking if she remembered seeing the gravy ladle at dinner.  

His mom quickly replied:

“Hi Jim. Yes, I did see the silver gravy ladle. If Krista really is ‘just your friend’ and sleeping in her own bed she would have found it under her pillow by now. Love Mom.”

This amusing and well-known story is a fitting intro to our subject today… Thanksgiving. 

This Thanksgiving week Teresa and I want to express our gratitude for the cherished community of Paradise Valey that we live in and our many wonderful neighbors. 

For many years I have published a “Turkey Day Trivia” article, and this year is no exception.

So, here’s a little “stuffing” to keep the conversation interesting at your Thanksgiving table this year…

  • The most expensive Thanksgiving dinner on record was served at Old Homestead Steakhouse in Manhattan. It was made for 12 people and cost a whopping $181,000. The dinner consisted of two 20 pound free range turkeys dusted with $2000 in edible gold flakes. The gravy was infused with a $4000 bottle of cognac. The stuffing was made from “seafood bread and champagne,” which consisted of lobster, Alaskan King crab, Otoro tuna and golden caviar from the Caspian Sea.
  • The reports on this one vary, but historians generally agree that there were only four women at the first Thanksgiving. In addition to that, there were 22 men and about 25 teenagers and children.
  • The humble turkey almost beat out the bald eagle as the official symbol of our nation. Benjamin Franklin, who was enamored with the wild bird because it was a swift runner, had keen eyesight, and a regal stance (at least to ole’ Ben), led the push for the wild bird. Nosed out by the eagle, the wild turkey now graces bottles of Kentucky bourbon instead of our dollar bill.
  • Only male (Tom) turkeys gobble. The female (hen) makes a clucking sound. The famous gobble is actually the male’s mating call. Why do we call the males Tom? They are named after Thomas Jefferson who was President at the time and nixed the turkey as the national bird.
  • It is estimated that about 270 million turkeys are sold annually in the U.S. One sixth of those (45 million) are cooked and served on Thanksgiving Day. 22% of the birds come from Minnesota.

  • 90% of American families eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. The bird makes an appearance just a few weeks later when 50% of families serve turkey at their Christmas table.
  • A little Thanksgiving math – what is the circumference of a pumpkin divided by its diameter? (Pi:) 
  • While they’re a favorite at today’s Thanksgiving gatherings, there were no mashed potatoes at the first Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrims believed they were poisonous. 
  • In searching the internet, it appears the heaviest turkey ever weighed in at 86 pounds. 
  • Turkeys can drown if they look up when it’s raining, giving credence to their characterization as “bird brains.” 
  • Turkeys are known to be high strung. U.S. Air Force pilots learned this when entire fields of them died of heart attacks when the pilots flew overhead while trying to break the sound barrier. 
  • While the wild turkey can fly up to 55 miles per hour (for short distances), its domesticated cousin cannot – no doubt due to those big breasts and chunky thighs. But those chunky thighs do help domesticated turkeys run up to 25 miles per hour. 
  • The Pilgrims ate with spoons, knives and their fingers. The fork was not introduced in the New World until ten years later.
  • It’s a myth that Pilgrims wore only black and white and had buckles on their shoes and hats. They were fond of colorful clothing.
  • We can thank the Pilgrims for bringing beer over on the Mayflower. They drank it instead of water aboard ship because microorganisms cannot survive as long in alcohol as they can in water.
  • Speaking of beer, the night before Thanksgiving is the single biggest day for bar sales in the U.S.
  • The cranberry is one of only three fruits, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, native to North America. It must bounce 12 inches to be ready for harvest.
  • Cranberry sauce was probably not part of the first Thanksgiving, as the Pilgrims didn’t have sugar. They used the berry to dye fabric.
  • The first meal eaten on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was roasted turkey with all the trimmings.

  • Feeling sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t fall for the “tryptophan in the turkey” myth. It’s minimal. Blame the overload of calories and carbs instead.
  • Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s named after an accounting term when many merchants go from “in the red” to profitable “black” for the year.
  • The busiest air travel day of the year is the day after Thanksgiving.

“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. Concentrate on what you don’t have and you will never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

I hope you have a fun-filled Thanksgiving day with friends, family, Tom Turkey and the fondest of memories.