November 23, 2022
🐪 It's Wednesday!
☂️ Today's weather: 20% chance of showers, and cloudy with a high near 61.
⚡ Situational awareness: Twitter could be "dual-headquartered" in California and Texas, company owner Elon Musk suggested in a meeting with staffers, per The Verge.
Today's newsletter is 829 words — a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: Holiday travel is back
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials are gearing up for a busier-than-usual Thanksgiving travel period, estimating that the number of passengers flying out of the airport this month will be the most in at least three years.
Why it matters: Holiday travel across the country is returning to pre-pandemic levels, and this year the number of Thanksgiving week sojourns falls behind only those in 2005 and 2019, per AAA, which started tracking in 2000.
By the numbers: Officials expect the daily number of passengers flying out of the Austin airport to reach roughly 30,000 today, according to data provided to Axios.
- Officials do not yet have an estimate for this month's total, but a spokesperson said 2022 numbers will likely exceed 2019, 2020 and 2021 because airlines are offering 35% more seats for sale this month.
Driving the news: Nearly 55 million Americans will travel 50 miles or farther this week.
- Most people will travel by car, but road-tripping for the holidays remains 2.5% below 2019 levels.
Zoom out: Nationwide, 4.5 million people are expected to fly during the holiday week, which starts today.
- And 1.4 million people will travel by train or bus or take a cruise, an increase of 23% compared with last year.
Travel tips: Airport officials have already warned travelers to arrive two and a half hours before their flight.
- Passengers parking at ABIA can reserve a space and check for real-time availability before arriving at the airport.
- And if you are obligated to bring cranberry sauce to Thursday's dinner, the canned version is allowed in your checked luggage, per the TSA.
💭 Our thought bubble: This might be a good time to brush off those New Year's resolutions and finally try meditation.
2. 🦃 How not to fry your turkey
If you're deep-frying your turkey this year, be careful.
- Yes, you want a crisp, juicy bird — but you also want to keep your eyebrow hairs unsinged.
What's happening: The Austin Fire Department on Tuesday demonstrated how not to fry your turkey.
The big picture: U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,400 fires on Thanksgiving, more than three times the average of any other day during the year.
- Texas ranks first among states for the most grease and cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.
What not to do: The main causes of deep-fryer fires include:
- Too much oil in the fryer pot. Oil spilling out of the pot can hit the burner and cause flare-ups.
- Dropping a frozen or partially thawed turkey — which has a lot of frozen water inside it — into oil. "Water and oil are explosively destructive together," Angela Martin, a lieutenant with the Austin Fire Department, told reporters at the demonstration.
- Frying too close to buildings. Cook away from flammables and keep your distance from wooden structures.
What they did: "We did pretty much everything you're not supposed to do to get an amazing, cool flame," Martin said.
- They overfilled the fryer pot and heated it to 500 degrees — and dropped a frozen turkey into it.
Be smart: Martin recommended deep frying with an apron.
- "Nobody wants to cook bacon naked. It's the same thing."
3. 🤠 The Roundup: Wrangling the news
👩💻 Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is laying off a total of 222 workers on Jan. 13 across its West Sixth, McAllen Pass, Alterra Parkway and West Third locations. (KXAN)
📚 Austin officials are seeking national historic status for the former Faulk Central Library, at Eighth and Guadalupe. (Austin Towers)
😔 Indie bookstore Malvern Books, which became a hub for writers in Austin, will close Dec. 31. The store's closure comes after owner Joe Bratcher died from COVID-19 complications. (Austin American-Statesman)
4. Your long weekend lineup
If you're staying put for Thanksgiving, we've got you covered. Here are a few events we're eyeing for the long weekend:
🎭 Catch Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" on stage at the Long Center through Sunday.
🤠 Wrap up your turkey day at the Continental Club, where Dale Watson and his Lone Stars will perform their Thanksgiving show and dance. Doors open at 9pm. $15 cover.
🏀 Watch the Texas women's basketball team take on Princeton at 1pm Sunday at the Moody Center.
Plan your future
5. 🧈 Charted: Our butter consumption
Even as Texans are world-famous eaters, we're not all that big on butter.
The big picture: We love butter on our mashed potatoes, but we noticed that butter consumption lags in Texas, the Southwest and the West.
Between the lines: "The butter 'divide' is not surprising considering that much of the Midwest and East Coast was settled by Europeans who brought with them a long tradition of dairying and buttery cuisine," Elaine Khosrova, author of "Butter: A Rich History," tells Axios. "In the West and Southwest, of course, you have more settlers from Hispanic cultures, where butter was not a prominent ingredient in their dishes."
Yes, but: Deep fried butter won the Most Creative award at the 2009 Texas State Fair.
Thanks to Lindsey Erdody for editing and Kathie Bozanich for copy editing this newsletter.
Programming note: We're off Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, but we'll be back in your inbox bright and early — and still quite full — Monday morning.
🎧 Asher is listening to this catchy new song from the Austin band Wild Child.
😬 Nicole is headed to Omaha, Nebraska, for Thanksgiving. Send happy thoughts.