WASHINGTON — Peas and carrots have officially been spared from the Thanksgiving oven.

In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, President Donald Trump use his pardon power to keep a pair of turkeys off the holiday table Tuesday. 

Trump's poultry pardon means the two turkeys, a 39-pound bird named Peas and a 41-pounder named Carrots, will get to live the rest of their lives at a Virginia farm. Both were raised on a farm near Huron, South Dakota.

“I will be issuing both Peas and Carrots a presidential pardon; unfortunately I can’t guarantee that your pardons will be enjoined by the ninth circuit,” jested Trump during the ceremony. “Even though Peas and Carrots have received a presidential pardon, I have warned them that House Democrats are likely to issue them both subpoenas.” 

One of the birds made a surprise appearance in the White House Briefing Room prior to the event for some pre-ceremony photographs. Then it was onto the Rose Garden for the official ceremony.

First lady Melania Trump joined her husband for the act of mercy.

President George H.W. Bush established the annual turkey pardon tradition in 1989 by sparing a 50-pound bird, though stories of spared turkeys go as far back as President Abraham Lincoln. In the Nixon era the White House began sending the turkeys to petting zoos, instead of the kitchens, but there were no formal pardons.

President Trump also took some time to honor members of the military, and ask people to pray for the victims of the wildfires in California.

"We send our eternal gratitude to the heroes who keep America safe, strong, proud, prosperous, and free," he said.  

The president is spending the Thanksgiving holiday at Mar-a-Lago in South Florida.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.