These stories are from the Butterball Turkey Hotline's most memorable calls. Hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Thanksgiving.
1. Home alone, a Kentucky woman was in the doghouse when she called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. While preparing the turkey, her Chihuahua jumped into the bird's body cavity and couldn't get out. She tried pulling the dog and shaking the bird, but nothing worked. She and the dog became more and more distraught. After calming the woman down, the Talk-Line home economist suggested carefully cutting the opening in the cavity of the turkey wider. It worked and Fido was freed!
2. Taking turkey preparation an extra step, a Virginian wondered, "How do you thaw a fresh turkey?" The Talk-Line staffer explained that fresh turkeys aren't frozen and don't need to be thawed.
3. Birdie, eagle and turkey? Roasting a turkey doesn't have to interfere with the daily routine, so said a retired Floridian. He called "Turkey Central" for turkey grilling tips while waiting to tee off from the 14th hole.
4. Thanksgiving Dinner on the run. A woman called 1-800-323-4848 to find out how long it would take to roast her turkey. To answer the question, the Talk-Line home economist asked how much the bird weighed. The woman responded, "I don't know, it's still running around outside."
5. Tofu turkey? No matter how you slice it, Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without turkey. A restaurant owner in California wanted to know how to roast a turkey for a vegetarian menu.
6. White meat, anyone? A West Coast woman took turkey preparation to extremes by scrubbing her bird with bleach. Afterward, she called the Talk-Line to find out how to clean off the bleach. To her dismay, she was advised to dispose of the turkey.
7. A novice turkey-cooking chef wanted to know if the yellow netting and wrapper around the turkey should be removed before roasting. Envisioning a melted plastic turkey blob, the home economist responded, "Yes," then offered complete roasting directions.
8. There was the woman who called because she wanted to know how to get the metal pieces out of her turkey after using a steel scouring pad to clean it.
9. One woman called in because her father thought she was wrong to defrost the turkey in the sink with the dish mat on top of the bird and the drain stopper on top of that. She claimed that was the way mom had always done it, so it had to be right. From the background I heard ‘mom’ wail, ‘Honey we had a cat!’
10. A woman called to ask if she had to remove the drumsticks of the turkey to cook it correctly. She just didn't seem to believe us when we told her that it was normal to cook turkeys with the drumsticks on, because they'd always removed them in her family ‘for generations.’ She called us back to let us know that she'd discovered that her family had done it that way out of early necessity — ‘my grandmother's oven was so narrow the turkey wouldn't fit unless you removed the legs — and we've followed that technique like gospel ever since.'
11. One year a freshman Turkey Line operator received her very first Talk-Line call from a frantic consumer claiming to have placed their turkey in the pre-heated oven without removing it from its plastic wrapper. ‘Remove the turkey from the oven at once,’ our befuddled rookie immediately blurted into the phone.
12. A caller from Georgia wanted advice from the Butterball folks on cooking a turkey inside her husband's new gas grill. But her husband didn't want the grill to get dirty, so he'd filled it with kitty litter to absorb the grease. Would it be OK to grill the turkey with the litter? No, the operator didn't think so.
13. A caller from Colorado wanted to store her turkey outside, since it was below 40 degrees out. Well, there was a snowstorm and 10" of snow fell. She forgot all about her turkey and called to say she couldn't find it!