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Audibles Episode 12 “Butterball Turkey Talk-Line”


Next Thursday families all over our country will gather together at dining room tables to celebrate Thanksgiving. Most families will celebrate with a traditional Turkey and dressing meal… maybe you’re like many who will slave in the kitchen to cook the perfect turkey…

If by chance you run into trouble on cooking the perfect turkey…for more than 30 years, Butterball Turkey has provided a turkey talk-line for exasperated cooks who need extra assistance in cooking the perfect bird.

Knowing just how funny and quirky people can be, I thought it might be interesting to see what kind of calls the hotline has received over the years. I found some interesting true stories that were reported.

One call came from a young mother failed to notice her children playing near the oven-ready bird. The kids decided the turkey’s cavity was a good place to park toy cars. Their mom didn’t discover the turkey was serving as a garage until after the turkey had been roasted. She wanted to know if the turkey was still edible…

A West Coast woman who had taken anti-bacterial precautions too far called Butterball to find out how to get the bleach she’d used off her bird—that gives a whole new meaning to white meat…..bleach…never mind….

Butterball turkey experts still talk about the Kentucky woman who called in 1993 to ask how to get her dog out of her turkey. It seems the woman’s Chihuahua had dived into the bird’s cavity and become trapped there. The woman tried pulling the pooch and shaking the bird, all to no avail. A Butterball economist finally suggested the woman carefully cut the opening in the turkey wider to release the captive canine.

Then there was the young bride who had a small, apartment-size range and was worried the turkey would get larger as it cooked (similar to a loaf of bread rising) she was worried she wouldn’t be able to get it out of the oven after it was done.

Then there are questions on how long to cook the turkey. One lady in Arkansas had her five-pound turkey in the oven 24 hours and asked the talk line if they thought it was done. Another caller wanted to know the best method for reattaching the thighs and drumsticks when they fall off. His 12-poundturkey had been in the oven since 8am… the day before.

Others have different oven-related questions, such as: “Your directions say to roast the turkey, but my oven says only bake or broil; how do I set it?”

A few years ago I decided to email the Turkey hotline and see if they had any other stories that they had compiled that they would be willing to share…. Here’s a part of the email response….

Hello Pastor Barry,

Thank you for contacting the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line…As you correctly assumed we have had some humorous phone calls and emails over that last 28 years. Most of them, however, are just memories we hold, nothing has been compiled to share. The most common call we get as Thanksgiving approaches is that the turkey is “still frozen.” So you might want to remind all your congregation on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, that if they haven’t started thawing yet, it’s time!! And reassure them that, if they need it, we are here to help.

Sincerely, Butterball Turkey Talk-Line

So there’s your reminder…. You should start thawing the turkey this Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Talk-Line Stories source: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/thanksgiving/hotline.asp

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