The 11 Most Insane Calls To The Butterball Turkey Line
Since Butterball first opened its Turkey Talk Line decades ago, the brand's experts have fielded nearly three million calls from frantic home cooks who have set their stoves on fire, dropped turkeys on the floor, and even forgotten to thaw their birds. Here are the most memorable, hilarious, and down-right crazy calls the operators have had to deal with:
1. "Can I thaw my turkey in the toilet?"
"I wish I was kidding," said Sherri Brennan, who has been manning the Turkey Talk Line for eight years. She later added that she assumed this was a prank call. "But you never know!"
2. "My cat started eating my raw turkey — what do I do?"
Brennan said one woman called in a panic because she had left her turkey on the picnic table to thaw. The next thing she knew her feline friend was helping himself to Thanksgiving dinner early.
3. "Can I cook a 30-year-old turkey?"
After discovering a turkey from 1969 in his dad's freezer, an Alabama man called to ask about the best way to cook the 30+ year-old bird. Although Talk-Line staffers typically recommended the open-roasting pan method for most turkeys, this time the operator suggested that the first step was to purchase a fresher fowl! (For reference, the caller also had the following in his freezer: the top of his wedding cake and a snowball from every snowstorm he'd experienced in Alabama.)
4. "How do I give my turkey a bikini?"
Some holiday chefs take extreme measures to please all guests. One year a caller was e-mailed a photo featuring a turkey with a "suntanned bikini look." As she was entertaining guests from the Bahamas, she asked Mary Clingman, a 20-year Butterball veteran, how she could create a tropical turkey. Believe it or not, Clingman had heard this one before and had a proven tactic ready: wrap aluminum foil around your bird in the shape of a bathing suit.
5. "How do I prepare the giblets for my cat?"
"I couldn't advise her exactly but I did tell her how most humans like to eat them," said Joyce Houmes, who's been with Butterball for 11 years.
6. "How can I thaw my turkey on my car luggage rack safely?"
One woman who was in California called while driving to Denver, asking Houmes how she could safely thaw her turkey in the open air while it was strapped to her car's roof rack. "I told her she couldn't necessarily do that safely but she really wouldn't listen, she kept saying she was going to do it anyway."
7. "Will chainsaw oil affect my roast?"
One man called to tell the operator he cut his turkey in half with a chain saw and wanted to know if the oil from the chain would adversely affect the turkey.
8. "How did the meat disappear from my turkey?"
A disappointed woman called wondering why her turkey had no breast meat. After a conversation with a Talk-Line operator, it became apparent that the woman's turkey was lying on the table upside down.
9. "Why do I have to cut the legs off?"
One caller had always cut the legs off the turkey before putting it in the oven thinking that was how you had to cook a turkey. She later learned that the only reason her mom had been doing that was because their oven had been so small that that was the only way to get the bird into the oven!
10. "Why won't my turkey stop sudsing?"
A first-time Thanksgiving chef called in tears on Thanksgiving morning. She was so proud to have thawed the turkey successfully. But then she rinsed the turkey … with dish soap! Marge Klindera, a Talk-Line operator with over 20 years under her belt, said the tears started flowing when the turkey wouldn't stop sudsing. If only the woman had called before she started washing the bird — she would have found out you don't have to rinse the turkey, just pat it dry with paper towels.
11. "Can I keep that turkey-cooking aroma around all week?"
One mom called in and told us about how her little girl had asked if they could slow-roast the turkey for three or four days because she liked how it made the house smell. The experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line told her that the turkey should only stay in the oven for a few hours and that it was definitely not good idea to leave it cooking for four days.