We may be living and breathing Thanksgiving plans this week, but we've got nothing on the experts answering phones over at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, who stand by each holiday season to answer your every turkey conundrum.
I recently dialed the company's talk line headquarters in Naperville, IL, where I caught up with veteran talk-line expert Marty Van Ness. She's been offering turkey advice all day, every day, two months out of the year, for the past 20 years. Since — obviously! — she's got quite a way with turkeys, Marty shared some sage turkey advice, plus a few of her favorite Butterball hotline stories.
YumSugar: How and when did you get started as a talk-line expert?
Marty Van Ness: This is my 20th year. Years ago, in the 1980s, I went to work in a test kitchen and met a group of women who did the talk line. I applied, got the job, and was thrilled. Now I do both jobs, all at the same time.
YS: How do you gear up for the holiday cooking season?
MVN: We start Nov. 1; prior to that, we have Butterball 101 at Butterball University, where our staff of 55 in home economics trains on all different methods of cooking turkey. We learn different methods of cooking turkey and cook all our turkeys, from opening the bag until carving at the end. It's interesting to see 10 different turkeys and their different [cooking] methods; each is wonderful for its own reason.
Read on for more turkey talk-line questions, answered.