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all content 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Suburban Island

Butterball Turkey Talk Line
2002-11-27, 3:32 p.m.

I am glad to know that Butterball has a 1-8OO call-in hot line going for the holidays. God knows, I only cook a turkey twice a year and can barely find my meat thermometer and baster much less remember anything significant about the process of preparing and cooking a turkey dinner.

Tonight I finally made it down to the grocery store to do my Thanksgiving dinner shopping. I love shopping for the holidays as it makes me feel bountiful and sort of glowy inside. It usually ends in the humming of carols as I reorganize the fridge to accomodate my purchases.

I buy a lot of things in boxes these days - stuffing, frozen corn (white and yellow) in lowfat butter sauce, frozen candied yams. Some things in jars and cans, cannisters, and tubs - cranberry light sour cream, salted and unsalted butter, whipped cream, olives (black and green), ready-bake rolls and biscuits. I do actually still peel potatoes for real maxi-rich mashed potatoes but it is really my daughter who is the queen of excellent mashed potato making. I also do cook rutabagas (strange orbs drenched in wax at the time of purchase but when peeled and boiled they taste great mashed with butter and black pepper). My mom started the rutabaga thing and I find I have a strange hankering for them between the end of November until just past Christmas. That however, is about as homemade as it gets this year.

And then there is the turkey which is always a point of contention. I like a big turkey, like in a Norman Rockwell painting. It's so traditional. Especially served up alongside of Stovetop Stuffing and Birds Eye Vegetables...

I'm not the only one that likes the picture-postcard approach to Thanksgiving - so do the kids. We want turkey left over after the big Thanksgiving meal for a ton of turkey dinners and turkey sandwiches. We want to be sick of turkey until Christmas Day. My husband wants a little turkey. He doesn't want the leftovers. He is unimpressed with our descriptions of delightful turkey concoctions.

"Buy a little turkey," he calls behind me as I waltz out the door tonight to the grocery, always hopeful.

When I get to the grocery there are about a dozen very frozen turkeys that are in the 15 pound range. The small bird.

There are also about 5 fresh turkeys on sale for 1/2 price. The big bird.

What do they weigh, you ask? Just 22 to 23 pounds is all, give or take a few ounces.

But here is the clincher - the big bird is fresh and half price. 1/2 price fresh versus full price frozen. Fresh. Frozen. Frozen. Fresh.

My head is spinning. And how do I know how long it takes to defrost the thing. My dad already had expressed his concern earlier today regarding the potential for defrosting failure due to my tardiness in the turkey purchasing process. It was a sobering phone conversation.

I don't have the number for the Butterball people and anyway this turkey is something else. I need to get home. Smallville is on and I need to catch it with my kids. I grab one and head to the check-out.

Guess which one I bought?

You won't find me stuggling with a half-frozen turkey on Thursday morning - that's all I have to say.

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