Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
This is a special Thanksgiving edition of Culinary no-no.
Many, many years ago, one of the nice operators at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line told me that some poor guy actually dialed 1-800-BUTTERBALL to ask how he could cook the Thanksgiving bird with a diamond ring inside in order to propose to an unsuspecting girlfriend.
Nervous first-time turkey bakers have called desperately seeking help fearing their turkey would rise like a loaf of bread when cooked. Others claimed they cleaned their birds with metal scouring pads. How do they get the metal bits out of the turkey? One caller wanted to know how to carve using a chainsaw while another asked if motor oil could be used for basting.
No, these aren’t urban legends. They’re actual calls received at the Butterball hotline.
“When do I have to put my turkey in the oven so that it’s done at half time?”
Will the turkey cook faster if a railroad spike is driven through it? “You know, to promote heat induction,” the caller said.
A brand new father called a few hours after his wife had given birth to their first child. He was concerned that their Thanksgiving turkey had been thawing in the fridge for too long while he was at the hospital. The operator asked the man how much it weighed.
“The turkey or the baby?”
Associatedcontent.com has come up with the following three anecdotes, calling them, “the very best of the worst. They have been confirmed as real calls by the Butterball Turkey-Talk Line and Snopes.Com.”
Here they are:
"Dude, Where's My Turkey?"
It's not easy to misplace a turkey. But it happened to a caller from Colorado, who had shoved her turkey into a snow bank to store overnight, as she had no room in her fridge. She called the Turkey Talk-Line to ask if it would be okay to eat the turkey after it had been stored thus. However, she soon found that a heavy blanket of snow had fallen. The white, featureless landscape made it impossible for her to find where she had buried the turkey. We never learned if she recovered the bird. If not, well, at least the local wildlife had a nice buffet once the snow melted.
"What's That Smell?"
A young mother once shared her tale of turkey woe. Apparently, her kids had been playing in the kitchen while she was stuffing the turkey. These kids were fond of matchbox cars, and had decided that their toys needed a new place to park. Many hours later, the mother discovered that the kids had chosen the turkey for their new parking space. It isn't clear whether she discovered the toy cars immediately after removing the turkey from the oven, or if they were revealed during carving. Regardless, those turned out to be some hot, melted, and probably traumatized little vehicles. She should have entered a contest for the most creative stuffing recipe.
"Help! My Chihuahua's Stuck In My Turkey!"
Speaking of things stuck in a turkey...
A Kentucky woman called the Butterball Turkey-Talk Line in 1993, asking how to get her Chihuahua out of a turkey. It soon became apparent that the tiny dog had dived right into the carcass and couldn't get back out. Pulling the dog didn't work. Shaking the turkey didn't work. Finally, she was instructed to make the hole a little bigger so that the pooch could escape. It worked! At least she didn't have to perform a C-Section.
Marge Klindera is a seasoned veteran; she has been working at the Butterball hotline for 25 years. She says that callers are usually very grateful for the advice they receive. And what do Turkey-Talk Line employees eat while they're at work? Usually hot soup. Marge says that it helps sooth their throats after all the talking - and, doubtless, all the laughing.
So please, don’t do anything that would warrant a call to 1-800-BUTTERBALL.
PREVIOUS CULINARY NO-NO’S
1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream…..like black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).