Some of us are novices and forget to remove the giblets from the bird. Others of us are more experienced, yet still flustered by a slow-thawing bird and the imminent arrival of 12 guests. And a small number of us simply lose our wits entirely when it comes to roasting a whole turkey.
"The most memorable call that I received was from a person who asked 'Does a turkey have one leg that's white meat and another that's dark meat?' " recalls Carol Miller, a supervisor at the Butterball hot line. "But," she adds kindly, "all of us have been there at one point in time."
If you fit any of these categories, help is but a phone call or click away:
HOT LINES AND WEB SITES
Butterball Turkey Talk-Line
1-800-323-4848 or www.butterball.com
U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline
Reynolds Wrap Kitchens Turkey Information Line
1-800-745-4000 or www.reynoldskitchens.com
Land O'Lakes Holiday Bake-Line
1-800-782-9606 or www.landolakes.com
Shady Brook Farms Dial-a-Chef Holiday Hot Line
1-888-723-4468 or www.dialachef.com
Honeysuckle White Turkey Line
1-800-810-6325 or www.honeysucklewhite.com
Campbell's Holiday Leftover Hot Line
Perdue's Thanksgiving Day Hot Line
1-800-473-7383 or www.perdue.com
MORE WEB SITES
The Washington Post Food Section
Turkey tips, menu ideas and side dishes galore. Available through the end of November.
Available starting Friday. Menu and recipe section with tips and suggestions from well-known chefs, turkey quiz, food-safety advice and a calorie counter.
Better Homes and Gardens
Cooking tips, menu plans and decorating ideas.
Planner, tips, traditional and alternative menus and products.
Illustrated tips, theme-menu ideas, vegetarian recipes and wine and beer suggestions.
National Turkey Federation
Purchasing, thawing and roasting tips.
Recipes, stories, crafts and activities for kids.
Cooking and carving instructions plus simple recipes from well-known chefs and cookbook authors.