Coaching puzzled cooks through the preparation of the Thanksgiving feast is what Phyllis Kramer does. Been doing so for some nine years as one of the experts answering calls on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL / 1-800-288-837-2255) and via live chats at the website. Rest assured, Kramer has heard just about everything from people calling in from the grocery store to folks who’ve decided to let their frozen turkey thaw in the trunk of their car. (FYI: Don’t, for food safety’s sake, even think about it.) She’s also a wealth of good tips, such as:
Don’t have a rack for roasting the turkey? “Use a long piece of foil, crumple and create a doughnut-like shape on which the turkey can sit” in the roasting pan.
Don’t have room in the refrigerator? Move preserved and pickled foods (jams, pickles, etc.) to a cooler with ice for the day. Store beverages in a cooler.
We cruised through a few reliable websites, many of which have videos, live chats and more, and came up with a few more:
Think sharp: Make sure your carving knife is sharp then check out this how-to-carve video on the Butterball website.
Eat leftovers in 3 to 4 days: Or freeze 'em, says the USDA. Don't store big hunks of turkey.
"Cut the turkey into small pieces; refrigerate stuffing and turkey separately in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking." And reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165° F; reheated foods should be hot and steaming.
Check your inventory for platters: Have one for raw meat and one for serving. Clean the platters and other serving dishes and utensils, says the website of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, but the best part: The kids pages.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun