Turkey disaster? Pie a mess? Help is a call away

Your turkey is frozen, the pie crust a disaster, side dishes in disarray – and company is on their way. Who are you going to call?

A calm and knowledgeable cook/home economist, waiting just a phone call away.

Holiday hotlines are now open for all sorts of food-related dilemmas during this most hectic kitchen time of the year.

Ready for Thanksgiving pleas for help, these free services offer lifelines to frazzled cooks who may only rarely tackle turkey roasting (or deep frying) or find pie crust more frustrating than fun.

Now waiting for consumer calls are:

▪ Butterball Turkey Talk-line: 800-288-8372

The granddaddy of holiday kitchen hotlines is now in its 35th year with more than 50 experts fielding an estimated 100,000 calls in November and December. The hotline is open 24 hours a day through Dec. 24 with automated answers to most turkey issues such as thawing and cooking temperature. Turkey experts staff the phones from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT weekdays and 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Or tweet @Butterball with a question during those same hours. Also, find answers, tips and recipes at

▪ Crisco Pie and Baking Hotline: 877-367-7438

Now in its 10th year, this hotline expanded its services to include online chats with experts at By phone, talk to a baking pro live from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. During the pre-Christmas rush, the bakers are available from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 through Dec. 23. In between the holiday panic periods, they’ll take calls 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. On Thanksgiving Day and this Friday, the experts get a break, but the hotline is still open 24 hours with automated answers to common questions such as, “How do I keep my crust from becoming soggy?”

▪ Sara Lee Pie Hotline: 888-914-1247

This hotline specializes in pie predicaments and will be staffed on Turkey Day. Hours are 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST weekdays and 5 to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving. Or tweet the experts at @SaraLeeDesserts using #PerfectPie during hotline hours.

Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, @debarrington