Beyond Butterball: 7 Food Hotlines That Can Help You Out of a Kitchen Disaster

iStock/Kerkez
iStock/Kerkez

Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL) is one of the biggest Thanksgiving helplines around, but it’s not the only show in town. Many companies now offer hotlines staffed with experts who want to help you prepare the best turkey possible—plus delectable side dishes and desserts. If you need a little help in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, here are a few other hotlines you can lean on.

1. USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline

Call 1-888-674-6854 or email MPHotline.fsis@usda.gov.
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ET)

If you’re unsure how long to leave your turkey in the oven, call up the Department of Agriculture’s handy hotline. They can also answer questions about other types of meat, egg products, and food storage.

2. Jennie-O Turkey Helpline

Call 1-800-887-5397 or launch the live chat
Live chat hours: 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. (CST)

One of Butterball’s competitors, Jennie-O, also offers a helpline. Check out their live chat, which is ideal for cooks in need of some quick answers.

3. Honeysuckle White Turkey Helpline

Call 1-800-810-6325
Available 24 hours a day

Another turkey brand, Honeysuckle White, has a holiday hotline you can call with questions about how to select, prepare, and cook a turkey. The messages are pre-recorded, but they still might do the trick.

4. Food52 Digital Hotline

Visit the Food52 website
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

Amanda Hesser, former food editor for The New York Times Magazine, launched this website and Q&A forum in 2009 to help solve people’s cooking conundrums. Just post a question to the online forum, and you’ll get a prompt response from one of Food52’s editors—or perhaps even a notable food writer or chef.

5. Crisco Pie & Baking Hotline

Call 1-877-367-7438
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

All your pie-related problems will be resolved when you call up the Crisco hotline. A National Pie Championship winner and other baking experts will be on hand to answer questions.

6. Sara Lee Pie Hotline

Call 1-888-914-1247
Thanksgiving hours: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CST)

Sara Lee Desserts offers another option for people with pressing pie questions.

7. Ocean Spray Holiday Helpline

Call 1-800-662-3263
Thanksgiving hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ET)

If you have a question about cranberry sauce—or other cranberry-infused creations—then this is the hotline to call.

Costco Is Selling Enormous Tubs of Your Favorite Gluttonous Delights—Here Are 5 of Them

iStock.com/mphillips007
iStock.com/mphillips007

Costco's grocery department is perhaps the only place in America where you can get a $5 rotisserie chicken, a $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, and 7-pound bucket of Nutella all under one roof. The tub of hazelnut spread isn't the only food you can buy in bulk, either. Whether you're catering a wedding on a budget or restocking your doomsday shelter, here are five foods you can buy online—and in some stores—that come in outrageous portions.

1. A nearly 7-pound tub of Nutella

Sometimes, a small jar of Nutella just won't do. For those who can't get enough of the chocolatey hazelnut spread, Costco offers a bigger size—to the tune of 6.6 pounds. It costs $22, which is about $14 cheaper than splurging on 14 smaller jars weighing 7.7 ounces apiece. As Thrillist points out, in-store deals are only available to Costco members, but anyone can take advantage of discounts when they order online.

2. 23 pounds of macaroni & cheese

If bathing in macaroni and cheese is on your bucket list, now's your chance. Costco offers a $90 tub filled with 23 pounds of elbow macaroni and cheddar sauce mix, all of which comes in a "heavy duty" 6-gallon bucket. With enough food to serve 180 people, it's designed to last up to 20 years "if stored in a dry, cool environment"—so yes, it's bunker-approved. (Although, sadly, it's currently out of stock.)

3. A lifetime supply of honey

Given the uncertain future of honeybees (and by extension, honey), it might not be a bad idea to stock up on the sweet, sticky stuff. Costco's 40-pound tub of GloryBee Clover Blossom Honey costs $127. Considering that a 48-ounce jar of honey costs $27 on GloryBee's website, this represents savings of more than $200.

4. Emergency rations of mashed potatoes

This bucket of food is explicitly designed for surviving rather than feasting, but who's to say that a sudden craving for mashed potatoes or mac and cheese isn't an emergency? Costco's Emergency Food kit contains a one-month supply of various foods, including oatmeal, cheddar cheese grits with green chilies, chicken-flavored vegetable stew, and a rice and orzo pilaf. It will set you back $115, but again, it has a shelf life of 20 years.

5. 60 servings of freeze-dried breakfast skillet

Mountain House's breakfast skillet comes in six coffee-sized cans rather than one oversized bucket, but it still serves the same purpose. For $160, you get 60 servings of scrambled eggs mixed with hash browns, pork sausage, peppers, and onions. Just be sure to add the right amount of water, unless you like your eggs runny.

Want More Pizza in Your Life? Order One 18-Inch Pie Instead of Two 12-Inch Pies

iStock.com/smpics
iStock.com/smpics

When ordering pizza for guests (or when throwing yourself a personal pizza party), it can be tempting to spring for two medium pies over one large one. It may end up being more expensive, but it also feels like the logical choice: Two 12-inch pies should give you more cheesy goodness per square inch than an 18-inch pie, right?

That may be what pizzerias want you to think, but as Fermat's Library recently illustrated on Twitter, it's not the case. One large, 18-inch pie boasts a full 28 more square inches of pizza than two small 12-inch pies, making the larger pie by far the better deal.

Even though the diameter of the large pizza is smaller than the combined diameters of the two medium pies, it still has a larger total area. To get the area of the circle, you have to square the radius (which is half of the diameter) and multiply that by pi (about 3.14). This means the area of an 18-inch pizza is 254 square inches, while the combined area of two 12-inch pies is only 226 inches.

The geometry required to calculate your pizza order isn't too complicated, but the tweet was apparently eye-opening enough to garner a viral response. Some people were thankful for the math tip, while others had trouble wrapping their heads around it. Mathematician Tamás Görbe pointed out that while an 18-inch pie technically gives you more food, two 12-inches pies give you 33.3 percent more crust—something to keep in mind if that's your favorite part.

In case you're looking for another excuse to order pizza, January 13 marked the start of National Pizza Week. Here are some facts about the beloved dish to celebrate the occasion.

[h/t Mashable]

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