The Butterball Turkey hotline is ringing already. Carol Miller’s one of the fifty home-economists who answer phones at the Butterball Turkey Talkline, and she says it’s not too early to shop for the holiday dinner just over two weeks from now. If you’re going to buy a frozen turkey, get it now and put it in the freezer. Miller’s encouraging families to go ahead and buy their turkey early this year. She says people often don’t allow enough time to get it thawed, since you should do it the safe way, in the fridge, and that will take a day for every four pounds of turkey if you buy a frozen one, as two out of three cooks do. The birds come in all sizes, and Miller says a good rule of thumb is to buy a pound-and-a-half of turkey for each guest expected at the dinner. That’ll give enough for a generous serving for each of them and some leftovers too, though if you’re sure they have smaller appetites you can calculate a pound per diner. If it’s to be a big affair, you’re going to have to handle a big bird…or make second plan for a second turkey. The home economists say in some cases it’s better to roast two smaller turkeys, and perhaps even make one the day before so it’s cooked, carved and ready to serve on Thanksgiving day. Miller says you’re not obliged to bake a whole bird, either, with so many alternate products on the market.Some people don’t like dark meat, or you may need extra for the dinner, and you can get bone-in or boneless turkey breasts ready to cook and slice.
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