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Help for the Holiday Jitters : Companies Offering Consumer Hot Lines

November 21, 1985|TONI TIPTON

Even the most experienced cooks find themselves experiencing pre-holiday jitters. Whether you're in a quandary about thawing and stuffing a turkey, interested in making breads and pies in advance or concerned about fallen homemade rolls, there's someone to help.

Food companies have established consumer hot lines--telephone numbers designed to provide information on the essentials of preparing a holiday menu.

Provided here is a list of those companies offering the holiday service this year. Each is staffed by home economists who are prepared to answer consumer queries. Keep in mind, however, that a high volume of calls may cause delays--some companies will take your name and number and call you back, others suggest that you hold.

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line--(800) 323-4848, is available Monday through Friday to Dec. 24 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Assistance also is available on this weekend from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hours for the help line on Thanksgiving Day next Thursday and on Christmas Eve are also 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Representatives from Beatrice Meats Inc., will be available with insights into turkey preparation, from how much to buy to what to do with the leftovers. Callers also will be offered a free copy of "Butterball Answers Holiday Cooks," an informational booklet that offers cooking, roasting and garnishing methods as well as some new recipes for cooking with turkey.

USDA Meat and Poultry Hot Line--(800) 535-4555, is staffed by U.S. Department of Agriculture home economists, who answer questions regarding meat or poultry safety, including storage, thawing, stuffing and preparing the holiday bird. Service is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Karo Corn Syrup Hot Line--(800) KARO PIE, will be available for the first time this year to answer consumer's questions about pecan pies. Representatives will be available weekdays through Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to provide recipes for pecan pie and to answer questions about altering amounts of sugar, eggs or other ingredients as well as answer inquiries about freezing and storage.

Nestle Toll House Kitchens Holiday Hot Line--(800) 392-4429, will operate Monday through Friday through Jan. 31 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., to answer questions and offer holiday baking advice.

Fleishmann's Yeast Baker's Hot Line--(800) 932-7800, will be available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., to answer questions related to yeast baking. Hot line will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

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