- U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline.This toll-free hotline has been up and running since July 1, 1985, and is staffed by food safety experts specializing in home economics, nutrition, and food technology. They answer questions about safe storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry, and products containing eggs, minimizing your changes of - illness. Call 1-888-674-6854, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them online at fsis.usda.gov.
- Crisco Holiday Hotline.Now in it's second year, the Crisco Holiday Hotline offers help with all things pie -- baking help, storage hints, time-saving tips, and the option to talk to a live "pie pro." Call 1-877-367-7438 or visit them online at crisco.com.
- Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.This helpful hotline just may be the grandmama of them all, having been operational since 1981, when six home economists fielded some 11,000 phone calls. Now, more than 50 home economists, nutritionists, and other experts staff the phones each November and December, answering questions from how to properly thaw a turkey to how to impress the in-laws. Call 1-800-288-8372 or check out the answers to some frequently asked questions at butterball.com.
- Empire Kosher Consumer Line.From Nov. 19 through Dec. 1, this hotline is staffed 24/7. (The rest of the year, you can reach someone there during the week, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or until 3 p.m. on Fridays, except on Jewish and secular holidays.) They'll answer your questions about their Kosher birds, the Jewish faith, Call 1-800-367-4734, or go online to empirekosher.com.
- Ocean Spray Helpline. If you don't know know a cranberry from a gooseberry, want to make a cranberry dessert, or are wondering why your homemade sauce won't gel, the folks at Ocean Spray are here to help. Call 1-800-662-3263 or check on the frequently asked questions online at Oceanspray.com.
- Land O'Lakes Holiday Bakeline.Are salted and unsalted butter interchangeable? What about butter and margarine? How do you make toffee? Answers to these kinds of questions and more -- much, much more -- are available from the experts at Land O'Lakes. Call 1-800-782-9606 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, seven days a week, until Christmas Eve, or go to landolakes.com.
- Loews Wine Line.The Loews Hotel chain is giving holiday wine help via Facebook. Their wine experts answer questions about food-and-wine pairings and offer suggestions for great bubbly from Nov. 5 through New Year's Day. "Like" them on Facebook.com/Loewshotelsand post your question on their wall; a certified sommelier will get back to you there within 24 hours.
- Fleischmann's Yeast Bakers Help Line. Dough won't rise? Yeast won't bubble? Call 1-800-777-4959 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST) any time of the year to get answers to your baking questions, or find solutions at BreadWorld.com.
- Kentucky Legend Ham Hotline. A first for ham lovers, Specialty Foods Group, Inc. -- who make the century-old Kentucky Legend brand -- launched a hotline this year. Call 1-866-343-5058 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, Nov. 9 until the day after Thanksgiving (the line closes an hour early, at 6 p.m., on Thanksgiving day).
- Campbell's Soups Holiday Leftovers Hotline. Leftovers? Of course you have leftovers. Once you're tired of turkey sandwiches, call Campbell's anytime from the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 31 to find out what to do with everything you have left in your fridge. Call 1-888-453-3868 or go online to CampbellsKitchen.com and find recipes to match whatever leftovers you have on hand.
How do you stuff a turkey safely? To what temperature should you cook a holiday ham? Why won't your pie crust come out perfectly? Here's a handy list of hotlines and websites that can help you get answers for the most maddening holiday cooking questions.