It’s that time of the year when we’re expected to know what “brine” means and we promise ourselves that we won’t be defeated by a dead piece of poultry.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of help on social media to assist amateur cooks during their most vulnerable times. For example, Sam Sifton, the food editor of The New York Times, is hosting a question-and-answer session on Facebook and Mother Thanksgiving herself, Martha Stewart, is hosting a live-stream on her Facebook page.
Food52, the glossy food site, is going even more personal by (sort of) pulling a Butterball for the next two days. Its cofounders, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, editors and recipe testers are answering people’s questions on its Hotline (technically an online forum) within ten minutes for the first time ever.
“We sent out a newsletter this morning about our editors being on call and it’s been mayhem, in a good way, ever since,” Kristen Miglore, Food52’s creative director, told Digiday.
The idea was inspired by Julia Child, who frequently listed her phone number publicly to answer people’s questions on Thanksgiving. “We realized we should probably publicize what we’ve been doing all along,” Miglore said, noting that the Food52 Hotline has been around since 2010.
So far, the editors have answered 109 questions this morning with a response time averaging two-and-a-half-minutes.
No surprise, Miglore said the most common question is about turkey: “Every year, turkey times and temperatures are the always the most common question—for most people, it’s the only time a turkey shows up in their house, and of course they’re nervous about mistiming it,” she said, pointing people toward its useful guide.
Besides turkey tribulations, other questions on the Hotline revolve around de-sweetening sweet potatoes, deserts and, gasp, doing the untraditional by cooking fish. But no question is too tough for the Food52 team, Miglore assured Digiday pointing us toward this one: “I need a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, meat-free dish that is also low sugar and cannot contain any citric acid.”
“Really, think of all the restrictions you can — this was more,” she said. The answer? Quinoa-stuffed bell peppers with basil sauce, without the cheese.
Not all heroes wear capes.
Images via Food52.