November 23, 2006


Butterball hotline workers start talking turkey (JANET RAUSA FULLER, 11/09/04, Chicago Sun Times)

The most common question coming into the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is about thawing. But in her 20 years on the job, Dorothy Jones has fielded more than her share of offbeat questions. [...]

For the last 20 years, Jones has worked the phones at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at ConAgra Foods' suburban headquarters, advising, consoling and cajoling thousands of home cooks intent on roasting the perfect bird.

Early Monday, Jones donned her headset once again, a thick reference guide at the ready and a gold wishbone charm dangling from her neck, as the hotline officially fired up for the holiday season.

The switchboard registered two calls at 8 a.m. sharp, but opening day at the Talk-Line flowed more like gravy than crackling hot oil.

It's a little like "you haven't ridden a bike in 20 years," said Talk-Line director Mary Clingman.

The vibe won't pick up until next week. On Thanksgiving Day, operators will field some 10,000 calls. [...]

Speaking of the holiday, Jones and her colleagues will have their headsets on starting at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. That's part of the job, too -- working while most others relax. But Jones, who plans to celebrate on the weekend when her son is in town, says giving up her holiday has its payoff.

"You always feel so good on that day because people are always so gratified for the help," she said.

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, (800) BUTTERBALL, is open daily through Dec. 25.

A Liquid Thanksgiving: Turkey in the Straw (Reuters, 11/09/04)

After the startling success of its turkey and gravy-flavored soda during last year's U.S. holiday season, a Seattle soda company will be serving up green beans and casserole, mashed potatoes, fruitcake and cranberry flavors.

"Last year, the response to our Turkey and Gravy Soda was overwhelming, but we really didn't have side dishes to go with it," Peter van Stolk, chief executive of specialty soda maker Jones Soda Co., said on Monday.

The tan-colored turkey and gravy-flavored soda sold out last year in three hours after it was offered on the Web and later fetched prices over $100 on eBay Inc.

(originally posted: November 09, 2004)

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2006 12:21 AM

I've seen the Jones Soda offerings in the local QFC (Kroger) grocery, and must admit to being afraid to try them.Very afraid. (I don't remember "Turkey and Gravy", though.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 9, 2004 12:27 PM

Okay, ewwww! That sounds like, so gross!

Posted by: Mikey at November 9, 2004 1:39 PM

Mr. Ortega;

Jones Soda is a mixed bag. Some of the flavors are really terrible, but the good ones are truly good. Try Green Apple or Creme Soda. Those are (IMHO) superb. I also really like Bubblegum (it tastes exactly like Bazooka Joe bubblegum) but not every one cares for that flavor.

Also, you can order bottles with a picture of your choice on the bottle. I've had some fun with that.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 9, 2004 2:45 PM

Does anyone remember the Canfield's Chocolate Diet Soda craze of the mid-1980s? It was a local Chicago bottler that hit it big and went national for about 6 months.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 9, 2004 6:09 PM

Raoul: I was living in Chicago at the time and remember it well. It was Bob Green of all people who got the craze off and running.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 9, 2004 7:22 PM

I haven't heard of anything so revolting since the Montreal World's Fair in 1967 where the Cuban Pavilion was flogging tomato ice cream.

Posted by: Peter B at November 10, 2004 6:18 AM

I heard on the news today that the Jones boys have a Brussel Sprouts flavored soda, too. Supply your own sound-effects commentary.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 24, 2005 6:18 PM