Longtime Clarendon Hills resident likes to talk turkey
Rosette Backas takes questions during the holidays on the Butterball Turkey Talk Line.
Name: Rosette Backas
Education: Degree in home economics
Career: Starting the home economics department at Hinsdale South when it opened in 1965. Taught there until 1986.
Hotline: Worked from 1988 to 1994 on Butterball Turkey Talk Line during the holiday season. Was called back three years ago.
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:25AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Rosette Backas has lived in Clarendon Hills for the past 57 years with her husband, Uly. She answers callers questions on the Butterball Turkey Talk Line.
Q. What’s it like answering phone calls from people calling with questions about turkeys?
A. It’s pretty hectic, but I enjoy it. I like talking to people and trying to help them out. It also pays well for a job that doesn’t last very long.
Q. What are the most common questions people have when they call?
A. The first two days of the week, most of the questions are about thawing the turkey, and there are some about methods of cooking it. After those first two days, there are a lot of calls with people asking the best way to cook their turkey.
They also ask about stuffing, when to carve the turkey, and a lot of safety questions. Poultry has a lot of microorganisms, so you have to be careful. The best way to thaw it is in the refrigerator while it’s still in the wrapper. You also should carve it before you put anything back in the refrigerator.
Q. Do you get many strange questions from callers?
A. There are some humorous calls. I got a call from a guy who was making a turkey for his girlfriend for the first time and the turkey just wasn’t getting done after he had it in the oven for quite a while. It turned out that the turkey wasn’t thawed before he put it in.
Q. Do you like to eat turkey?
A. I love turkey. We eat a lot of turkey. I make a lot of different things, and you can do a lot of different things with some items. My favorite food is fresh fruit. We also eat a lot of vegetables.
Q. Do you miss teaching high school?
A. I enjoyed it while I did it, but it was time to move on to something else; that’s why I retired early when I did. I’ve worked in some different things since then, and a lot of it has had to do with home economics.