The American Swedish Institute

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

This Thanksgiving, more than half of the turkeys will be cooked outdoors.

Los Angeles Times,

What's cooking: American Swedish Institute, turkeys

  • Star Tribune
  • November 6, 2013 - 4:35 PM

Jul to the World

The American Swedish Institute’s winter celebration, “Jul to the World,” opens Saturday, through Jan. 5, with such opportunities as After Hours Glögg Tours, and a look at the Turnblad Mansion’s historic kitchen, which will be open to public viewing for the first time. An Enchanted Forest on the grounds will offer hot chocolate and baked goods around a bonfire, while the quintet of Nordic countries’ traditions will swell to a sextet with the addition of Mexico, in a nod to the diverse community of the Phillips West neighborhood. Saturday’s opener, World Family Day, will feature musical performances and creative activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pop-up theater performances are on Wednesday nights, and there will be an array of options in the gift shop.

Of special culinary note, chefs de cuisine Sam Miller and Dustin Thompson of ASI’s cafe Fika will teach hands-on classes Nov. 17 and Dec. 16 about making artisanal holiday sausages, with students getting 2 pounds of sausages to take home. For details and to register for special events or book group tours, call 612-871-4907 or visit

Turkey trends

The National Turkey Federation estimates that 46 million turkeys will be served on Thanksgiving, but what’s surprising is that more than half — 53 percent — will be cooked outdoors on grills, barbecues or smokers, according to a survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. In addition, one in five hosts intend to cook their vegetables outdoors, and more than one in 10 will prepare their appetizers in the open air. Wishful research? Perhaps, given the association’s vested interest. But snow no longer warrants shutting down home grills.

A few grilling tips: Make sure there is at least an inch of space between the turkey and the grill lid. Do not tie the legs together when grilling a whole bird; the turkey will cook more evenly if hot air circulates to all areas of the bird. For recipes and more tips, visit

No, you called the right number

The poultry ceiling is cracking: Butterball has announced that it will be hiring a man to answer the phone on its Butterball Turkey Talk-Line this month. In a sort of equal opportunity to “lean in,” the turkey company is breaking with a 32-year tradition — and had to seek recruits because no man ever had applied for the job, according to a story in the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal. It’s a big task: When the hot line debuted in 1981, six home economists answered 11,000 phone calls from consumers. This year, a team of more than 50 will provide information via the phone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and website to more than 1 million consumers through the holiday season.

A Butterball spokesman explained that a survey revealed a shift in household cooking responsibilities, with one in four men saying that they help out more in the kitchen than before. Almost half the men surveyed said they play “a significant role” for Thanksgiving dinner. This year, they might be the ones calling the hot line. For more info about turkey than you ever imagined, visit


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