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In digital age, kitchen help just a tweet away

Published:Sunday | November 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Need to talk turkey? Baffled by Brussels sprouts? Sure, you could go old school and call mom. But these days, cooks are finding inspiration, or salvation, as the case may be, online.

From smart phone apps that put together your grocery lists to Twitter sessions that answer your pressing pumpkin questions, traditional sources of holiday help are transforming to meet the demands of a digital age.

"People are just going online more and more to get their Thanksgiving questions answered," says Angela Moore, vice-president of

Traffic to that site's Thanksgiving section has been growing annually and this month marked the launch of Food Network's In The Kitchen app, which features 45,000 recipes from the network's chefs, including monthly seasonal menus, which for November, naturally, will be Thanksgiving-centric.

The US$1.99 app, available for iPhones, iPods and iPads, ( includes shopping lists that can be shared via email, Facebook and Twitter, a unit converter for accurate measurements and timers that can be set in-recipe.

"Basically, it's Thanksgiving at your fingertips," says Moore.

At Food & Wine magazine, editors are holding chats on Twitter and Facebook to give readers real-time help.

A Twitter session in early November was "the fastest two hours we have ever spent", says Dana Cowin, the magazine's editor-in-chief. "Just so many questions about perfect side dishes, smoking a turkey. I love the people who ask the questions because they ask really great questions and they were really open to new ideas."

What's nice about the online approach, says Cowin, is that it's like "having an expert at your elbow".