TIME

Morning Must Reads: November 27

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

200,000+ Without Power

As most of the U.S. prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, spare a thought for more than 200,000 American families who were facing the holiday without electricity after heavy snow felled power lines from West Virginia to Vermont early Thursday

Is Turkey Actually Good for You?

Do the nutritional perks of turkey deserve to be at the center of your Thanksgiving feast? Our weekly poll of five experts answer the questions that gnaw at you

Ferguson Rallies Across the U.S.

Demonstrators across the U.S. took to the streets in protest against a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson

TIME for Thanks: Public Figures Count Their Blessings

Thanksgiving is a time when families across the country gather around their dining room tables and reflect on life’s many blessings—not least of these being the blessing of family itself. This year, TIME asked public figures to reflect on what they’re thankful for

How Parkinson’s Disease Changed One Family

“Taking Care” is a series intimately covering the lives of caregivers and the people they care for. Photographer Abby Kraftowitz, who has been documenting one family since 2012, offers a deep look into those affected by the disease

Cricket Star Phillip Hughes Dies

Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes has died at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital. The 25-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition after he was hit on the head by a ball while batting during an important domestic tournament on Tuesday

8 Gadgets to Help You Survive Thanksgiving

Let’s be honest: Even if we love grandpa, we’ve heard the same story every year since 2003. So we’ve put together a Thanksgiving survival guide: eight gadgets for putting up with eight troublesome family members

Ebola Cases in Sierra Leone Will ‘Soon Eclipse’ Liberia

Sierra Leone will “soon” dethrone Liberia as the hardest-hit country in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization cautioned Wednesday. Nearly one-fifth of its total cases were reported in a three-week period that ended Sunday

Amazon Slashes Kindle Prices for Black Friday

Amazon’s $79 Kindle e-reader will be on sale for $49, and the company’s Kindle Fire tablets are also dramatically cheaper, with the Fire HD 6 going for a mere $79 (vs. its usual $99 price tag) and the Fire HD 7 on sale for $109 (vs. $139)

Cleveland Officer Shot 12-Year-Old Within Seconds on Scene

The Cleveland officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, on Saturday was a rookie cop who fired his gun within moments of arriving on the scene, according to surveillance video and police statements released Wednesday

Avatar Sequels Will Be ‘Bitchin” Cameron Says

James Cameron has divided Avatar sequel scripts to a team that includes Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silva, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno. “I can tell you one thing,” Cameron told Empire magazine, “they’re gonna be bitchin'”

Labor Group Plans Strike of Walmart Stores on Black Friday

Employees at Walmart stores in at least six states and Washington, D.C., plan to strike on one of the busiest shopping days of the year to protest workers’ wages and hours. For the third year in a row, OUR Walmart is organizing a massive strike on Black Friday

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TIME Culture

Watch President Obama Pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey

Gobble gobble

U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned this year’s Thanksgiving turkey Wednesday to continue a White House tradition that goes back 67 years.

“It is a little puzzling that I do this every year, but I will say that I enjoy it because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office it’s nice once in a while just to say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,'” said Obama.

The 50-lb. turkey named Cheese was voted to escape the knife this year by the public on Twitter.

Cheese, and his alternate Mac, were raised by the National Turkey Federation.

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TIME Food & Drink

4 Surprising Ways to Use Turkey Leftovers

turkey
Christina Holmes

From curry soup to delicious Reuben hash, F&W's Kay Chun offers up four great ways to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey

Turkey Curry Soup

This quick stew is rich and fragrant with curry, lime and herbs. It’s an excellent way to use leftover turkey.

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste and 4 cups kabocha squash (1 1/2-inch pieces) and cook over high heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce and 4 cups of water; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Stir in 3 cups shredded roast turkey, 3 tablespoons lime juice and 1/2 cup chopped mixed cilantro and basil; season with salt and pepper.

Turkey Tonnato
Leftover turkey gets totally transformed when it’s topped with a creamy sauce made with yogurt, herbs and tuna.

In a food processor, combine one 6 1/2-ounce can drained tuna, 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas and 1/4 cup plain yogurt. With the machine on, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil. Transfer to a bowl; stir in 1/4 cup chopped capers and 1/2 cup chopped mixed tarragon, dill and chives; season with salt and pepper. Serve with roast turkey breast.

Turkey Reuben Hash
In this 25-minute hash, leftover turkey is combined with potatoes, sauerkraut and caraway for a fun play on a Reuben sandwich.

In a cast-iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add 1/2 small chopped onion and 1 coarsely grated peeled baking potato and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 8 minutes. Add 1 cup drained sauerkraut, 2 cups shredded roast turkey, 2 chopped scallions and 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds. Cook until golden, 3 minutes.

Turkey-Stuffing Salad
This fresh, fun salad is a play on traditional Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, combining turkey and croutons with celery, apple, fennel and parsley.

In a bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon each of Dijon mustard and lemon juice with 1/2 cup olive oil. Add 3 cups chopped roast turkey, 3 sliced celery ribs,1 sliced fennel bulb, 1 chopped crisp apple and 1 cup parsley. Season with salt and pepper; toss. Top with croutons.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

More from Food & Wine:

TIME Thanksgiving

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Thanksgiving

Some tidbits about the holiday you can use to impress everyone around the Thanksgiving dinner table

If not for some fortunate circumstances, Thanksgiving could have been a holiday of fasting — rather than feasting — every fourth Thursday of November. And though it’s a well-cherished occasion today, it was met with some disapproval in past centuries.

In the video above, we present you with a few facts about the history of Thanksgiving that just might give you a few more things to be thankful for this season.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Is Turkey Actually Good for You?

Gobble, gobble?

Welcome to Should I Eat This?—our weekly poll of five experts who answer nutrition questions that gnaw at you.

should i eat turkey
Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

4/5 experts say yes.

As if you needed our blessing—but for the most part, experts say you can feel good about your Thanksgiving main dish. All of the bird lovers applauded turkey’s lean, filling protein. It packs the entire spectrum of B vitamins, in addition to selenium and potassium.

Two experts recommended skipping the skin, if you’re watching calories. Skin adds 35 calories to a typical 3.5-ounce serving, says Harriette R. Mogul, MD, MPH, associate professor of clinical medicine at New York Medical College. And sans skin, turkey’s low in saturated fat, says Kylene Bogden, registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic.

Don’t fall for the tryptophan myth, either. Tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleepy-time serotonin, is no more abundant in turkey than in many other meats. “In truth, it’s those carbohydrate-laden trimmings, not the turkey, that promote that all too familiar post-prandial sleepiness on Thanksgiving Day,” Mogul says. Because it’s so rich in protein, turkey stabilizes insulin levels after a meal and actually diminishes sleepiness, she says.

But serving a turkey isn’t all wishbones and three-cornered hats. “Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and to enjoy the company of loved ones, and we can do that without killing an animal,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue organization (and past subject of TIME’s 10 Questions). “In addition to all of the delicious traditional Thanksgiving dishes that are naturally plant-based, there are countless plant-based turkey alternatives widely available on the market today that make it easy to skip the dead bird.” Instead, Farm Sanctuary urges you to Adopt a Turkey for $30—color photo and “fun details about your new friend” included. Sponsor a whole flock for $210—the perfect holiday gift.

If you’re committed to eating the bird, however, choose wisely, says Stacia Clinton, RD, regional director of Health Care Without Harm. “Turkeys raised conventionally are routinely given antibiotics,” she says, in order to prevent the spread of turkey illness in crowded conditions. “This is causing the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria that threaten our health by reaching us through air, water, and contaminating the meat we purchase,” she says. This year, Health Care Without Harm asked clinicians to pledge to buy drug-free turkeys from local farms that don’t use antibiotics in feed or water.

Cage-free, vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free turkeys are a must, agrees Theo Weening, global meat buyer for Whole Foods Market. But please, for the sake of flavor, make sure yours is truly fresh, too, he says—it cooks faster and tastes better. “It’s a little known fact that when you buy a ‘fresh’ turkey from many conventional grocers, it can actually be from birds that have been harvested 9 months or more before Thanksgiving,” he says. “Before taking home your turkey, ask your butcher when it was harvested and where it came from.”’

Now that’s talking turkey.

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MONEY Food & Beverage

The Staggering Cost of a Hipster Thanksgiving — and Other Pricey Alternatives to the Classic Feast

Overhead view of Thanksgiving feast
Marcus Nilsson—Gallery Stock

The average Thanksgiving dinner for a party of 10 costs about $50. But who wants a holiday meal that's merely average?

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner feast can be very affordable. On a per-person basis, the average meal easily costs less than bringing the crew to a fast food joint for supper.

But the total price of your Thanksgiving spread can vary by hundreds depending on where you shop, what you’re buying, and the overall quality and prestige of the meat, sides, and dessert, as well as how much time and effort you’re willing to devote to preparing your feast.

To give you an idea of what some different Thanksgiving dining styles will cost you, we’ve rounded up some sample pricing for groups with varying tastes and budgets–including some options for those who don’t want to cook at all.

The Average American
For a classic Thanksgiving dinner, plus leftovers, the American Farm Bureau Federation estimates you’ll spend $49.41 this year to feed a party of 10, including a 16-pound turkey plus bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, peas, rolls with butter, carrots and celery, pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream, and coffee and milk. Even though the wholesale price of turkey has soared for supermarkets this year, widespread price promotions have kept overall costs down for consumers, and the bureau’s estimated total for Thanksgiving dinner is only 37¢ higher than last year. That averages out to under $5 per person, which is still quite a deal.

What’s more, there are easy ways to cut costs even lower. If you were to take advantage of coupons, sales, and supermarket promotion, you could spend a lot less and still provide a feast. Wal-Mart estimates that you could buy the same menu for just $32.64 by shopping at its stores.

The Hipster
If you were to upgrade that conventional turkey to an organic, free-range one, the price jumps from $21.65 to well over $100 at specialty shops. A 16-pound turkey from Fleisher’s Pasture Raised Meats in New York City rings in at $127.84, or $7.99 a pound vs. the roughly $1.35 per pound for a supermarket bird. Add in organic, locally-sourced vegetables and dairy for your meal, and the costs for sides rise at least $15 over the Farm Bureau’s projection, according to our estimates. Altogether, a healthy, hipster-approved, fully organic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will cost in the neighborhood of $170.

The Vegan
For a vegan thanksgiving, the “turkey” costs would be similar to that for an organic free-range bird. The soy-based Gardein Stuffed Holiday Roast, picked by Slate as the tastiest of the the faux turkey bunch, costs about $8 a pound. The costs for vegan side dishes and desserts would only be about $5 more than those of the Farm Bureau’s classic menu. Combine the price for 16 pounds of faux turkey and all the trimmings and dessert, and a 10-person vegan Thanksgiving dinner costs about $155.

The 1%
Upgrading to a purebred heritage turkey–which are leaner than standard supermarket birds, take twice as long to reach market weight, and have lineage that can be traced back to the 1800s–will cost upwards of $10 per pound for the meat portion of the meal. Factor that in, along with similarly upgraded sides and desserts, and Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will easily run $250 or more.

The Lazy Non-Cook
Not into cooking at all? Prepared meals save you hassle and time, but you’ll pay for it in more ways than simply losing out on the quality of home cooking. A prepared meal for 12 people from Boston Market, which includes an 11-pound turkey, spinach artichoke dip appetizer, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, vegetable stuffing, dinner rolls and two pies, rings in at $99.99. That’s roughly double the Farm Bureau’s estimate for a home-cooked meal–but perhaps it’s money well spent if you’re hopeless in the kitchen or simply don’t have the time.

Supermarkets will happily do the cooking for you as well, for a price. A meal prepared by Whole Foods Market for 12 people, including a fully cooked 14- to 16-pound standard turkey, stuffing, cranberry orange relish, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy, costs $200. An organic cooked turkey will add an extra $50, more or less, pushing the total up to $250 or more.

TIME White House

A Presidential Turkey Flap: Ronald Reagan and the Bonkers Birds

The history of the presidential turkey tussles

It was President Ronald Reagan’s first Thanksgiving in the White House, in 1981, when he stepped out toward the lawn where a special turkey was waiting for him. He sauntered confidently down the steps, swinging his arms into a full handshake with fowl farmer Hugh McClain — when, suddenly, the turkey began to flail its wings wildly, white feathers all aflutter. Ducking away from the bird like a chef dodging oil sparks from a stove-cooked meal, Reagan watched as handlers placated the finicky fowl.

Reagan’s turkey wasn’t visiting the White House to be pardoned: for all it knew, it could have been a future dinner, which explains its angst. In 1981, the official presidential pardon hadn’t ever been offered, though presidents had spared turkeys before. Abraham Lincoln’s son Tad is said to have begged his father to officially pardon a turkey headed for the Christmas diner table. President Kennedy informally pardoned the Turkey just days before he was assassinated. Many gift turkeys, it seems, were destined for the presidential Thanksgiving spread, but by the time of the Nixon administration, they appear to have been quietly sent to a grassy safe haven rather than the carving knife.

The president-and-turkey saga is about 150 years old. A Rhode Island poultry dealer named Horace Vose sent turkeys to the president from the time of the Ulyssses S. Grant administration until his death in 1913, according to the White House, and in the 1940s President Harry Truman started the tradition of using a National Turkey Federation and Poultry and Egg National Board gift turkey as a photo-op.

But back to Reagan. In 1984, it happened again: the White House turkey resisted the President’s overtures in front of television cameras, flapping away from the president and strutting toward the press. The turkey was actually headed for a petting farm in Virginia, according to an Associated Press report from the time, so it needn’t have been nervous. TIME commemorated Reagan’s fowl foibles in 1997 in a piece on the selection of the president’s turkey:

At 16 weeks, 10 candidates are selected–all toms (or males), because they’re bigger. Criteria: size, feathers, posture, temperament. The last is not insignificant: the 1984 turkey flapped its wings in President Reagan’s face.

The history of the official turkey pardon didn’t begin until 1989, when President George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s successor, excused the turkey from the Thanksgiving feast. The turkey looks “understandably nervous,” Bush said, according to the History Channel. (That was a line that his son, George W. Bush would reuse in his first White House turkey pardon in 2001.) Bush Sr. continued, speaking to reporters, “Let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table, not this guy. He’s granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”

President Obama’s turkey this year is from an Ohio farm and is enjoying the 25th year of turkey pardons. But the president doesn’t take the annual fowl forgiveness too gravely. “The office of the presidency is the most powerful position in the world, brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities,” President Obama joked last year. “This is not one of them.”

TIME advice

How to Make Thanksgiving Gravy

gravy
Getty Images

Rich and tasty, this silky-smooth sauce won’t overwhelm the bird or compete with other dishes on the table

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

Step 1

Get the recipe for Basic Gravy, then follow these step-by-step instructions.

Remove the vegetables and neck from the roasting pan; discard. Carefully strain the pan juices into a fat separator. Let stand 5 minutes, allowing the fat to rise to the top. Pour the juices into a large measuring cup, leaving the fat behind.

Step 2

Place the empty roasting pan across 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook, scraping up the brown bits stuck to the pan, for 1 minute.

Step 3

Pour the contents of the pan into the measuring cup of skimmed juices. Add enough chicken broth to make a total of 4 cups of liquid.

(MORE: How to Build a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate)

Step 4

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with the flour to create a roux.

Step 5

Cook the roux, whisking frequently, until deep brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Keep in mind that the darker the roux, the richer the flavor.

(MORE: 100 Things to Be Thankful For This Year)

Step 6

Whisk in the 4 cups of liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 7

Season the gravy with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Strain just before serving. (If you do it any earlier, a skin will form on the surface of the gravy.)

(MORE: Thanksgiving Games to Get the Whole Family Moving)

TIME advice

How Long to Cook a Turkey, in One Easy Chart

You have your bird (and a recipe), but how long, exactly, are you supposed to cook it? Here's a handy guide

No Thanksgiving guest is more important than the turkey. But you might have a late arrival on your hands if you don’t get it in the oven on time. Planning a 3 p.m. meal? You’ll need to have a 20-pound bird (sans stuffing) cooking by around 10:30 a.m. Don’t stress about the math—just follow our easy chart, with recommendations from the USDA.

(MORE: 100 Things to Be Thankful For This Year)

turkey chart
Graphic by Katie Field

Note: For safety reasons, the USDA recommends cooking stuffing outside of the turkey to guarantee uniform doneness. If you do choose to stuff it, check the temp of the center of the stuffing to make sure it, too, reaches the safe 165 degrees F (otherwise bacteria could contaminate your cooked turkey). Keep wet stuffing ingredients refrigerated ahead of time, and separate from dry ingredients until just before mixing, stuffing loosely and cooking. Sticking with a casserole dish? You should still cook the stuffing to 165 degrees F.

(MORE: Thanksgiving Games to Get the Whole Family Moving)

For more turkey and stuffing safety and cooking tips, check out the USDA’s site, and find a complete Thanksgiving dinner menu here.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Read next: How to Build a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate

TIME Food & Drink

The Best Excuse to Have Two Thanksgiving Dinners

friendsgiving turkey
Roland Bello

Sometimes home is where the turkey is. It takes a little planning (hint: send invitations) and a table big enough for a crowd, but you’ll have more than enough hands to mix cocktails and make sides. Get ready for the best potluck ever

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

Butter-Glazed Turkey

If you’re hosting, this is your job. (Traveling with a turkey? No thanks.) Plan for about a pound per person, with wiggle room for leftovers. Choose from one of three bastes to suit your taste: smoky (smoked paprika), sweet (molasses and bourbon), or a touch spicy (chili, garlic, and rosemary).

Get the recipe.

(MORE: How to Build a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate)

Ultimate Gravy

Yes, homemade gravy is totally worth it. With friends tending to the sides, you’ll have time. Plus, it’s easier than you think. The turkey will continue to release juices as it rests. Pour these juices into the gravy along with the chicken broth for even deeper flavor.

Get the recipe.

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Adding butter to cooked potatoes before you add the warm half-and-half coats them with fat first, which helps them stay fluffy. If you really want to indulge (hey it’s a holiday!), top the starchy side with one of three flavor-packed compound butters: chive,mushroom, or olive, caper, and parsley.

Get the recipe.

(MORE: 100 Things to Be Thankful For This Year)

Sourdough and Sage Stuffing

Stuffing inspires impassioned debate: To meat or not to meat? Let the assigned chef answer the question however she wants with this deliciously adaptable recipe. Simply start with this meatless, nut-less version, then select a set of mix-ins (pine nut, raisin, and parsley or bacon, pecan, and thyme) to suite your taste.

Get the recipe.

Italian Sweet-and-Sour Sweet Potatoes

These agrodolce (Italian for “sweet and sour”) roasted sweet potatoes are a good assignment for a beginner cook. Simply roast the vegetables until tender, toss with butter and a vinegar and sugar mixture, and then roast until golden brown (about 25 minutes more). They reheat nicely in an oven or a microwave.

Get the recipe.

(MORE: Thanksgiving Games to Get the Whole Family Moving)

Cranberry Relish with Pear and Ginger

Make this year’s cranberry relish a little zingier with juicy pear and fresh ginger. This is delicious chilled or at room temperature, so it’s an ideal contribution from the friend who is always late. If there are leftovers, don’t toss them: The flavor and the color of this bracing relish will only improve after a day in the refrigerator.

Get the recipe.

(MORE: How To Host An Incredible Thanksgiving Without Losing Your Mind)

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Manchego and Almonds

This crunchy, vegetarian-friendly raw salad is a welcome way to round out an otherwise rich meal. Bonus: It won’t hog oven time. Have some travel time ahead of you? Toss the Brussels sprouts with the dressing up to an hour in advance. The fibers will soften and the flavors will intensify.

Get the recipe.

(MORE: 12 Fun Conversation Starters For Your Thanksgiving Table)

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