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)

TIME Turkey

Turkish President Says Men and Women Are Not Equal

It's not the first time he's publicly said something offensive

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caused a controversy by saying women and men are not equal—at a women’s justice summit.

“You cannot put women and men on an equal footing,” Erdogan said. “It is against nature. They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different.”

He went on to say that feminists do not understand how the Muslim faith honors mothers: “Our religion regards motherhood very highly. Feminists don’t understand that, they reject motherhood.”

This is not the first time Erdogan has gotten attention for saying something offensive about women. In the past, he has said that women should have least three kids, and he has tried to outlaw abortion, the Associated Press reports.

He also recently caused a stir by arguing that Muslims were the first to discover the Americas.

[AP]

Read next: Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME Food & Drink

Competitive Eater Devours a 20-Pound Turkey Whole

2014 Nathan's Famous 4th July International Hot Dog Eating Contest
Joey Chestnut wins the Men's Division with 61 Hot Dogs at the 2014 Nathan's Famous 4th July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bobby Bank—WireImage/Getty Images

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut cleaned 9.35 pounds of meat off of a 20 pound turkey on Saturday, breaking a new record in the field of competitive eating.

Chestnut devoured nearly twice as much meat in 10 minutes as the previous record-holder, Sonya Thomas, who put down 5.25 pounds of turkey meat in 2011, the Associated Press reports.

The legendary gobbler, who scarfed down 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win the Coney Island contest this year, polished off the whole bird at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. He won $5,000 in reward money, while the remainder of the pot, $10,000, was split among the nine contenders.

[AP]

TIME Television

Watch John Oliver’s Bloody Idea for the Presidential Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon

All of these birds are guilty and should be punished

John Oliver says the President should take a different approach to his annual turkey pardon this year: Either pardon all turkeys or put them all on trial.

Every Thanksgiving for the past two decades, the President of the United States has spared the life of at least one turkey on the holiday when many of their bird brethren are smothered in gravy and devoured. The tradition, Oliver says, is weird—mainly given the fact that all turkeys are guilty of being delicious.

“I issue this challenge to President Obama and all future presidents,” the Last Week Tonight host says in a new YouTube video with his show on holiday hiatus. “If you want the world’s respect, just once, show up at a White House turkey pardoning with a cleaver and administer the justice these birds so clearly deserve.”

See the full clip below.

Read next: Unfortunately, John Oliver, You Are a Journalist

TIME Food & Drink

Here’s a Stress-Free Guide to Hosting Your First Thanksgiving

thanksgiving
Iain Bagwell/Getty Images

So you decided to have everyone at your home this year. It’s a big undertaking, but we’re here to help

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family holidays of the year—and maybe the most delicious. There’s nothing like the after-dinner food coma that evening, and knowing you have leftovers to get you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner practically until Christmas. If the hosting baton has been passed to you this year, we know your first instinct is to panic.

“It always feels overwhelming and very stressful,” says Debi Lilly, owner and chief planner at A Perfect Event. “There are a lot of details that have to be fairly synchronized.”

Not to worry: We’ve mapped it out. Here, a foolproof timeline and checklist so no detail goes forgotten.

TWO TO THREE WEEKS BEFORE:

Make a plan.
“Start planning out simple things, like event flow,” says Lilly. Think about where you want guests to sit, and where you want to set your food (if you’re doing buffet style). With more than eight guests, buffet is the easiest way to go—especially if you’re short on space.

“You can do a beautiful party in a small space by utilizing all of your sitting areas,” says Lilly. This means you may want to purchase cheap lap trays for older guests or young children who might have trouble balancing dinner on their knees.

Create a menu:
When creating a menu, go for recipes that are simple and trusted—like these easy stuffings, or these colorful sides. While it’s fun to have one unique item at your meal, go for a signature cocktail, not a stuffing recipe that requires bizarre ingredients and three days of prep. Once your menu is set, write out grocery lists. You should divide the list into perishables and nonperishables to make shopping and storing easier. Need menu inspiration? Find it here.

Pro organizing tip: “Print out a blank November calendar, and then fill in with when you will shop, when you will make certain dishes ahead, and any pick-ups you may need to make or deliveries coming to the house,” says Diane Phillips, James Beard Award nominee cookbook author and cooking teacher.

Order your turkey.
“For the turkey, you will need three-quarters to a pound of turkey per person,” says Phillips. This will still leave you with a day’s worth of leftovers. Buy the bird as early as possible and freeze it. Just remember: You need one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.

While you’re at it, consider ordering prepared h’ors doerves trays from the grocery store or desserts from the bakery that you’ll also want to serve. One more thing checked off your list!

Confirm your guest list.
Take note of how many people are coming to your house, and in that list, how many are children. From there, ask people to help. It’s not unreasonable to ask guests to bring a dish—and often, they will offer!

“There’s a time and a place for doing it all, but I don’t think Thanksgiving is the place,” says Lilly. When you ask guests to bring a dish, be very specific, so you know exactly what is heading to your home. Phillips takes it one step further:

“If you are having people bring a dish, give them the recipe,” she says. “They will appreciate having something they can easily put together.”

(MORE: 5 DIY Place Cards to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Table)

ONE WEEK BEFORE:

Set the table.
Taking care of this task in advance saves you a little bit of stress on the day-of. If you can’t set it an entire week in advance, shoot for a few days ahead. Have place cards ready if you’ll all be sitting at one table to avoid any confusion.

Place yourself closest to the kitchen, and not necessarily at the head. It’s best to split up couples for a livelier dynamic, but keep small children between their parents. Bonus tip: Seat lefties at corners, where they’ll have room to eat without banging elbows.

Grocery shop.
Consult your grocery lists and get your shopping out of the way. Does anything sound worse than a last-minute trip to the local grocery store on Thanksgiving Day? If you shop about five to six days in advance, you should have little-to-no issue with your perishable items.

To ease your burden, consider passing off dessert to a guest or a local bakery, says Lilly. Offer up recipe suggestions to the family member who can bake up a storm, or visit the grocer to order ahead.

Prepare for overnight guests.
Make sure you have fresh towels and linens on hand for overnight guests, and their room is ready to go. If you have a small home and no guest room, there are plenty of ways to make guests feel comfortable without their own space.

(MORE: Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes That Are Way Better Than Your Standard Roasted Bird)

THE WEEK OF:

Take inventory.
Do you have a thermometer? Enough casserole dishes? What about plates and silverware? Ensure that you have all of the essential turkey tools before diving into cooking.

Start cooking on Sunday.
Here lies Phillips’ secret to a stress-free holiday:make-ahead dishes. Gravy bases can be frozen, and casseroles and vegetables can often be cooked ahead and refrigerated for up to two days. If it can’t be cooked in advance, maybe it can at least be prepared. For example: your potatoes can be washed and ready to peel and mash.

(MORE: How Long to Cook a Turkey, in One Easy Chart)

THE DAY OF:

Wake up early.
On this holiday, there is no sleeping in. Make a schedule, and stick to it. Most importantly: You want to be ready up to an hour before guests are scheduled to arrive.

“Someone always arrives very early,” says Lilly. “There’s nothing worse than the doorbell ringing while you’re in the shower.”

What does this mean? The table or buffet should be set, and more importantly, the drinks should be chilled. If you give yourself an hour-long buffer, you’ll save yourself a lot of scrambling.

Keep food warm.
Use the microwave—it’s insulated, so it will keep dishes warm for up to half an hour—just don’t turn it on. Pour gravy into a thermos to keep it steaming. Spoon mashed potatoes or rice into an insulated ice bucket or Crock-Pot.

Prepare every room in the house.
Start your holiday with a clean kitchen—this means empty dishwashers and trashcans. Line your bins with more than one bag so that you have a fresh bag ready to go when one becomes full. Remove precious objects from the living room to save them from hyper nieces and nephews. If coats and bags are going on your bed, cover your duvet and pillows with a sheet to protect them from the elements. Finally, light a candle in the bathroom—it’s just a nice touch.

(MORE: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes Even Meat-Eaters Will Love)

Roast the perfect turkey
To know it’s done, use a meat thermometer in three spots: breast, thigh, and stuffing. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, and in the center of both the breast and the stuffing. If your turkey is unstuffed, cooking times are different—see this handy chartfor answers to all of your turkey cooking questions. Brining your turkey will make it even juicier, and it’s an easy skill to master.

If something goes wrong, don’t panic. Call mom, consult these turkey tips, or phone one of these helpful Thanksgiving hotlines.

Get your stain-removing arsenal ready.
When you crowd family members into a home, and couple that with delicious dinner, food will fly. White cotton cloths can sop up spills; white vinegar can handle coffee splatters; white wine can overpower its evil twin, red wine; a pre-treat stick like Tide to Go will handle major food slips.

Have fun!
This holiday is all about being grateful for what you have—even if the turkey is burnt and the tablecloth is a mosaic of stains, enjoy the time you have with family and friends, and take note of funny stories to tell at next year’s dinner.

(MORE: The History of Thanksgiving Foods Will Totally Change the Way You Look at Your Holiday Table)

TIME Diet/Nutrition

A Tale of Two Turkeys: Wild vs. Supermarket

turkey
Getty Images

Which bird is better?

WSF logo small

Whether you like yours brined or unbrined, stuffed with cornbread or sausage, in drumstick or leftover-sandwich format, it all starts with the turkey. Today’s turkey-lover has two choices: The supermarket bird, an artificially giganticized product of careful breeding and industrial farming methods, and the wild turkey, which hasn’t evolved much since the first Thanksgiving. Here’s a quick visual guide to help you decide which is best for you:

a tale of two turkeys

This article originally appeared on World Science Festival.

MONEY groceries

Rumors Are Flying of a Thanksgiving Turkey Shortage

Turkeys in a grocery store
Richard Levine—Alamy

You may have heard that there's a turkey shortage, and that prices are rising just in time for Thanksgiving. Hogwash.

Supermarkets have plenty of turkeys, and prices are incredibly cheap right now. How cheap? How about 79¢ per pound? That’s what the Kroger chain of supermarkets is offering in a special deal valid through Thanksgiving, so long as the customer buys an additional $35 or more in groceries.

If that’s too pricey, check out the offer from Meijer: When a customer spends at least $20 in the store, the chain’s own brand of turkeys are 50% off, which translates to 54¢ per pound for frozen birds and 98¢ per pound for fresh ones. In competitive markets such as western Michigan, meanwhile, some local grocery stores are selling turkeys for as little as 49¢ a pound. The latest Stop & Shop circular is advertising frozen turkeys for 59¢ per pound with a $25 purchase, and the chain says it will match the turkey prices of any grocery competitor. Yet another large player in the grocery field, Hy-Vee, has a coupon valid for a free 10- to 14-lb. Honeysuckle White Turkey for customers who purchase a Hormel whole ham. And ShopRite is giving reward club members a free turkey once the customer meets certain spending requirements (usually $400) over a period of a few weeks.

So why are so many headlines are making the rounds lately indicating that turkey is getting expensive?

It’s true that production is down, and that wholesale prices are up for turkey. But the important takeaway for shoppers is that neither of these factors is necessarily translating to rising prices in stores.

Due to long periods of drought and rising prices for feed, production of all manner of livestock has been on the decline in recent years. Beef prices, for instance, have increased to the point that consumers needed smart strategies to keep barbecue costs down over the summer. The Associated Press recently reported that American farmers will produce a total of 235 million turkeys this year, “the lowest since 1986, when U.S. farmers produced roughly 207 million birds.”

It sounds pretty dire. And yet, there’s nothing remotely true about the idea of there being a turkey “shortage,” as some have called it. A shortage means there’s not enough to go around—that the supply can’t keep up with demand. But as no less an authority than the National Turkey Federation noted that Americans collectively consumed 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving 2012, and 210 million turkeys during the year as a whole. That, combined with the fact that there are ample supplies of turkeys at supermarkets all over the country, should dispel any claims of a “shortage.”

As far as prices go, wholesale prices may be rising—reportedly up 12% in October compared with last year—but, as USDA agriculture economist David Harvey explained to the AP, “There’s really no correlation between what grocery store chains are paying and what they’re selling them at.”

This year—and every year around this time—supermarkets use turkeys as “loss leaders.” The stores advertise exceptionally low prices on turkeys, knowing that doing so will be a draw for customers. The grocers don’t care if they make little or no money, or even if they lose money, on turkey sales; shoppers who come for turkeys almost always buy plenty more groceries when they’re in the stores, especially when they’re required to do so, as the best deals stipulate, and it’s in these purchases where the supermarkets make their money.

What’s more, the idea that there is a turkey shortage and/or that turkey prices are soaring is a myth that pops up regularly around this time of year. Last year’s “shortage” turned out to be hype because, once anyone read past the headlines, it was clear that even as the supply of one particular kind of turkey had declined, the vast majority of turkeys (and consumers) were completely unaffected.

In a story published today by the New Jersey Star Ledger, Ashley Myers, co-owner of Ashley Farms, is quoted laughing off the idea of there being a shortage of turkeys. “They say that every year,” she said.

And every year, everyone who wants to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving is able to buy a turkey very easily, generally at very low prices—or even free. This year is no exception.

TIME curiosities

Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in Turkey Feathers

Photos from a 1948 wedding in which the bride and bridesmaids rocked turkey-feather dresses of the bride's own design

If you thought most bridesmaids’ dresses were hideous, imagine having to wear one made of turkey feathers. For the 1948 wedding party of one Barbara Orr Ehrhart, Oregonian and turkey enthusiast extraordinaire, this unlikely scenario was, in fact, all-too-real. As the Feb. 9, 1948, issue of LIFE magazine made plain, in an engaging article titled “LIFE Goes to a Turkey Feather Wedding,” turkey was the theme of the evening at Ehrhart’s nuptials — not merely on the menu, but turkey on the attendants and on the happy bride herself.

Ehrhart had a longstanding fascination with turkey feathers, for years using this unconventional fabric to make hats and accessories before spotlighting it in her own wedding dress. Half a century before Lady Gaga hit the red carpet in her infamous meat dress, Ehrhart displayed her feathered creations at local poultry shows.

After obtaining permission to get married at the Far West Turkey Show in California, the bride gathered 37,500 plumes for her dress, which was constructed over the course of several months. Her bridesmaids’ dresses were also crafted out of feathers, which she dyed pink, blue, yellow and green.

Instead of throwing rice, guests showered the newlyweds with — what else? — feathers as they exited the ceremony. And after all the talk of and emphasis on turkey had whetted their appetites, guests chowed down on a turkey dinner to cap off the night.

Today we might consider Ehrhart an early pioneer of the now-trendy “nose to tail” cooking philosophy, which seeks to eliminate waste when butchering an animal. This turkey lover clearly made good use of the birds’ feathery raiment in addition to the meat. Ehrhart did not slaughter the birds specifically for her own sartorial gain — she asserted that the 300 birds she plucked feathers from were already dead or fatally wounded.

LIFE reported that the morning after the wedding, even newlywed bliss couldn’t keep Ehrhart away from her beloved birds. She traveled to a movie set for her part in a short movie, in which she would be filmed standing amid what LIFE called “a sea of turkeys.”

Finally, if today’s readers have any concerns that Ehrhart’s proclivity for the birds would somehow overshadow (or even undermine) her marriage, they need not fear. The original LIFE article points out that the groom, Fred Ehrhart, who was a lumber grader in Oregon, gamely helped his fiancée create her gown. Birds of a feather, it seems, do indeed flock together.

Allison Berry is a contributor at TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @allisonrberry.

TIME portfolio

Pictures of the Week: Nov. 7 – Nov. 14

From Putin’s “coatgate” moment with China’s first lady and the funerals of Kurdish fighters killed in clashes with ISIS, to One World Trade Center’s 69th floor rescue and Brad Pitt’s selfie, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

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