Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

Nov. 26 2015 9:03 AM

How to Turn Your Thanksgiving Scraps Into a Satisfying Next-Day Breakfast

This post originally appeared on Food52.

I have never hosted Thanksgiving, but I did recently throw my first dinner party, and I’ll tell you what: The aftermath was bleak.

The party itself was a great success, and I’ve never felt more like a domestic goddess than I did while filling and refilling my friends plates with a meal of my own creation. But at the end of the night, after closing the door behind the last guest, it was all I could do to stumble to my bed (ignoring the feat of structural engineering that was the stack of dirty dishes in the sink) before passing out in proud, stuffed, slightly inebriated exhaustion.

The next day, the concept of cleaning up was favorable only in comparison to the concept of feeding myself. Leftovers? Blah. Cooking? After last night? Hilarious joke. I’ll have six bagels instead.

As far as I can tell, the days after hosting Thanksgiving are just that whole mess jacked up on tryptophan. Save yourself from a coma by whipping up a strata.

Video Advertisement

Nov. 25 2015 6:50 PM

Eagles of Death Metal Give Their Frightening, Firsthand Account of the Paris Shootings

Earlier this month, during a performance by American rock band Eagles of Death Metal, three shooters killed over 80 people in a terrorist attack on Paris’ Bataclan concert hall. The band’s members all survived the shooting, and they’ve now given their first interview about the attack to Vice, detailing over 25 minutes their memory of the event and their subsequent wrestling with such enormous tragedy.

Their account is incredibly graphic, and includes visceral retellings of how each member scrambled to survival: Singer Jesse Hughes actually came face-to-face with one of the gunmen, and bassist Matt McJunkins notes that the gunfire went on “for 10, 15 minutes, it just didn’t stop.” The band wants to be the very first to play the Bataclan when it re-opens, with Hughes concluding: “Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died. I want to go back and live."

Nov. 25 2015 1:51 PM

Spike Lee Predicts Sex Strikes Across College Campuses in the Wake of Chi-Raq

Spike Lee’s new film, Chi-Raq, spins off the Ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, in which Athenian women vow to withhold sex until their men end the Peloponnesian War. Lee’s modernized version is set in South Side Chicago, where more Americans have died than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. During hisappearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night, Lee blamed the violence on lax gun control laws and predicted that, thanks to Chi-Raq, sex strikes will prove both highly popular and highly effective in ending violence. “I think that a sex strike could really work on college campuses where there’s an abundance of sexual harassment and date rapes,” Lee told Colbert. “Second semester it’s going to happen. Once people come back from Christmas, there’s going to be sex strikes at universities and college campuses across this country. I believe it.”

Not one to waste time, Colbert trotted Lee through a series of topics including the release of graphic dashcam footage showing a Chicago officer gunning down teenager Laquan McDonald. “Do you believe it’s always better to see an event even if it can incite a violent reaction?” Colbert asked. “I’m glad that the tape is being released because this is democracy, and I don’t think we can pick and choose what America should see,” Lee answered.

Nov. 25 2015 1:04 PM

The Fantastic Four Honest Trailer Elegantly Explains Why Fantastic Four Was So Terrible

When Fox’s third attempt at a Fantastic Four movie flopped, several theories surfaced as to why. Perhaps the Fantastic Four are unlikeable jerks who could never successfully support a franchise. Perhaps thebreakdown in communication between studio and director made the resulting film a poorly edited, unsalvageable mess. Or perhaps, as Screen Junkies suggests in its Honest Trailer, it’s because the characters are four inept teenagers who get drunk, take selfies, and stick their hands in alien goo.

Honest Trailers are never more delicious than when they’re taking down cinematic trainwrecks, and this one is no exception. Fantastic Four (or “Fan-Four-Stick,” per the film’s confusing wordmark) has no redeeming qualities—the plot makes no sense, the villain is hokey, and the talents of Hollywood’s hottest young actors are squandered on banal dialogue. (Sample line: “We’re a team now, and there’s four of us, so we should come up with a name for it.” Thanks for that, Reed.) Frankly, it’s shocking Screen Junkies managed to fit everything wrong with the movie into four minutes and thirty seconds.

Nov. 25 2015 12:28 PM

You’re Doing It Wrong: Pumpkin Pie

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Brow Beat will be providing all the essential recipes you need to celebrate the holiday with culinary aplomb. See also our previous entries on sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

We expect pumpkin pie to do the near-impossible on Thanksgiving: to whet our appetites after we have already stuffed ourselves to the gills with rich, sweet, starchy fare. We ask it to do the equivalent of entertaining and inspiring us after Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have played a 3-hour opening set.

Traditional pumpkin pie (i.e., the recipe found on the Libby’s label) rises to this challenge fairly well. The filling is smooth and creamy, demanding very little from our teeth and jaws, and its mixed spices are a welcome novelty after a mostly spiceless meal. There is one problem with this customary squash dessert, however: the crust.

Nov. 25 2015 11:39 AM

The Best Order in Which to Cook Things on Thanksgiving, in One Chart

For most of the year, having just one oven in your home is no problem at all. On Thanksgiving, having just one oven feels like having just one arm. The challenge of Thanksgiving isn’t so much the sheer quantity of dishes you’re expected to prepare; it’s the fact that most of those dishes—with the blessed exceptions of mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce—need to cook in the oven. Figuring out the correct order in which to bake your turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, biscuits, Brussels sprouts, and pies can feel like a demented LSAT logic game.

When Slate presented our complete Thanksgiving game plan in 2012, we offered you step-by-step instructions telling you which order to cook everything—but we kind of cheated by telling you to deep-fry your turkey, which freed up the oven for other stuff. We stand by that advice (deep-frying is a great way to cook a turkey), but it seems fair to assume that most readers are going to cook their birds the old-fashioned way, in the oven, which complicates the question of oven timing. Which is why this year—inspired by a clever visualization that recently made the rounds on Reddit—we are offering you a way to visualize everything you need to bake on Thanksgiving, in one simple chart.

Nov. 25 2015 9:39 AM

You’re Doing It Wrong: Mashed Potatoes

There are at least a few legitimate ways to adulterate mashed potatoes beyond the requisite butter and milk. You can stir in chopped fresh herbs for herbed mashed potatoes, or incorporate another root vegetable (like sweet potatoes or parsnips) for a hybrid purée. You can add cream (or sour cream, or crème fraîche) for insanely rich mashed potatoes, or grated cheese for cheesy mashed potatoes.


But Thanksgiving is not the time for any of these variations. 


Nov. 25 2015 9:18 AM

Watch Adele Do “Hello” Classroom Instrument-Style With Jimmy Fallon and the Roots

One of Late Night’s most consistently great recurring bits is its classroom instrument covers—everyone from Mariah Carey to the cast of Sesame Street have transformed their pop hits into infectious, stripped down musical treats. It was only a matter of time before Adele got in on the action, and she joined Jimmy Fallon and the Roots this week for a sprightly rendition of her massive ballad, “Hello.”

In the opinion of this writer, the collaboration improves greatly upon the inescapable ode that will apparently save us all from our awkward Thanksgiving dinner conversations: Her voice sounds amazing, per usual, but this edition is also playful and light-hearted. If you prefer your Adele a little more on the bright side, keep this version on repeat.

Nov. 25 2015 8:44 AM

The Avengers Disassemble in the Surprise New Trailer for Captain America: Civil War

The Captain America movies are the undersung gem of Marvel’s on-screen universe. Not that they’re some sort of secret—Captain America: Winter Soldier made more than $700 million at the box office—but that installment, in particular, is arguably the best Marvel film. Not because it reinvents the superhero movie formula. (It doesn’t, instead mixing it with elements of the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s.) But because it executes it so well, with an emphasis on emotion and plot and character, in addition to well-grounded action. (I’ve rarely been so surprised to find myself tear up.)

Now, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. revealed the surprise trailer for Captain America: Civil War. The unexpected greatness of Winter Soldier wasn’t lost on Marvel: The movie is directed by the same team (Joe and Anthony Russo) and written by the same screenwriters (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely)—all of whom Marvel has also now hired for its two-part Avengers: Infinity War movies. And it seems to have a similar vibe, focusing on the heart-wrenching drama of two old friends turned against each other. With a name as big as Civil War, it’s a nice surprise that the trailer makes the movie look so measured, almost intimate. The movie also seems to pick up right where the first two Captain America movies left off, so if you still haven’t watched them, now is the time to catch up.

Nov. 25 2015 8:33 AM

Jane the Virgin’s Radically Frank Depiction of Early Motherhood

This article originall appeared on Vulture.

Jane the Virgin is not short of critical accolades; its first season was lauded for how sharp the writing is, for Gina Rodriguez’s stellar performance as Jane, and for how grounded its characters are in spite of the series’s humorous hyper-reality. I’m sure it will end up on some of this year’s lists of top returning shows, as it absolutely deserves to. If I had to bet, though, I’d say that it’s not going to appear on many lists of Most Serious, Groundbreaking, Momentous Series of the Decade. Very often, it’s a silly show. Its pace is lickety-split, it makes hashtag jokes, and its most beloved character is a running joke about pomposity. It’s also really fun, perhaps the surest disqualifier for the “serious” label.

For my money, though, season two of Jane the Virgin is doing some of the most serious, most valuable work I’ve seen in a long time, and that work is rooted in a radically frank depiction of new motherhood.