Yakima Valley's Thanksgiving in Wine Country planned Friday through Sunday

Loretto Hulse, Tri-City Herald staffNovember 27, 2013 

When the big bird's nothing but bones, the pies are a memory and family and guests are getting restless, hit the road.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the best times for wine touring, since more than 40 wineries the length of the Yakima Valley will feature special vintages and prices.

The wineries, all members of Wine Yakima Valley, an association to promote the vintages produced there, call their event Thanksgiving in Wine Country. This year it runs from Friday to Sunday.

Do take a glass for tasting along -- there won't be any time for the tasting room workers to wash dishes.

Buy a special Taste to Fight Hunger ticket and you'll enjoy extra discounts and tastings at many wineries. They're available at the participating wineries. Cost is $30 and proceeds will be donated to Northwest Harvest, a Yakima food bank.

Hours at each winery vary, but they're generally open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For exact hours, directions and information, go to wineyakimavalley.org.

After the feast

Here are some tips from the USDA on storing any leftovers from your big holiday feast:

-- Leftovers must be refrigerated within two hours after food is safely cooked. Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees.

-- Throw away any hot or cold leftovers that have been left out for more than two hours at room temperature.

-- To prevent bacteria growth, it's important to cool hot food rapidly to the safe refrigerator-storage temperature of 40 degrees. To do this, divide large amounts of food into shallow containers.

-- Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days or frozen for three to four months.

Season's seasonings

If you love the top flavors of the holidays -- pumpkin spice, ginger, vanilla, peppermint, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg -- check out McCormick's website, www.mccormick.com.

Spice up your breakfast bagel with a spread made of canned pumpkin, spices and brown sugar to cream cheese.

Or, stir cranberry and ginger into mayo for a tasty sandwich spread.

For a signature holiday drink, try a Peppermint Paddy Martini.

Good read

The book: How to Cook Everything: The Basics by Mark Bittman.

Cost: $35

Best for: With this cookbook it's like having the author at your elbow in the kitchen. You'll learn fundamental techniques and recipes and then build on them to create delicious meals for family and friends.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com. To receive a recipe via email each Tuesday, register at tricityherald.com and click on newsletters.

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