If you're spending Thanksgiving in the Mid-Columbia, this is a great time to seek out a new winery, try a new vintage or simply get out and explore.
During the long weekend, take advantage of the Yakima Valley and Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail wineries' events called Thanksgiving in the Wine Country.
In Yakima Valley, several wineries will hold a holiday open house with special tastings of wines, music, art displays and discounts on purchases Friday and Saturday.
For a real treat, be sure to drop by Kestrel Vintners in Prosser where you can sample Turducken. Chef Jessica Smith will stuff a boneless chicken into a boneless duck and then place both birds inside a boneless turkey. Each bird has its own stuffing.
Then head to Zillah for one of the homemade dark chocolate brownies at Agate Field Winery or to Steppe Cellars in Sunnyside for grapevine wreath making and more tasting.
To find a list of participating wineries, go to http://wineyakimavalley.org or call 509-965-5201.
Zillah will have eight of the wineries along the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail for their three-day event, starting Friday. They will be offering a chance to sample new releases, discounts, appetizers and chocolates.
There is no cost or ticket needed to attend this event, however, some wineries do charge a tasting fee. A $10 Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail Passport offers 10 percent to 50 percent off wine and waives some tasting fees. Passports are sold at the wineries.
For a list of participating wineries, go to www.rattlesnakehills.org or call 509-965-4521.
You'll need to take your own glass along, as wineries won't be doing any dishwashing.
Several regional wineries, like Maryhill Winery in Goldendale, also will be holding an open house during the long weekend. Enjoy the festivities -- including a free hotdog and marshmallow roast -- from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Look for more information at www.maryhillwinery.com or call 877-627-9445.
Stretch a meal
Rice can help you maximize your food budget. Next time you use ground meat, replace one-quarter of the meat with cooked rice or whole grain brown rice to extend the more expensive protein.
The book: The New Book of Soups by The Culinary Institute of America
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