The next series of cooking classes that I teach will feature holiday themes. Here is the lineup:
Gifts from the kitchen, Nov. 5.
Christmas candies, Nov. 19.
Holiday dessert buffet, Dec. 3.
Classes are 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Just Us Girls Gifts, 2392 Woodhill Drive (next to Purdon Rental). The cost is $20 a class. Call (859) 269-0312.
Brine is so fine
Last Thanksgiving, I brined a turkey for the first time, and the result was the most moist and flavorful bird I had ever prepared.
If you would like to try brining, The Spice Hunter is offering a toll-free brine line this holiday season. Home cooks can call 1-888-334-8977 between 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily, or go to www.spicehunter.com for a "how to brine" instructional video, podcast and recipes.
Brining is soaking meat in a water-based salt mixture before cooking to lock in moisture and infuse the meat with mild flavors. The company has a new turkey brine mix that's a blend of fruit, herbs and spices. Simply combine the contents of the 11-ounce jar with one gallon of boiling water for a turkey that's no more than 14 pounds. After the mixture is chilled, place it in a large container with the thawed turkey and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
If you need some creative ideas to update your holiday recipe box or decorations, Fayette County Extension can help. A holiday seminar will be held at 9 a.m. Nov. 20 at the extension office, 1140 Red Mile Road.
Rita Smart, owner of The Bennett House Bed and Breakfast in Richmond, will talk about holiday hospitality. Horticulture agent Jamie Dockery of Lexington will show how to decorate using your landscape. His topic is "Bringing the Outside In."
Jeffrey Newman, executive chef at Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, will present a demonstration, "A Kentucky Tradition: Secrets From the Tavern."
There also will be a luncheon and fashion show. Cost is $15. To register, call (859) 257-5582.
Woodford Reserve events
Woodford Reserve has a lineup of events for the holiday season:
■ Hot tea, hot chocolate, soups and baked goods will be served al fresco on the visitor center terrace from Nov. 3 through December. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
■ Ouita Michel, chef-in-residence at the distillery, will present Woodford in the Kitchen. She will share her recipes for a holiday meal on Nov. 14. Also, Paige Richardson of Wallace Station will demonstrate how to create beautiful table settings, and master florist Beth Sebastian will share tips on creating floral arrangements. The event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dryer House/Conference Center. The cost is $30.
For reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (859) 879-1934.
Oregon meets Kentucky
Vintner Select debuts its Oregon winery portfolio in Louisville with a winemaker's dinner at Lilly's.
Chef Kathy Cary will pair Oregon wines with a Kentucky menu, and representatives from five Oregon wineries will be at the event at 6:30 p.m. Friday. They will be seated with guests to discuss Oregon wines. The cost is $85. Call (502) 451-0447.