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<strong>Ms. Mouthful's Thanksgiving Pick:</strong> If you're looking for a special option for Thanksgiving, Ms. Mouthful recommends Safari West's annual feast.

There are two seatings, one at noon and one at 4 p.m. Cost is $65 for adults and $25 for kids aged 4 to 12.

This year's menu begins with appetizers (fruit, cheese, artichoke dip, bread), followed by green salad with candied pecans, apples and lemon-poppy seed dressing and butternut squash soup topped with creme fraiche.

The main holiday buffet features roast turkey with cornbread and apple stuffing and gravy, with cranberry sauce and cranberry chutney; grilled flank steak; spiral-cut honey ham; mashed potatoes; candied sweet potatoes; green beans with butter, garlic, basil and tomatoes and fresh Costeaux breads. For dessert, there's pumpkin pie and apple pie, both with freshly whipped cream.

Beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase.

The specific menu almost doesn't matter. The most wonderful part is simply being at Safari West, watching the giraffes, cranes and flamingos and visiting the cheetahs.

For more information and for reservations, visit <a href="http://safariwest.com" target="_blank">safariwest.com</a> or call 579-2551.

<strong>New Tasting Fun at Meadowcroft Tasting Room:</strong> Meadowcroft Wines, in Cornerstone Sonoma (23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma) has recently introduced new pairing opportunities for visitors.

One pairing features five wines paired with dried apricot, pecans, maple-bacon popcorn, a chocolate-covered blueberry and Vella cheese.

A second option is a confection extravaganza, with too many sweet nibbles and too many wines to mention. A highlight is the grand finale, a dark Belgian chocolate with fleur de sel accompanied by either Meadowcroft Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon or All She Wrote port.

Meadowcroft Wines include three labels, Meadowcroft, Thomas Henry and Foyt Family. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cornerstone Sonoma is a great place to simply hang out and a perfect destination when you want to send visiting family out of the house for a few hours. The gardens, now free to visit, are really interesting; there's a great garden shop, a good restaurant, art galleries, design shops and more. And starting Nov. 29, there is special entertainment.

Le Cirque de Boheme begins Nov. 29 and continues through Dec. 2. Although several performances are sold out, there are seats available for Nov. 29 at 5 p.m., Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.and Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The show is a 1920s-style circus in the French tradition, with magicians, sword throwers, slack rope walkers, contortionists and more, all part of a 10-year-old girl's dream journey.

Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 15 and younger. It all takes place under a large garden tent, with just 80 guests. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit <a href="http://cornerstonegardens.com" target="_blank">cornerstonegardens.com</a>.

<strong>Sixth Annual Friends House Celebration:</strong> On Saturday, Friends House (684 Benicia Drive, Santa Rosa) hosts its sixth annual Holiday Faire and Quaker Tea, one of Ms. Mouthful's favorite events of the season. It offers a gentle, thoughtful entry into the holidays and alleviates the stress that may already be developing.

The fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a marketplace featuring baked goods and preserves, knitted, quilted, felted, turned and carved items, international imports and more. At the Albino Pachyderm Shop, you'll find all manner of gently-used treasures.

See the Pulitzer Prize-winning articles on the October wildfires here

How we covered the early hours of the October fires here

See all of the PD's wildfire coverage here

Tea, which includes sandwiches, scones, Devonshire cream, lemon curd, Portingall cake and other sweets and, of course, tea, is served at 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. and at 12, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m.

Cost for tea is $20 per person, and seating is limited so you should make reservations at <a href="http://friendshouse.org" target="_blank">friendshouse.org</a> or by calling 538-0152.

<strong>Celebrate at Schug Winery:</strong> If you have a gently used coat that you no longer need, you can use it to attend this weekend's Holiday Open House at Schug Winery (602 Bonneau Road, Sonoma). The coats will be donated to two local organizes that serve homeless individuals and foster children. For more information about this project, visit onewarmcoat.org.

If you don't have a coat to donate, $10 will get you in. The money will be donated to scholarship funds at Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College.

Once in, you'll enjoy tastes of current releases paired with yummy nibbles prepared by the winery's chef.

For an additional fee, you can taste a selection of Heritage Reserve wines and the winery's spectacular Sparkling Pinot Noir.

Calolea Olive Oil company will be offering samples of its oils throughout the two-day event, which takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

<strong>Shake Out Your Victorian Finery:</strong> The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party opens this Saturday at the San Francisco Cow Palace (2600 Geneva Ave.), where the entire venue is transformed into Victorian London at Christmas, circa 1865.

The fair offers, of course, an opportunity to dress as you've always wanted to, along with nonstop entertainment and an opportunity to mingle with an entire community of Dickensian characters, including chimney sweeps, carolers, London bobbies, magicians, drunken sailors and more. You can shop for Victorian treasures, visit an antiquarian bookstore and hang out in Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House, where you'll enjoy the "Saucy French Postcard Tableaux Revue."

For the discriminating bohemian, there is an absinthe bar. See you there.

There's no need to eat first, as you can choose between roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, goose, quail, fish and chips, meat pies, duck a l'orange, roasted chestnuts, scones, plum pudding, truffles, mulled cider and other delicious treats.

The fair opens Saturday at 10 a.m. and continues on Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission ranges from $8 for a child in a group to $30 for adults on the final two weekends, with a range of price options that you can see at <a href="http://dickensfair.com" target="_blank">dickensfair.com</a>.

The web site also includes details about food, beverages, entertainment and retail shops.

<strong>Healdsburg Gift Gallery:</strong> The Healdsburg Center for the Arts opened its Holiday Gift Gallery yesterday, with the work of 25 local artists on view and available for sale through Dec. 31.

This Saturday from 5 to 8, the gallery hosts an opening reception with conversation and refreshments.

Participating artists include jewelers Laura Buckner, Rachel Dropp, Dee Dushkes, Nikki King and Nancy Martin. Darlene Barr, Elizabeth Fleming, Audrey Jung and Rosemarie Kelliher work in textiles. Itsuko Zenitani, Asa Pritchet, Barbara Sebastian and Brian Wilson do ceramic work.

Two print makers, Jeremy Joan Hewes and Lee Sharp, are participating, as is glass artist Glasea Mendocino.

Susan Harter Oshiro works in jewelry and glass; MaryAnne Hunt-Valencia works in jewelry and textiles; Joyce Libeau works in mixed media and Alise Sheehan works in jewelry and pewter. Rakshika Thakor works in prints and textiles.

The Holiday Gift Gallery is located at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts at 130 Plaza St., Healdsburg. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission, including to Saturday's opening fete, is free.

<strong>November Aloha:</strong> Need a little Hawaiian warmth these chilly days? There are two great possibilities this month.

First, Da Puna Bruddahs are performing this Sunday at Sweet Ts Restaurant and Bar (2097 Stagecoach Road, No. 100, Santa Rosa) from 4 to 7 p.m. The band has added to new songs to their breezy line up, some original, some old Hawaiian favorites you're sure to recognize.

They always draw a crowd here, so if you want to snag a barstool, arrive early.

There is no cover charge.

Next Saturday, at the wonderful Uptown Theatre in Napa (1350 Third St.), there's a Hawaiian Holiday Celebration with falsetto singer Steven Espaniola, slack key master Patrick Landeza and Sonoma County's own Faith Ako, whose third album has just been released.

This aloha-filled evening will include some beautiful hula dancing as well as wonderful music.

Tickets, $25 in advance, are available at uptowntheatrenapa.com. At the door, you'll pay $30.

Food and beverages, including beer and wine, are available in the theater's cafe.

<em>Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at <a href="http://pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com" target="_blank">pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com</a>.</em>

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