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Get cooking for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and Christmas are on their way, barreling down on us so quickly that you can almost smell the sage and thyme wafting from the oven.

If you've got a knack for burning the turkey and the stuffing — or just want to add a few new dishes to your repertoire — here is a baker's dozen of cooking classes to come to your rescue. For the price of a meal out, you get a preview of holiday flavors, plus new recipes to take home.

At Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma, learn how to cook venison and duck on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 in two "Wild Game" classes with chef Lisa Lavagetto ($115 each). Chef Annie Simmons shares secrets of the South on Nov. 17 with "Thanksgiving the Southern Way" ($95).

Learn how to entertain in style — without killing yourself — with chef Jill Silverman Hough's "Make Ahead Holiday Party" on Nov. 18. ($100). For the last bite, try your hand at some new "Dinner Party Desserts" with chef Sarah Della Monica on Nov. 18. ($60) www.ramekins.com.

At Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg, chef and author Kathy Gunst from Maine pulls out all the stops for an "Impressive Holiday Entertaining" class Nov. 11, with dishes ranging from Grilled Lobster to Middle Eastern Lamb & Beef Meatballs ($102). Then, Sonoma County chef Mark Stark whisks you off to Spain on Dec. 1 with a "Spanish Tapas for the Holidays" class, paired with Spanish cava. ($92) www.relishculinary.com.

At Sur La Table in Santa Rosa, culinary director Les Goodman gets you ready for turkey day with "Ina Garten's Foolproof Thanksgiving" class on Nov. 12 and 13. ($95 each). Then Jude Affronti expands your appetizer IQ with an "Hors d'Oeuvres" party on Nov. 15 ($69) and an "Entertaining with Tapas" class on Nov. 20 ($69).

Baker Pattie Taan brushes up your "Holiday Baking Basics" on Nov. 17 ($69), and Goodman shows how to make "Homemade Gifts from the Kitchen" on Nov. 28 ($69). www.surlatable.com.

— Diane Peterson


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