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Home front: Azaleas and camellias; cook non-turkey Thanksgiving food

Also, a class on prepping poultry

AZALEA AND CAMELLIA CARE ... Learn about camellias and azaleas and how to care for them on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at a joint meeting of the San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Society and the DeAnza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave. in Redwood City. Nurseryman Tom Nuccio will bring examples of camellias and azaleas to the meeting, give information on these plants, and teach how to care for them. At the end, the plants will be raffled off or sold. For more information, go to camelliasfpcs.org or deanza-ars.com.

THANKSGIVING FOR NON-TURKEY EATERS ... Hidden Villa's veteran organic farmer Jason McKenney will offer a hands-on cooking tutorial on making vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes. The class will focus on techniques for preparing savory dishes that celebrate plant-based cooking without imitating meat. He will go over the steps to make winter squash gratin, mushroom rosemary gravy, twice-baked potatoes, savory nut-roasted kale, and caramelized onion and carrot fritters. All food prepared will be from Hidden Villa's organic farm and the class will conclude with a meal featuring all these items. The cost is $50. The class will take place in Hidden Villa's hostel on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 2-5 p.m. To register, go to hiddenvilla.org.

PREPPING YOUR POULTRY ... Making use of a whole bird unlocks varied flavors and textures. In the "Poultry Butchery" class on Monday, Nov. 19 , from 2-5 p.m. at Hidden Villa, participants will learn the basics of "parting out" and trussing a whole bird for roasting, and work their way up to deboning and spatchcocking. By the end of the class, each person will learn new techniques to use on their Thanksgiving turkey or on a weeknight chicken. Ticket price covers instruction only. All students are asked to purchase at least one bird to practice on during the class. Chickens are $5/pound and typically range from 4-5 pounds. Turkeys are $10/pound and typically range from 15-20 pounds. Note: Part of the proceeds from each turkey sale goes to underwriting turkeys for the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of the Peninsula's annual Thanksgiving feast. To register, go to hiddenvilla.org.

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