Real Estate

Home front: Homes of gingerbread; make your own cheese

Also, tips to reduce food waste after Thanksgiving

A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including a gingerbread house exhibit in Los Altos, a cheesemaking class and ways to reduce food waste after Thanksgiving.

HOMES OF GINGERBREAD ... They might not be brick-and-mortar homes, but they are edible. The city of Los Altos will hold its 31st Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit starting Tuesday, Nov. 27 and running through Thursday, Dec. 6. The homes can be viewed in the Hillview Community Center, Room 2, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.-noon.

MAKE YOUR OWN CHEESE ... Just in time for some holiday revelry, Los Altos Hills' Hidden Villa has invited local farm experts to teach participants how to craft cheese. In addition to learning, you'll have the opportunity to sample creations from neighboring Bay Area farmers and pick herbs and edible flowers from Hidden Villa's organic garden to add different notes to your own cheese. The class will be held in the Duveneck House on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $70, and the class is aimed at ages 16 and up. To register, go to

REDUCE FOOD WASTE ... Thanksgiving is over and maybe you're making turkey soup. If you still have leftovers, the city of Palo Alto has some tips for reducing food waste, as well as how to prepare for your next holiday feast. If you can't eat everything right away, freeze leftovers and enjoy them on a night when you don't have time to cook. When cooking your next holiday meal, make only what you need so you don't go too far over your budget. Ask your guests to bring a food storage container and send them home with leftovers. This way, you won't be stuck with too much food and everyone gets to enjoy leftovers the next day. For tips on how to shop smart, store food properly and eat what you've purchased, visit the city's Food: Too Good To Waste webpage at

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