Let's not freak out, all right? It is not too late to get ourselves together to host Thanksgiving. Let's plan.
Perhaps we should have a glass of wine first. Just one! Perhaps more than one.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, The Chapel Hill Museum (523 E. Franklin St., 967-1400, www.chapelhillmuseum.org) hosts its annual celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to raise funds for its education programs. Wines of all varieties will be paired with food from area restaurants, including Provence, Elaine's on Franklin, Bonne Soiree, La Residence, and Il Palio. Advance tickets to the French-themed evening cost $30 per person or $50 per couple and are available by calling the number above.
Now, breathe. Here's a (surely incomplete) roundup of local resources that can help us get started. Good luck, and happy Thanksgiving.
First, head to your favorite farmers' market. Not only will the purveyors there be plentiful—offering everything from sweet potatoes to squash and cheese to candles—but some plan to be open Tuesday, Nov. 24—exactly when you need them. Check out our Triangle Farmers' Markets list. Individual vendors may be taking advance orders as well.
There are plenty of places that want to help you prepare the entire meal. Foster's Market (www.fostersmarket.com) in Durham (2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., 489-3944) and Chapel Hill (750 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 967-3663) is offering appetizers (butternut squash-stuffed mushrooms), main courses (roasted turkey, bone-in honey ham), accompaniments (gravy, cranberry-orange relish) and vegetables, sides and desserts. A complete menu is on its Web site. Orders are due by Monday, Nov. 23, for pickup Wednesday, Nov. 25.
- Skipping a stuffing step? Great Harvest Bread in Chapel Hill (229 S. Elliott Road, 932-1112, www.freshbakedbread.com) and Cary (1220 N.W. Maynard Road, 460-8158, www.greatharvestcary.com) both make a variety of seasonally inspired breads, including Stuffing Bread, which is already seasoned with sage, onion and celery. Genius! Their daily baking schedules differ, so double-check the store near you.
- Cheese at a wine store? The ever-intrepid Wine Authorities (2501 University Drive, Durham, 489-2884, www.wineauthorities.com) not only have a prepicked list of Thanksgiving-recommended wines (see their Web site), they also are stocked with domestic goat, sheep and cow milk cheeses by the pound and the piece. They carry artisanal bacon and chocolate as well.
- Going Italian for Thanksgiving? Il Palio (1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 929-4000, www.sienahotel.com/ilpalio.cfm) is serving up two buffet menus Thanksgiving Day. One has the traditional turkey and trimmings; the other is a three- or four-course Italian feast featuring lobster and sweet pepper cacciucco, braised veal osso buco and cayenne chocolate semifreddo. Reservations are required. Also, Posta Tuscan Grille (500 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, 227-3370, www.postatuscangrille.com) is open Nov. 26 serving both traditional (roast pork loin) and Italian-influenced (tortellini with cappone broth) dishes. Reservations are recommended.