This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, November 24
Friends of Meadowridge Library is holding its Holiday Pie Sale fundraiser today, a convenient option for picking up a Thanksgiving dessert. The pies are baked by Meadowridge staff and friends, and are $10 each, with proceeds going to the library. Meadowridge Library, 5470 Raymond Rd., 10 a.m.-until all pies are sold. Call 288-6160 for more info.
Slow Food Madison is holding a sauerkraut workshop and pickle tasting this evening. "Learn about the alchemic art of lacto-fermentation, and taste and learn about sauerkraut, kimchee, and more," promises the group. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 7-8:30 p.m., $5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
Wednesday, November 25
NBC15 Share Your Holidays early in the month, but support will still be needed well past Thanksgiving. Monetary contributions will be accepted at more than five dozen credit unions, while groceries will be accepted at various donation sites around the Madison area through December 13.
Thursday, November 26
Thanksgiving elevates filling the tummy to exalted tradition. While it's rooted in the embrace of home cooking, the holiday doesn't need to be limited to the kitchen, dining room, or couch facing the football game on TV. Community meals transform the big day into a shared experience, and there are a free options around town this year. Both St. Mark's Lutheran Church and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church are offering free turkey dinners, while Alliance for Animals is serving a free vegan feast at Neighborhood House. Details about these and a variety of buffet options can be found in a guide to Madison restaurant Thanksgiving dinners for 2009.
Friday, November 27
Eating leftovers and shopping for gifts are the most obvious options for Black Friday, but today is also the opening of a two-day Hmong New Year Celebration in Madison. The festivities include traditional and contemporary dancing, games of pov pob, live music, and yes, both food and shopping. Exhibition Hall, Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 8 a.m.-8 p.m both Friday and Saturday. Call 267-3976 for more info.
Saturday, November 28
The Norwegian Smorgasbord Brunch & Bake Sale this morning. The meal is a buffet replete with cured meats, smoked salmon, herring, boiled eggs, and other Norske staples, while the sale will feature essential treats like lefse, krumkake, rosettes, sandbakkels, and more. Here's hoping for plenty of krumkake! Idun Lodge, 2262 Winnebago St., 9 a.m.-noon, $9 adults and $4 kids 6-12. Call 277-8190 for more info.
A Vintage Christmas celebration today, complete with tastings, winemaker talks, and other seasonal activities. Revelers will be able to taste various wines -- including Prairie Blush, River Gold and warmed Cedarburg Spice -- that are paired with holiday treats, such as Wollersheim's own homemade stuffing made with its Domaine du Sac. Representatives from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Wisconsin Christmas Tree Growers Association will also be on hand to share their suggestions for holiday cheese samplers and decorating, respectively. Locations for shooting family Christmas card portraits will be provided, and guests can also take self-guided tours of the winery. There will also be a Christmas ornament contest marking two decades of Prairie Fumé. Wollersheim Winery, 7876 Hwy. 188, Sauk City, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Call 643-6515 for more info.
The Downtown Madison Holiday Open House encourages shoppers to spend their dollars in the heart of the city, and will be enticing visitors with a broad array of freebies. Along with free trolley rides and downtown gift bags, the open house will include complimentary refreshments at various participating shops and restaurants (think cookies, hot chocolate, cider), a free cookie decorating station at Overture, and other holiday trimmings. State Street and the Capitol Square, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 443-1974 for more info
Sunday, November 29
Extend a long weekend of gift shopping with the Close to Home: Arboretum Local Products Expo, a celebration of locally produced products, recycling, and sustainability. Held as part of the Arboretum's 75th anniversary, the expo will feature a broad array of local eats, including chocolates, cheeses, honey, and canned goods. Other products -- from textiles to jewelry, and pottery to purses -- will also be for sale. UW Arboretum Visitor Center, 1207 Seminole Hwy., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 263-7888 for more info.
Cap off the holiday weekend with a mix of shopping, pasta, and comedy at the Global Uni Community Fundraiser, organized by the improv troupe. Proceeds go to the organizations aid projects supporting children in Bangladesh and homeless families in Madison. Bunky's Café, 2425 Atwood Ave., 5-9 p.m., $25. Call 257-4663 for more info.
Monday, November 30
With Thanksgiving depleting food pantry supplies, more donations will be necessary through the long holiday season. Launched in early November, the Sponsor-A-Pie campaign organized by Monty's Blue Plate Diner, 2089 Atwood Ave., sale continues through December 18. Call 244-8505 for more info.