The Rum Cake Lady’s Thanksgiving Tips

First off, let me apologize for not keeping up with the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  It has indeed been, well…a challenge!  Between my duties as a teacher, a mother, and a doctoral student (along with a few other roles), I have been OVERWHELMED!  I’ve been so overwhelmed, that my body waved the white flag this week in response to my demands.  I’ve been sidelined with a respiratory infection.  The codeine in the cough syrup I was prescribed has activated some form of hyperactivity, and as a result, I am preparing for Thanksgiving next week.  Yes…you read that correctly:  I have already begun my Thanksgiving preparation.  I will NOT be running around my house like a mad woman, unshowered and undressed when my guests arrive!  Here are a few things I’m doing NOW to get ready for Thursday.

  1. Take this weekend to clean, especially the pantry, the cupboards, and the refrigerator/freezer.  One of my side hustles is to bake rum cakes, so I typically rotate my baking supplies regularly.  If the only time you bake is during the holidays, you will want to check the expiration dates on things you don’t use regularly like baking soda, baking powder, spices, extracts, corn meal, flour (cake and regular), and other cooking supplies.  Add them to your grocery list NOW.  Cleaning also provides space for the additional groceries you’ll pick up over the next few days, which will likely be more than you usually have, and require the additional space.
  2. Speaking of grocery lists…did you recycle your sales papers already?  If you did, no problem.  Be sure to pull them up online; thoroughly going through each one so you’re getting the best deals on the items you need.
  3. Preparing a grocery list means preparing a menu.  This year, I’m sealing Thanksgiving Dinner with a KISS: Keeping It Simple and Sweet.  I only have one day off to prepare for Thanksgiving, but a few days off to prepare for Christmas.  Christmas is a month after Thanksgiving, so many of the items you serve on Thanksgiving will be served again on Christmas.  Don’t wear your guests out with repeats.  Do a simple Thanksgiving dinner with maybe one new side dish or dessert, then jazz up Christmas.
  4. Clean your pots, pans, dishes and serving trays.  Like the baking supplies, many of these items haven’t been used in almost a year, too.  It’s a good time to wash the roasting pan and rack, or the serving platters.  Also, throw the tablecloths and chair covers in the washing machine so they can be cleaned, dried, and ironed this weekend.  Remember your list!  Add any supplies you may need like disposable pans, roaster liners, or additional cutlery.
  5. Once you have everything cleaned, dried, and put away, you can begin some basic kitchen preparations.  Measure out your dry ingredients and seal them in a storage bag; labeling what it will be used for.  Bookmark, download, and/or print needed recipes.  Organize your counter space to make supplies readily accessible.
  6. As Michael Jackson sang, you are not alone!  Don’t try to be the hero. If someone asks what can they bring, give them a honest answer!  Let them bring a side dish, a dessert, or even beverages.  You will not lose Brownie Points for not cooking absolutely everything on your Thanksgiving menu.  Solicit the help of others, if possible, on the cleaning and cooking, too.

I hope these few tips help!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Day 30 – For Every Mountain…I Made It!

For the past 30 days, I, along with countless others, have participated in “30 Days of Gratitude.”  We made a conscious effort to daily post something we are thankful for.  Some days it was easy to spout of a list of things I was thankful for.  Other days, like the day my house got broken into, or the day my niece went into the hospital, it was a struggle to be thankful, but I did it.

Reflecting on how blessed I am has led me to want to continue the trend, and so for the 31 days of December, we will be sharing “gifts” of words of love and encouragement to different people every day (see “31 Days of Giving”).

As we exit 30 Days of Gratitude, I wanted to share the last of my gratitude posts by sharing two of my favorite songs: For Every Mountain  by Kurt Karr and I Made It by Meghan Willliams.

The lead on “For Every Mountain” starts off:

I have so much to thank God for.  So many wonderful blessings and so many open doors…”

Indeed, I have so much to thank God for!  My health, my children, my husband, my family, my job, my home, clothes, food, shelter, friends, a wonderful church home…I could go on, and on, and on.  God has indeed been good!  I am grateful!

The song continues:

For every mountain you’ve brought me over, for every valley you’ve brought me through; for every trial, HALLELUJAH, for THIS I give you PRAISE!

When I think about all I’ve been through in 2013 up to this point, this line of the song rings in my ear.  I give Him praise because none of my trials end in defeat.  In every area, God has worked miraculously and delivered, inspired, healed, and restored.  It is then that I begin to sing the victorious song by Meghan Williams:

No weapon formed against me shall prosper.  I MADE IT!

Every device the enemy set to try to take my life, my friends & family members lives, my marriage, my home, and my kids, DID NOT WORK!  I MADE IT!  I didn’t think I would at times.  I cried a lot of nights, and a lot of days.  I wanted to through in the towel many-a days, BUT I MADE IT!

So, on this last day of the 30 Days of Gratitude, I am beyond grateful for every mountain and every valley in my life this year.  Those moments allowed me to be able to be thankful today that NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER!

I win!

30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude

It’s November and for many, it’s the month symbolizes the season of Thanksgiving.  Our fellow blogger & friend, Fenixrizes, has issued the “challenge” to daily list at least one thing you’re thankful or grateful for.  Post it on your own social outlets – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc…but share it.  You’ll be amazed how much you have to be grateful for!