I laughed out loud when I realized I was using the wrong recipe for cornbread last weekend while up on the island. Cornbread is a treat I’ve made so many times I thought I could bake it by heart. I even recalled the familiar page number in my cookbook: 86. But without my reading glasses my vision drifted down to the bottom of the page, to the lower left instead of the upper right.

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, an old favorite

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, an old favorite

As I prepared the batter, the recipe seemed to have too many ingredients. And indeed, it did. I found a pair of glasses and saw I was making Hush Puppies. Not only that, I’d purchased coarsely ground cornmeal at the grocery store and it was too gritty! The only thing that saved my terrible cornbread was melted butter and honey.

Sometimes cooking from scratch can go awry! The good news is it wasn’t part of our family Christmas meal or some other special occasion. Oh dear, I’m relieved my relatives weren’t there to taste my baking mishap. I’d better buy rolls from the bakery for our annual Christmas Eve supper, which my husband and I host yearly.

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights and religious freedom

The candles on a menorah are lit during Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights and religious freedom.

The kitchen isn’t the only place where things can go wrong, as any knitter will tell you. And I’ve made a few snafus while sewing slacks only to spend more time ripping the seams out than I did cutting the fabric and making the mistakes. Around this busy time of year, it’s easy to get distracted. A friend mentioned that her elderly relative once wrapped all her presents and labeled them to the wrong people. A whirlwind of confusion on Christmas morning ensued when the kids opened the gifts.

Presents piled under the Christmas tree.

Sounds like something I might do this time of year. Because I am obviously preoccupied. I need to stay on track and send out the invitations for Christmas Eve. We never know how many people will arrive. Last year, unexpected snow kept several guests home. No matter how many come, somehow there are always enough seats available around our table. And enough food.

Enter to win this beautiful Amish-made table topper and 3 Amish-made ornaments from Lancaster County

Enter to win this beautiful Amish-made table topper and 3 Amish-made ornaments from Lancaster County

Wishing you all my best with a Giveaway! Please enter to win this beautiful Amish-made table topper and 3 Amish-made ornaments from Lancaster County, plus one signed book: a copy of Starting from ScratchA Letter from Lancaster County, or one of 3 books from The Legacy of Lancaster County Trilogy—either Leaving Lancaster, its sequel, Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish. USA and Canada only. Winner has 3 days to respond.