Ready or not, here it comes

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

The final countdown has begun. Now listen up, folks I’m serious. I’ve been at you for two weeks now with gentle and not-so-gentle reminders of the stealthy approach of Thanksgiving Day, and all that entails. Can Christmas be far behind?

You know who you are — yes, you — the ones who have the lists made, have the chores all planned out by the day, and are determined that this years dinner will go off on time and as near perfect as possible. There will be last minute glitches, of course, but nonetheless, this is going to be your southern living Thanksgiving, worthy of next year’s magazine cover.

Guess what? It’s probably not. And that’s not really a bad thing. After all, if you did miraculously pull off the perfectly timed, perfectly prepared meal, with everyone you love around the table to put aside disagreements and grudges and be thankful for blessings real and imagined what would you do for an encore next year?

What matters to me is good food, good cheer and making memories with family and friends. I remember holidays shared with my extended family in North Carolina as some of the happiest times of my life. They stand out partly because they were so few, not because they were perfect. Although everybody in the family did their best and always rose to the occasion.

We didn’t plan to not be there life happened. My father’s Navy career took the three of us far away from our extended family. Summer was when we vacationed, vacation was two weeks, I was in school in the winter, and on and on.

This year I hope all of you have a happy, peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving worthy of recalling again and again. I hope the food on your table is plentiful and tastes wonderful. I hope everyone at your gathering is glad to be there and able to enjoy each others company.

Make your memories while you can, because time’s not a “given.”

Here’s something you can count on to sweeten the holiday memories.


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons pineapple juice

1 can pineapple tidbits (No. 2 can)

25 maraschino cherries, sliced in half

1 package yellow cake mix (1 layer size)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease cups of a mini muffin tin. Arrange a drained cherry half in the middle of each cup. Surround cherry with three or four little pieces of pineapple.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt together the first three ingredients. Heat until a light syrup forms. Spoon a teaspoon of syrup over the fruit.

Make cake batter according to package directions. Spoon batter into cups to fill half way.

Place pan in preheated oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until done to the “baker’s touch.”

Makes about 50.

Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at