Home Economics with Jess


Didn’t I say it?

Didn’t I warn you?

Blink and Thanksgiving will be over.

I said it. I know I did.

And now it has happened.


I look forward to Thanksgiving breakfast and the days preceding it literally all year long. What started with humble beginnings (a few pies, a few family members) has turned into a house filled from room to room with filled bellies and smiling faces.

As you can imagine, the prep work is no joke. Last year, the school I worked for was closed the entire week of Thanksgiving, and, as you know, this year I am unemployed.

As this year’s preparations began, I found myself wondering how I ever managed to pull Thanksgiving breakfast off while working full-time.



In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I spent my time calculating cups of flour and sugar, sticks of butter and eggs needed for all the baking that would soon ensue.

Once my shopping was finished, I sketched out the perfect schedule to be sure each dish* would find its way on the breakfast table.

*I served a total of eleven different breakfast goodies this year.

This meant I did not have access to my dining room table for weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.


Fortunately, in my final hour, help came!

My SIL, Kristina, has come for the past we’ve-forgotten-how-many years to help me make the cinnamon rolls. This year she came to help all Thanksgiving Eve!

Jonathan found his way over, along with my three sweet flower girls who are still four, six and eight-years-old no matter what anyone tells me.

Hannah, Grace, Jon (and dolls) and Kristina

The girls may or may not have skipped a half day of school to assist me. I deemed it Home Economics Day. Since home economics isn’t offered in their school, we saw it not as their skipping school, but more as a supplemental day, an extracurricular activity, if you will.


Anyone who was in the kitchen was given a job to do whether it was stirring the apple spice mixture, making cupcakes, straining ricotta cheese or doing the dishes!*

*I am indebted to Hannah for doing my dishes when they were piled three feet high with no bottom in sight.**

**Please note: I do not have one of those newfangled appliances known as a dish washer.


Among the things the girls learned during home economics class were:

  1. How to use a can opener that is different from their own.
  2. What is a mini bundt cake, and why is it puffing up?
  3. Ebelskivers are mini filled Dutch pancakes.
  4. When strained, ricotta will have a thicker consistency for cannoli cream.
  5. Ricotta is used in cannoli cream.
  6. Kitchen twine or string is the best way to slice up cinnamon rolls.


I love this picture of Grace…and cookies.

There is something about cooking with others that lightens spirits and wraps the room up with joy. Laughter becomes infectious and any kitchen problem can be easily solved with a second set of hands readily available.

Hannah, Grace, Ree, and Kristina readying the cinnamon rolls

I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.



4 thoughts on “Home Economics with Jess

  1. Love love love the article!!!!
    I totally agree, “there is something about cooking with others….”
    One of these years I’ll get there!


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