Thanksgiving is among the most predictable holidays of them of all. Families get together, people watch football and the bulk of the menu stays the same year over year.
When I was 10, my family had recently moved to Hillsboro. I missed my grandparents something fierce, and was excited see them when they hosted Thanksgiving. But then a blizzard hit. Unprepared, we spent the day at home, sans grandparents, eating meatballs because we hadn’t bought a turkey.
I threw a fit because it wasn’t tradition. I thought that Thanksgiving back in 1988 was the most topsy-turvy I’d ever experience.
Then 2020 is like: “Hold my beer.”
If there’s one thing this coronavirus-filled year has taught me, it’s flexibility (and also proper hand-washing techniques). Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I have no plan.
“What’s going on for Thanksgiving?” my mom asks me nearly every day.
“Are you hosting?’
“What are you making?”
I know that at most, we’d be hosting a very small gathering of six or seven people, but it could also be just the three of us. I know we’ve got to eat at some point that day. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.
In a normal year, six days isn’t a lot of time to plan Thanksgiving dinner. In the time of COVID-19, six days is interminable. Although I thrive on being prepared, I’m reluctant to put too much time and effort into a plan that’s so subject to change.
In fact, a turkey might not even grace the table; I’ve been floating the idea of the Thanksgiving lasagna, brisket or gumbo this year.
So when looking at Thanksgiving side dish options for this column, I asked the hubby for help. “I need something that can feed a small group or easily be doubled or tripled, but I also need something that goes with both a traditional turkey dinner or … anything else, really.”
“Apples,” the hubby said. Although I tend to think of apples as a dessert, in the hubby’s world, they’re a side dish – and one of his favorites, at that. He’ll eat these alongside turkey, ribs or whatever we happen to be serving.
I’m hoping for lasagna.
Notes: If you double the recipe, use two skillets so the apples cook consistently. Any kind of apples work; we prefer the tartness of Granny Smiths. Leftovers are great on pancakes or chopped up and stirred into cooked oatmeal.
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