Skillet cinnamon apples

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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