Yesterday we ate. Collectively, as a country it was our day to be grateful and gorge. When our corner of the world was getting dark, I pictured us from above. Lights flicker on, turkeys emerge browned and fragrant from hot ovens, wine sloshes in clinking glasses, and stories new and old rise up, up, up into the atmosphere.
It’s all so romantic and warm and cozy from above. But zoom in just before plates are cleared and dishes are washed to discover hands discreetly unbuttoning top pant buttons at the dining room table. There’s a dark side to Thanksgiving, my friends. And it’s that feeling of fullness to the very brim. Stuffedness. Over satisfaction, as Pom would probably want me to say.
Yesterday, I think I ate enough food to feed a small country. It hurt.
Today, I recover. I feel fragile. I crave easily-digestible things, both tangible and intangible. I crave simplicity in life and on my plate. Today, I revert back to childhood. I want someone to read me a happy story and fold my laundry just so and feed me soft food.
Today is an applesauce kind of day.
I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time I peeled the apples and left them chunky. The second time I left the apple skins on and pureed them. Both times I tossed them in maple syrup and seasoned them with cinnamon, ginger and fresh lemon juice. Gigi and I ate both versions of the sauce with Greek yogurt for breakfast in the morning, nuts or granola swirled in.
I spooned some of the pureed batch into a jar and presented it to Buddy, my yoga and spin instructor extraordinaire. Why? Because Buddy is the best. And because Buddy talks about applesauce while we’re downward -dogging, while we’re happy-babying, when we’re surging up faux mountains on our stationary bicycles.
So, I had to deliver the homemade applesauce goods to Buddy.
Let me just say, this applesauce is simple and soothing. It is exactly what you should be eating the day after Thanksgiving. It tastes like apple pie, but it’s not. It is glorified baby food of the highest order.
- 6 apples (Granny Smith for tart or Gala for sweet)
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
- juice of one fresh lemon
- dash of sea salt
- Peel (if not pureeing), core and chop the apples into 2-inch chunks. In a heavy, nonreactive Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple chunks, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the apples have softened up a bit.
- Uncover the pot and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up the larger chunks until the apples are soft but still have some texture (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and add more lemon juice to taste. Puree if you like. Serve warm or chilled. Let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.