Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different for many of us during the coronavirus pandemic, including my family. This year it is just the four of us.

My grandpa, Ivor, has been with us for the holiday for the past 18 years, ever since my parents moved to Seattle. He will be staying in the safety of his California home.

Our adopted grandparents, Joe and Merrilin, and their adult son, Nick, have also always been at our table. They will be staying in their Ballard/West Seattle homes.

Although there will be fewer people, the laughter and conversation will remain joyous and plentiful. AND, I know this will not last forever.

So let’s get on to the dishes that remind us of good times and delicious meals to come. There are very few things as comforting as cornbread, and this version, made with buttermilk and cooked in a skillet in the oven, is no exception.

I hope it brings you joy and comfort.

Buttermilk Cornbread

10-inch cast-iron skillet
2 large mixing bowls
Measuring cup
Spatula or wooden spoon


1 ½ cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups reduced fat buttermilk
1 large egg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put your 10-inch cast-iron skillet into the oven to heat up.

2. Combine your cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. In your second mixing bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg and 3 tablespoons butter together.

4. Pour your wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon or spatula just until it’s well combined.

5. Put on a heavy-duty oven mitt and very carefully remove your skillet from the oven. Add in remaining butter (3 tablespoons) and allow to spread over the pan. This should take about a minute.


6. Pour your cornbread batter into the skillet. Place the skillet back into oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Garnish with a huge dollop of butter and honey or with whatever serves you best.