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The Sunday Paper Recommends

At The Sunday Paper, we want to inspire you to gather at your table—virtually or with friends and family—and open your heart and mind to conversations that will move the needle. After all, the dinner table is where we connect on topics and map out the changes we can all make that’ll really move the needle.

This week, to encourage your conversations, we recommend checking out the following:

The new cookbook Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali (Read on for a festive recipe!)


Sharing the Wisdom of Time by Pope Francis and Friends! Check out an excerpt and photos from the book that inspired a new Netflix series below.


The brave series “Stories We Tell: The Fertility Secret,” which airs tonight on MSNBC.


And… our very special Sunday Paper Playlist to get you in the holiday spirit!



I have a very wonderful memory of when I visited the Philippines. People greeted me by chanting, “Lolo Kiko!” which means “Grandpa Francesco”! Lolo Kiko, they were yelling! I was really happy to see that they felt so close to me—like a grandfather.

Our society has silenced the voices of grandparents. We pushed them out of the way. We didn’t give them the chance to share their experiences, to tell their stories, and to speak about their lives. We put them aside, and so we have lost the treasure of their wisdom. We want to avoid our own fear of weakness and vulnerability; but in doing so, we increase the suffering of our older people who don’t feel our support and come to feel abandoned. Instead, we ought to reawaken a respectful sense of gratitude, appreciation, and hospitality that can make the elders among us feel that they truly belong to the community. When we marginalize our grandparents, we lose the chance to learn their secret, the secret that has allowed them to navigate their way through the adventure of life. And so, we lack role models and the benefits of their lived experiences. We get lost. We miss the wisdom of people who have not only stayed the course over time but who have maintained gratitude in their hearts for everything they have experienced.

On the other hand, imagine how awful it is when an older person becomes cynical. They become unwilling to share their experience. They look down on young people. They are always complaining. They cannot share wisdom. They can only look back fruitlessly on earlier times. Yet how wonderful is the encouragement that an elder can bestow on a young man or a young woman who is searching for the meaning of life!

This is the mission of grandparents. It is a real and true vocation, as we hear, for example, in the Book of Sirach: Do not dismiss what the old people have to say, for they too were taught by their parents; from them you will learn discernment, and how to respond in time of need (8:9). Our elders hold a reservoir of wisdom for our society. Paying attention to our elders shapes our life together.

Our grandparents’ words hold something special for the young. This is how faith is transmitted—through the witness of the elders who have made their faith the leaven of their life. I know this from personal experience. I still carry with me the words my grandmother Rosa wrote to me on the day of my priestly ordination. I carry them with me always, tucked inside my breviary. I read them often, and they do me good.

For some time now, I have been carrying a thought in my heart. I feel that this is what the Lord wants me to say: that there should be an alliance between young and old people. This is the time when grandparents must dream so that the young can have visions. This idea became clear to me when I considered the words of the prophet Joel, who says, in God’s name, I will pour out my spirit upon everyone, and your sons and daughters shall become prophets; your elders will dream dreams, your young people will see visions (Joel 3:1).

What does this mean? Only if our grandparents have the courage to dream, and our young people imagine great things, will our society go on. If we want to have a vision for our future, let our grandparents tell us, let them share their dreams with us. We need grandparents who dream! They will be able to inspire young people to move forward creatively as they envision a future.

Pope Francis

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali’s Apple Cranberry Crumble

Serves 6 to 8

Crumbles are not Italian, but I have learned to love them because they are very Italian in spirit—fresh fruit and a simple topping come together to create a homey dessert everyone will love. The trick to making a crisp, clumpy topping is to squeeze the clumps a little.

Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces, plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for the baking dish
3 pounds cooking apples, such as Golden Delicious, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup chopped almonds
¾ cup rolled oats (old-fashioned, not instant)
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large cast-iron skillet. Combine the apples, cranberries, granulated sugar, flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl, and toss well. Transfer to the skillet. Dot the top with the cold butter pieces.

Wipe out the bowl, and make the topping. Add the flour, almonds, oats, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt to the bowl. Toss to combine. Cut the cutter into five or six pieces. Work the butter in with your fingers until the topping is evenly moistened.

Squeeze clumps of the topping in your palm, a few tablespoons at a time, and scatter them over the fruit. Bake until the crumble topping is golden and crisp and the fruit juices are bubbly, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack, and serve warm or at room temperature.


Credit line: From Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Copyright © 2021 by Tutti a Tavola, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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