Sweet Potato, Red Onion & Fontina Tart
Mixed Green Salad with Grapefruit & Cranberries
Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup
Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole
Penny is still teaching poetry in London and this year I hope she serves the Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup in the ceramic pumpkin I left with her as a gift. She tried to refuse it but I would not let her: when she held it to her chest and leaned over to kiss my cheek, I knew I had given back something precious, and perfect.
I am still obsessed with sides. This year, wherever I go for the holidays, I’ll be taking these make-ahead sides in the marvelous, affordable serving pieces pictured here that author and entertainment expert Karen Bussen has selected for them. Whether I bring the mixed green salad spiked with sweet-tart grapefruit segments or the ultimately comforting yet upscale Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole or the slightly sweet and fragrant Fig-Anise Rolls, I’ll be paying it forward, giving something back, making, sharing and then leaving memories—in beautiful dishes or baskets—behind.