My first gifts of food were, not surprisingly, from my maternal grandmother.
I am speaking not of the Lady Baltimore cakes she made for our birthdays, but the first food gift for my home, the one that made me feel like a grownup. It was my first semester away at college, and Grandma Annie gave me a cheese sampler basket, probably from Wisconsin's own Figi's.
A humble gift, to be sure, but one that delighted me and started me on a lifelong passion for baskets. There was also a cookbook that Christmas, but that is for another post.
Recently I weeded down my basket collection to a mere dozen. Of course, the first basket stayed with me. As you can see, I filled it with cherry tomatoes for the photo above.
I will never let go of that basket.
Since I love tomatoes so much — and since Grandma Annie did, too — it is only right that I matched the basket with tomatoes.
On Jan. 30, I reviewed Laura Florand's delightful "Blame it on Paris," a book in which tomatoes (and other salad ingredients) have a minor but essential supporting role.
Let's put it this way: In Laura's book, tomatoes demonstrate the potential to stand between two people in love. Who knew?
But, I have a solution. A variation on a previous theme, you might say.
You can read about it at Laura's blog, starting Tuesday, Feb. 6.