Grace on a plate

My garden is a flower-only zone, with nary a tomato or cucumber in sight.  It’s not that I dislike veggies; on the contrary, I’m a big fan of them (my boys, alas, don’t share this enthusiasm.)  But somehow, I’ve never  quite made the leap from growing things that end up in a vase to growing things that end up on a plate.

So it was such a nice surprise last Sunday afternoon , when a neighbor a few doors down the street offered me some tomatoes from her garden.  She picked me a few — vivid red, golden yellow — and I put them on a plate in the kitchen, admiring their gorgeous color.

A half-hour later, Scott set off to get the boys, who were playing at the home of a different neighbor. He came  home not just with the boys, but also with a small Ziploc baggie of fresh basil.  “Sarah gave us this, from her garden,” he said, handing it to me.

A gift of tomatoes and a gift of basil, on the very same evening?   That’s called perfect synchronicity.

So for dinner, we had fresh tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with shreds of fresh basil.    And oh, they were goooood.


“I really need to look into growing tomatoes,” I said as I speared the last slice.  It tasted like summer, and home, and sunshine.  I think it may be worth giving up a flowerbed to experience this glorious taste more often.

But those plans are way in the future.  For now, I’m just plain grateful.  I’m grateful for the taste of ripe tomatoes.  I’m grateful for sweet tender basil.  I’m grateful  for rich golden olive oil.

Most of all, I’m grateful for kind neighbors and their spontaneous, delicious gifts.


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