A Case of Tomatoes

My family emigrated to “America” from the peasant class of southern Italy close to the heel of the boot. More importantly, they emigrated from the practical class as opposed to the artists/artisians. Once in “America” this practical side adapted to its new country. Fast forward to our generation – decendents of decendents of the Great Depression and World War Two sacrifices.

At our Christmas dinner (post Steve Jobs), talk turned to the ‘old days’.

“Remember when we went to Aunt Em’s for Thanksgiving? Do you remember the hostess gift we brought her?”

“No.” I uttered.

Undeterred my brother continued. “It was a case of canned tomatoes.” Vaguely, my sluggish memory started to kick in. “Yea, kinda.”

“We got them on sale – it was a case of twenty four ready-to-use twenty eight ounce canned Italian plum tomatoes”.

“Why did we do that? She could just as easily have bought them herself.”

“Yea, but we saved her the trouble of one trip. That was our real gift.”

And this was a considered gift appreciated far more than a work of art, flowers, candles or anything that she could or would not buy herself.

A gift of family.

Christmas dinner
the tradition of grandma’s
stained lace tablecloth

4 thoughts on “A Case of Tomatoes

  1. That is a great memory. How come Glenn remembers so much? When cleaning out Ginny’s apartment there were things that I know were “gifts” brought to her from family visits. Of course, the pound cake was always the favorite up here! Can you imgine who many pounds of canned Italian plum tomatoes were purchased collectively by the family over the years!!!!

    1. Glenn has an amazing memory Marjorie, thankfully because I truly need someone to jog mine. I am truly intrigued by his attention to these details. And he is equally amazed at how little I remember. I also love his ‘interpretation’ of our family history. It’s really funny sometimes.

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