Most people are surprised to learn that my very All-American-looking extended family actually spent many years living in Thailand, where my grandparents were Presbyterian missionaries. I grew up surrounded by souvenirs from their life overseas, and am now lucky enough to call one my own: my grandmother's teak wood salad bowl. I'm undoubtedly biased, but I think salad tastes best when it is served out of a wooden bowl.
It was in this bowl that I made my first Caesar salad, mixing egg, anchovies and oil into a dressing I was proud to find tasted like the real thing. Nowadays it's more likely to be carrying a salad of dressed grains and roasted vegetables to a potluck, or serving up a farmers market salad to friends at a dinner party. Back when it was my grandmother's, it held a lot of iceberg, tomato and sliced cucumber salads with bottled french dressing on the side.
And that's why I love this bowl — no matter what is inside, it serves it up with style and warmth. Fifty years from now, I hope to have a grandchild who feels the same way.
Do you have any special serving pieces you inherited from family?
Related: Kitchen Heirloom: A Large Wooden Salad Bowl
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)