Most of my friends who enjoy cooking also appreciate the availability of fresh vegetables and herbs. That is why so many of us have small gardens in our yards. Of course, if you grew up on the east coast — you know that fresh tomatoes are a must for any gardener, serious or not. No matter how close you live to a farm or a farmers’ market, there is just nothing like the smell of fresh tomatoes after a rain. And picking them, adding a little salt and just biting? Well that’s heaven for me, right here on my little plot of earth. I also like growing things like basil, mint, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and cilantro. Because with those ingredients, an ordinary meal can become a moment of sheer pleasure.