As new pieces come across my desk, one of the myriad things I think about is how am I going to photograph this? You all know I’m an ardent proponent of using pieces in ways that go beyond the original intent. As I was cataloging this lemon fork, I was struck by the lovely flare of the tines, and began to think about what else it would be useful for.
Silver Lemon Fork
It is a shame, but lemon forks are another of those little pieces that are often kept out of sight. The name alone — silver lemon fork — is so restrictive. When was the last time you served lemons on a separate plate? I certainly can’t remember doing so.
Lemon forks are useful little serving tools though. They typically have flared tines — like a little Neptune’s trident — that make them very good for separating slices on a serving dish.
Cold meats, such as ham and smoked salmon, are often difficult to tease apart when using a one-handed utensil. You need to find the edge of your slice and work it away from the rest on the plate. That’s one place where the trident tines come in handy.
As it happens, on the day that this silver lemon fork was ready to be photographed, I was using what surely must be the last of the summer’s heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market. I thinly sliced them, then grilled them with a layer of fresh mozzarella. To serve the soft slices, it occurred to me that the flared shape of the tines can act as a little spatula supporting the tomatoes as you lift them from platter to plate.
Last of the Summer Tomatoes
Sadly, the time for using lemon forks to transport warm, indulgent tomato and cheese goodness is just about gone. Here are some photos of farmer’s market favorites from this summer…
Hopefully next year we’ll be putting homegrown ones back into the mix. Unfortunately a combination of strange weather and a less-than-successful experiment with a new-to-me variety failed to result in a single tomato making it from plant to table. Additionally I have strong suspicions that at least one, if not both, of my Golden Retrievers have developed a taste for tomatoes got to the few ripe ones before I did.
The lemon forks don’t need to go into hibernation though. Keep them handy for serving holiday dainties.
For more thoughts about seeing beyond the original name of your silver, see my article What’s in a name? written for my column on The Daily Basics published on Monday.