Chortle More

Jennifer Baker

This year we’ve yearned for communion. Every time we saw friends getting together, the FOMO was HIGH.

We’ve collectively yearned for simple act of “having friends to dinner.” The ease of kissing a dear friend on the cheek. The simplicity of, “a shared plate.” I mean…could you imagine the hilarious horror of someone reaching a fork across the great table divide and forking your food? That, would be drama. This summer we’re unfurling our tablecloths and lifting a glass to happier days ahead. 

I’m guilty of throwing big parties. My husband John will often ask, “How many are coming for dinner?” And I will casually reply, “just a few.” As I pull a stack of plates from the cabinet and reposition the chairs.

There’s something glorious about the sound of laughter. The sight of friends draped over every chair in your house. The smell of dinner wafting through the house as guests devour a pre-dinner treat.

I’ve always been a casual entertainer. As the second oldest of 8 children, dinner in my household was never a formal affair. As an adult, I still prefer family style meals among friends over a formal course by course event. 

If I got to pick, I would host cocktail parties for life. The kind with cute dresses, a bottomless glass of something sparkling, and “heavy” hors d’oeuvres. Perhaps I am a woman of the wrong generation. But maybe not. I’ve seen those throwback jello recipes. 

Raise a glass of something, anything, with friends. This is a summer of reconnection. Get out. Feel the sun. Laugh loudly. 




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It’s Strawberry Shortcake Season

Jennifer Baker

The summer is hot and the cicadas are silent here on the Eastern Shore. At first I though the cicada situation was being overblown, and then I was shocked to hear their din during my drive from Annapolis back to Chestertown. The Friday night commute across the bridge is long, but so are the days. Thankfully the longer days mean excellent porch sits. 

We’re back to hosting endless summer night dinners with family and friends. We’re feeling pretty ready for an endless basket of grilled vegetables and freshly caught rockfish.

Every event is to be celebrated. After a collective year of dialing it back, we’re all ready to run forward. We’re looking for beautiful ease. The joy of delighting each other with company, good food, and endless laugher. 

As we’re shopping for the store, we’re looking for the little things that make you smile. The, “quick starts” to help you accelerate the making process. When we found these strawberry shortcake pans from Nordic Ware, it was love at first sight.

We’re imagining little lemon cake baskets filled with fresh strawberries. Or strawberry cake baskets filled with fresh blueberries. A dollop of whipping cream, of course. Maybe a shaving or two of dark chocolate. 

Celebrate well. Laugh loud. Enjoy a bite of cake. This is going to be a good summer.

Wishing you the very best,

Jenn & John

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