If you’re like me, you love tomatoes. But not those tasteless ones you see at the grocery store in the dead of winter. No, I’m talking summer tomatoes. From Maryland. And they’re beginning to pop up at local farmers markets, roadside stands and maybe, in your very own garden.

My friend Sean invited me a little barbecue yesterday and he told me he was making this gorgeous tomato tart he had seen in the Williams-Sonoma catalog. (I had recycled my copy…too dangerous to have that lying around my house. Oy.) So, we started with the tart, then moved onto roast chicken from the grill, Maryland corn with jalapeño butter and cheese (like Mexican street corn) and simple wilted spinach with garlic and olive oil. For dessert, Sean made sour cherry pie from Bon Appetit with cherries from Reid’s Orchards. Oh dear GOD. That pie. I wanted more…

We also had bourbon slushes (made by me) which everyone seemed to love. I have more in my freezer, so I can’t wait to dig into that again. A little goes a long way…

What are you most excited to see at the farmers market this summer? For me, it’s corn and tomatoes. Next up…PEACHES! Here is one of my favorite peach pie recipes (it’s not super sweet, made with creme fraiche)…and HERE is a list of the best places to get a classic Baltimore peach cake. If you love peaches, you will love it. Thanks for this list, Richard.

It’s good to have friends who can cook – and who love to EAT! Later this summer, I’m teaching Sean and some of his friends from out of town how to steam and pick crabs. I’m a Baltimore kid – that’s what we do!