Pecan Pie Bars, friendships, and other bits and pieces

September 26, 2014 |  Category:   friends life the biz



These are new things we’re bringing to the weekend markets this Fall – pecan pie bars with a shortbread crust. I have a distinct association with them which I won’t share at this time, but they are quite delicious and I think everyone who bought them last Saturday would agree. It’s always nice when people come back to the table for seconds. This week we’re getting ready for the Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It’s our biggest event every year and one of the only events where we “work” the booth as a family, and I put work loosely in quotes because well, let’s face it – Mark does most of the work. The kids get super excited about the Chile Festival every year and this year we’ll have our friend Megan working the table as well. Come say hello if you attend – it’s supposed to be another gorgeous warm day on Saturday.


But this post isn’t about cookies or the business. Fall is officially here. I feel like summer is bookended by months of complex emotions and transitions. September in particular is a month of change and renewal, but also when the natural world around us dies down and retreats into deep hibernation. It isn’t surprising then that it’s often a time for re-evaluation – of life, career, friends, relationships. I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships in particular these past few weeks and how it can feel like it’s in constant flux. All these online relationships complicate things too. It’s easy to come under the illusion that you have a lot of friends, but who, really, are your friends? I find myself digging deep, back to older friendships lately because there’s history there and the familiarity is comforting.
A few different fiends of mine and I have debated this theory on whether or not social media and texting contributes to an increase in flakiness among people. I’m totally generalizing here, but because we’re always (over)connected all of the time and chatting on various platforms, plans get loosely made, but sometimes lack follow through and there’s this general acceptance that it’s par for the course these days. Would you agree? I could be wrong, but I don’t remember this being so prevalent in ancient times before the internet. When you made plans or agreed to get together, you really meant it back in those days (or so it seems)! It’s sort of unthinkable now to pick up a phone and talk to someone to make plans. The irony of it all is that sometimes all the chatter and online noise magnifies our loneliness.

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  • nic September 26, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Oh, I don’t know if it’s the social media influence or if some people are simply flakier than others. I always had that experience that people would say things and it turned out they didn’t really mean them which truly surprised me even as a child.

  • Vicki in Michigan September 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I’m not involved in social media (other than blogging), so maybe I shouldn’t comment.

    I wonder if having as many “friends” as people have on social media may contribute to sort of forgetting what it means to be a friend. Like being dependable and supportive and … *there* for your friends……

    Keeping straight who are our friends really are has never been trivial. It may be harder now, when so many people have so many “friends”. I don’t know if people are flakier now, but I bet people know more flakes, as a result of the larger numbers of people in their social circles.

    • Jenna September 27, 2014 at 1:13 am

      That’s a good point, Vicki. It’s almost like the word “friend’ has lost its meaning.

  • Dee September 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Hm, I think texting and social media do contribute to a bit of flakiness. It’s so easy to dismiss a text, use it as a means to cancel on someone last minute, or just “like” a photo and go about your day. I’ve noticed among my own friends that at times when we talk and see each other less, but text or interact on social media more, the quality of our relationships diminish a little.

    On another note, I’ll be in town this weekend and there is so much going on! Chile Pepper Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, Atlantic Antic…I’m trying to do it all. 😉

    • Jenna September 27, 2014 at 1:14 am

      I was just talking to a friend about this weekend – there is SO MUCH going on here in the city.

  • Alex September 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Twenty-something here. I prefer to text, but I can attest to my and my friends’ increased flakiness. Generally, one of us would suggest to meet, implying sometime soon, and weeks would pass before someone suggests it again, and then we play the waiting game again. It’s not pretty, and it’s one of the disappointments of my generation.
    Also, it’s wonderful to hear that your biggest event is at a chile festival. Customers need something sweet to offset all of that spicy, huh? Because I live in the south and cannot attend, I will be wishing you all a fun and successful weekend.

    • Jenna September 27, 2014 at 1:14 am

      Yes! Totally what I mean!

  • Marta September 28, 2014 at 10:05 am

    The only social medium I use is Instagram and none of my friends do. I can definitely see how the “waiting game” is played with people I met once or twice though – the “let’s meet up” phrase seems to be repeated over and over, whereas in fact nobody means it and even if plans are made, they’re changed, meetings get cancelled because nobody really wants them to happen. It’s a strange game. It’s completely different with close friends. I can text a general “oh, I’m feeling a bit down” statement, among other things and they text back with “coffee and talk after work?” jusr like that and these things do happen, without a plan and any games.

    • Jenna September 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Those kinds of friends that you just described are like gold, aren’t they? But not everyone is lucky enough to find or hold on to them.

  • Helle September 29, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I’ve just had a real-life not social medium “friend” cancel on me for the third time, guess it happens in all areas. But is equally disappointing whoever it is.

    • Jenna September 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Oh, I wasn’t saying that this happens to just “online” friends – it happens everywhere, real life, online, etc.

  • Nicole September 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing this sentiment. I also get a sense that loneliness is spreading…the more we connect online, the more we seem to disconnect in real life? I have moved to a new city and have found I really have to make an effort to get out there & join groups/clubs/workshops..anything to meet people! The usual way of meeting people through work & neighborhood has been met with lots of “let’s meet up” that never happen, and countless last minute cancellations via text msg. Maybe groups like Kate and Kim dot com are the way of the future? Viva friendship!

    • Jenna September 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Yeah, “let’s meet up” is tossed around liberally these days, so much so that it doesn’t really mean what it’s supposed to anymore. And with texting, it is so much easier to cancel last minute.

  • Nicole October 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    This is a great post and a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately as I analyze the depths of my own friendships – old and new. Thanks for being you. I’m a LONGTIME reader and this is honestly one of the only blogs I can stomach anymore. In an era when you could easily write about complete bs, glamorize your daily life and tuck affiliate links into every post, I have to thank you for keeping this such a beautiful, honest place to check in. On another note, I was trying to find a recipe for Crispy Eggplant, similar to a dish I used to enjoy from a place on upper Hawthorne when I lived in Portland, Oregon and came across Mark’s recipe in the archives. Tell him it was damn close and a hit. <3

  • Brittany October 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I find the same things. One of my close friends prefers to call people, and I remember after getting off the phone with her for one of the first times I realized how much nicer and almost easier it was than texting! (You can cover so much more in a quick conversation than trying to relay all that back and forth via text.)

    Instagram is a strange world. Sometimes I feel my relationships with certain people are actually stronger because of that connection, but with my close friends I feel it diminishes them.