Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey
This is one of those posts that no one ever wants to write. It is about the loss of a loved one, suddenly, unexpectedly, without warning, for seemingly no reason at all. This week, the food blogging community was called to rally around one if its own and it did in spades. Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen lost her beloved husband Mikey to a heart attack. You can read more about what happened here at a beautiful, touching post that Shauna of Gluten Free Girl wrote about her good friends.
Today, to honor our fellow food blogger colleague we’ve all been asked to make Mikey’s favorite pie: Peanut Butter Cream. Bakers and non-bakers alike are setting aside their other posts and plans to prepare this, share it with their loved ones, and put up photos of their creations on Facebook and Twitter. Even though the context is a sad one, it’s really cool to see how everyone took one recipe and made it his/her own and how much the food writing community can come together to support someone who is a huge part of who we are. We are basically sending a big hug and “we’re thinking of you” vibes to Jennie and her family today, which is also the day of Mikey’s memorial service.
What is sort of surreal to me about what happened is that Jennie and I had just been Tweeting back and forth on the Saturday before it happened. She’d found some local strawberries at the market and was wondering about pickling them. A few weeks back, I’d had some amazing ones created by the folks at Anarchy in A Jar, and was talking to her about them and how they made them. I meant to follow up with her about this when I saw the news on Monday about Mikey’s death.
I had the chance to meet Jennie at the Eat, Write, Retreat conference in Washington, DC in May of this year. We met again when she spoke at TECHMunch NYC the next month. Again, she was so warm and welcoming to someone (me) whom she barely knew but who shares the same passion as she does for food and cooking. It is this generosity of spirit, echoed by others as well, that I hope sustains her and her family during this time and as they heal. Making this pie is a small way to send some of what she gives out back to her when she needs it.
This recipe is such a typical American concoction to me. It’s one of those “Ice Box Creations” as I categorize it. A chocolate and chocolate cookie base with a top layer of peanut butter (the very concept of the latter mystifies my European friends) folded with cream cheese and whipped cream and then chocolate drizzled on top of it (or not, as I did). It goes into in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.
I opted to balance out the crust to filling ratio in favor of less filling than the recipe called for, so make about half of what is in the on-line link if you are a crust person like I am. I also made it in a square pan, as that was easier to find at the store when I was shopping yesterday. I also thought it might be easier to carry to its final destination. The details aren’t important, however, just the fact that we could all come together to give comfort to someone in need is enough to know that despite all the bad there is still plenty of good in this world we all share.