Maybe you’ve heard of Jennifer Perillo through her phenomenal work as a food writer, blogger and recipe developer. Maybe, like me, you follow her work to get inspiration for your own writing, and sometimes to marvel at the fearless way she tackles her life as a working mom and how she manages to weave her love of food into every moment with her beloved family. Or perhaps you’ve only just heard of Jennie in the past week, when the sudden death of her husband Mikey has been the focus of the food blogging community. I am betting that if you’re in the last category, you’ve been touched by her story, and have seen the outpouring of sympathy from people like me, who can barely even be categorized as acquaintances of Jennie’s.
I suppose it’s because I’m a mother to a little girl myself, and close to Jennie’s age; the past few days I’ve had her in my thoughts almost constantly, a flurry of questions and what ifs that I just can’t seem to shake. It’s the sort of tragedy that I can only imagine to a certain point before my mind literally won’t let me think any further. It’s a terrible reality for so many women, and one that the average person is not equipped to handle with sanity, let alone strength and grace.
But Jennie is not your average woman. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying her straightforward, evocative writing style, this much is clear. Just days after her world changed, she managed to reach out to her dedicated fans and virtual friends who were asking what could be done for her and her girls. Jennie asked for just one simple thing: that we all might put together one of her husband’s favorite desserts today, and enjoy it with our families in Mikey’s memory.
And so tonight my husband, Little C and I will be doing just that. Gathered at our little dinner table, chatting about the week, dragging our spoons through a pile of dreamy peanut butter mousse and a chocolate-slicked cookie crust. Thankful to be loved, to be alive, to be present with each other. A sweet start to a weekend spent as one lucky, lucky family.
If you’d like to make a Peanut Butter Pie of your own in Mikey’s honor and send Jennie and her girls your love and support, you can find the recipe on her website here.
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