{For Jennie & Mikey} Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

chocolate peanut butter pie.jpg

I remember the first time I met Jennifer Perillo. It was at BlogHer last summer, and a group of us had snuck down to the bar to enjoy a glass of wine where it was quieter and generally less crazy. We shared stories, talking about this and that, and I remember her telling us how her husband Mikey was her rock. How he talked her down when her temper started to flare and how he made sure she always stayed professional.

She spoke of him with such love and admiration, and it was clear to everyone that they were true partners. A marriage to model their own after. I’ve met Jennie a few times since then, and Mikey frequently ended up in the stories she would share. Just a few weeks ago at the Big Summer Potluck, she traded the blender that she had won for a sassy little apron. “I’m going to leave the kids with the sitter and have this on when Mikey comes home from work,” she said with a wink and a laugh. (After 16 years, if that’s not love I don’t know what is. The fact that even crossed her mind is amazing to me.) I don’t know if Mikey ever saw that apron.

When I woke up on Monday morning, I checked Facebook and saw that Jennie had posted a video called “last dance.” It was Mickey and one of their daughters, laughing and having fun. The title confused me. I went to Twitter to see what it was all about. Then I saw it. The tweet. “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces.” My stomach dropped. I think those words will stay with me forever.

I didn’t want to believe it. I told myself she was talking about someone else. Or that something bizarre happened and he left her, knowing for sure he would be back by the end of the day. Not able to make it without her. But then I saw the other tweets. The words I didn’t want to read. Heart attack. Dead. And no time to say goodbye.

IMG_6250.jpg

My heart broke. It’s not fair! There are so many shitty people in the world; the bad stuff should happen to them. Not to Jennie, who is one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met and who is never without a smile. Not to Jennie, who is far to young too be left on her own with two little girls. And it’s absolutely not fair to those girls. The whole situation just sucks. I would do absolutely anything if it meant taking away some of her grief, even for a few minutes. So many of our blogging friends feel the same way.

Jennie’s request was simple. All she wanted was for us to make pie and share it with someone we love. We may not be able to be there in Brooklyn as Jennie says her final goodbye today, but we’ll be there in spirit. The last I saw, over 300 people were planning to make chocolate peanut butter pie in memory of Mikey. They’ll be sharing it with their friends and family, hugging them close and remembering how precious life is. I know I will.

IMG_6259.jpg

[print_this]

Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen

  • 8 ounces chocolate wafter cookies
  • 4 Tbs butter, melted
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white chocolate peanut butter
  • 1-14 ounce can fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Pulverize the cookies into fine crumbs. Combine with melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a baking dish.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream to thin it out. Pour over the cookie crumb base. Use the back of a spoon coated in cooking spray to spread the chocolate over the whole base. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pour the remaining cream into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat it until thick peaks form.

Add the peanut butter and cream cheese to a separate bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the condensed milk, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream to thin the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pout the peanut butter filling into the cookie base. Garnish with chopped peanuts, chocolate drizzle, or chocolate shreds.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with extra love.

[/print_this]

Comments

  1. Oh my — I read a little of their story on “Tartelette” and now here too. I am so sad for them; no one should have to lose someone so soon. :(

  2. I just learned about Jennifer’s blog and tragic story through Peanut Butter Fingers. While I don’t know her, I started to tear up at the last dance video when I watched it yesterday.

    I definitely want to make peanut butter pie for my husband and appreciate every moment I have with him.

  3. Oh my goodness, I haven’t ever read Jennie’s blog, but this story still brought tears to my eyes. I will definitely have to head on over there and let her know that we are all thinking about her. Thank you for honoring her husband.

  4. seeing jennie’s tweet again just sent chills in my spine. So shocking and so horrible.

  5. I just found her blog via another blog the other day and the story just takes my breath away. I think it’s so sweet that everyone is celebrating their love, his life and support for Jennie with this pie today. Proof that blogging is much more than just rambling online.

    KK

  6. Oh yum!! I can’t wait to make this!

  7. This is so sad. My heart goes out to Jennie and her family.

  8. I am so sad for Jennie and her family. Her post made me squeeze my DH and kiddos a little tighter.

    The pie looks amazing :)

  9. It’s all so heartbreaking. I hope in some small way, Jennie feels the love coming her way online today.

  10. I am always amazed how the blogging community rallies around our own in times of need.

  11. “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces.” It’s quite chilling to hear those words. I can’t imagine her state of mind. I agree with your statement – it is simply unfair. But if these events tell you anything, it is to cherish the ones you love.

  12. When I made the pie for Mikey two days ago, there was a big lump in my throat because it brings back the aweful scene of how I lost my first hubby, Mike to heart attack 22 years ago. I feel Jennie’s pain and I feel the pain myself all over again. I do hope all the love and support from fellow bloggers will help her in her healing process. Your pie looks beautiful and it is because it is filled with so much love, kindness and compassion for a friend.

  13. Not Yet A Mommy says:

    This is such a sad story, but a magnificent post. I’ve heard too many tragic stories like this lately, and it’s unfortunate that people tend to not really appreciate the people in their lives until its too late. And its incredible how food really does bring people together and help people through tough times. This looks like an amazing dessert, so I’m gonna make a big pie and share it with my family. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jennie.

Leave a Comment

*