This week’s Sweet doesn’t include one of the 52 Ingredients on the list. It’s an added extra, for good reason. It is full of love and thoughtfulness. If I could find them on the shelves in the baking aisle at the market, I would add hugs, too.
This week’s Sweet is Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, a favorite of Mikey, husband of blogger Jennifer Perillo. Last week Mikey passed away suddenly, a heart attack. Jennifer asked that we, the food blogging community, celebrate Mikey’s life today by making this pie.
I don’t know Jennifer personally. I read her blog, I enjoy her writing, she has such a great way with words. She spoke at Eat, Write, Retreat, the food blogger conference I attended in May. She was one of the many friendly faces that made the conference an affirming experience for me. Her words were among those that impacted me at the conference, encouraging all of us to put down the cookbooks and create for ourselves. I feel more free to do that now. And her words since Mikey’s passing have also impacted me. “Make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.” It is easy to get caught up in life, in the noise of all that surrounds us, and forget to really hug those who matter to us, to make time for pie. Today I am making time hugs and pie. Join me, will ya?
A year ago this month, my next door neighbor Lonnie passed unexpectedly. His wife Janey has shown me in the past year what true strength and hope look like. I know it has been a struggle for her, pushing hard to create a new normal for herself, for the family she and Lonnie created together. Today, in one of our frequent over-the-fence chats, I said I should get going, I needed to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Janey asked what I was baking, a question she often asks me. I told her I was making a peanut butter pie and then shared with her why, knowing she would have a real understanding of Jennifer’s challenge. Janey said to me, “If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.” I think sharing pie is part of the “through” part.
Have some pie today. Hug your family, your friends, your neighbors. Share some pie with them, too. We’ll all be better for it.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
For the chocolate cookie crust, I used this recipe, the Chocolate Sable Cookies from the Miette cookbook. I substituted a gluten-free flour blend. Otherwise, I baked directly from the recipe. My cookies did not turn out square, instead they baked up into cute little circles of crunchy chocolate goodness. I will bake these again for use in pie crust.
For the pie filling, I used Jennifer Perillo’s recipe in Mikey’s honor. I used super fresh whole cream and butter from my favorite local dairy farm, the “good” peanut butter that required stirring to incorporate the oil floating on top and Green & Black’s chocolate. This isn’t the time to scrimp on ingredients, this pie deserves to be special, full of only the good stuff. I topped the pie with a chocolate drizzle and a few more chopped peanuts.