not nearly enough peanut butter pie August 12, 2011

I didn’t have pie planned for the blog this week. My one week of loosey goosey kitchen meanderings before things got deep again was charted out for marinated tomatoes and fig salads and such. Sunday, some static reached the main signal and things started shorting out. I felt like a robot. Something was interfering with my attention vibes and I didn’t know what or why.

Sunday nights are always late nights at our house – the nights we get less sleep than we really should. I’m not sure if its a holdover from childhood or trepidation for the week to come but we always feel the power of the force. Something wasn’t right. A random tweet by Jennifer Perillo sent up a flare that gave me an all-over shiver. An all too familiar shiver.

“He’s gone…and my heart is shattered into a million pieces.”

I took a deep breath…and sent a quiet thought into the world that said “Who is she talking about? PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE HER HUSBAND SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.” The next breathe I took…I exhaled deeply and then said out loud…”SHIT.”. I have known Jennie through the blog world and conference world and I honestly don’t know if she’d pick me out of a line-up…or me her. I know she’s a dynamic, smart, incredible lady. She’s a devoted family woman and doting mother. An advocate for food and cooking and eating meals at home. You know what? She’s still those things. She is just struggling to do those things while mourning the loss of her husband, Mikey, who suddenly passed away this weekend of a heart attack.

A million pieces. A trillion million pieces.

I’ve been in her shoes. I haven’t walked in them – I’m not married and don’t have a family – but I’ve tried them on. Unexpected loss – the loss of my mother – rattled me to the core and I didn’t know which end was up. You know what ended up being my emotional compass? The place I could turn to find my way? My blog. The Internet. I said that night that I felt the groundswell building for Jennie and her family. I’ve been there. My mom died suddenly…and I had people as far away as New Zealand checking up on me. Could they feed me? Tend to me directly? No. What they could do is place an emotional compress on my wound that was hemorrhaging. Let me know it was going to be okay. Did it feel like it right away? No. It took a minute..but damnit I appreciated every word…and praised God or whoever was watching over me for giving me this gift of guardian angels I’d never met before. I took comfort in the folks I’d never laid eyes on…and that is where we all are now. We’re gathering around Jennie Perillo to lift her up.

There’s also pie. Really wonderful, meaningful, delicious pie.

I made a peanut butter pie because…it made sense. It was the thing she asked us to do. It was the damn most emotional pie I’ve ever made. There’s other stuff – really heavy stuff – happening in my life and I can’t even talk about that here. What I can talk about is Jennie…and her family…and her daughters…and the family she has here on the Internet. I know the power of those people – they can lift you up. We can lift you up. We will help as much as we can…and not just now. For the long run. All the damn memories and the desire to make things and the times and the moments – we’ll all be here and we’ll lift you up as much as we can. Tell us and we’ll do. Because that’s what we do. We’re here for you…as a community…and as I felt that swell around Jennie like I did around me…and Alice…and other people who have suffered loss so openly and publicly…we’re yours and you’re ours. Thank goodness…and in my head…I drop to my knees and thank whoever guided me here to share in the power of those around me.

The pie is wonderful. It really is – one of the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I took a snapshot of my coffee cup I was drinking out of while I was taking pie photos…and…to me…that’s the most important shot. Believe in people. We’re here. We’re all still here. Use us to lean on. Cry on. Beat your fists into our shoulders. Bake. Cook. Laugh. Show us what’s happening…and tell us what you need. We’re here for you like you’ve been there for us.

I almost didn’t make this pie because I thought there would be 1862327352 people making pies in honor of Jennie. What would mine mean? Mine means as much as all the others. There can’t be nearly enough peanut butter pies. It means deliciousness. Care. Tenderness. Hope. Concern. Nourishment. All the thing Jennie needs…and Mikey needs…and we all need in times like these.

Almost No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie – serves 8-10 – from a recipe found on AllRecipes.com

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Extra whipped cream and chopped peanuts, for garnish, optional

Directions

- Combine 1 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup butter or margarine; press into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Cool.

- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Whip the cream, and fold into the peanut butter mixture.

-  Gently spoon filing into crust. Refrigerate. Top with whipped cream and chopped peanuts for garnish. Serve immediately.

Comments

SMITH BITES Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

i love you Tami, Running With Tweezers . . . i really, really do . . .

Tania Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

So beautifully written. I am sorry for your loss. And love that you had such an outpouring of love from others the way everyone is “lifting” Jennifer up.
Much love.

Beth (OMG! Yummy) Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

Terrific post in every way. Thanks for sharing the pie and your sentiments.

Lynne Sampson Curry Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

You are so shockingly right. I’ve NEVER met Jennifer, but I do have a husband and two daughters and her tweet shook me to my core.

I did not actually make a peanut butter pie (man, it was one of those really rough days when you envy your childless friends), but symbolically I have made dozens of pies for this woman I do not know. I’ve talked about it at gatherings all week: how I feel for her to the bottom of my heart, via the internet. Amazing and true, and I am so incredibly sad. Thanks for expressing it in so many ways.

sara Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

so sweet and lovely, tami. you are a wonderful person, thinking good thoughts for you and your heavy stuff. xo

Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

Very moving. I made the pie too and I hope everyone makes the pie. It’s easy to loose hope and faith in people with all of the craziness out there, but then you see this community of people pull together with love and support and it changes my mind.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

Absolutely. Beautiful.

MikeVFMK Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

Really beautiful, Tami. The pictures, words. Everything. Loss is tough but thankfully we have loved ones around to pull us through.

@BakeSpace Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

OMG, your pie looks awesome. :) Totally devastated about Jennifer – she is such a wonderful, kind, caring person… I can’t even imagine how deep her pain must be right now. It’s very comforting to see how the food community has come together in support. Love our community!!!!!!!

Nancie McDermott Aug 12, 2011 12:08 am

I’ve so enjoyed your tweets, but this tweet brought me to your blog, and what a worthwhile “trip”. Thank you for these words and pictures. Amazing grace. So sorry for the loss of your mother. Making my PB pie tomorrow, and keeping your coffee-mug message on the dashboard of my brain.

Lisa Aug 12, 2011 01:08 am

I, too, had the worst sinking feeling when I first read Jennie’s tweet. Once it was clear of whom she was speaking, my heart broke for her. That night, and really every night since, I’ve thought of her, and her probable anguish at having to go to the bed that she shared with him, and have to sleep there alone. I’ve read the tweets and retweets and blogs and everything that everyone has written for her and about her, and it still hurts. I may not be included in this circle, and I may not be able to make the pie as I would like, but I can think of them and honour their love every day for the rest of my life… and I will.

Bron Aug 12, 2011 01:08 am

Firstly let me give you a well overdue hug & a big huge hello from New Zealand xxx
This is beautiful, a truly heart warming post Tami, thank you for writing it.

Sadly like many I didn’t know of Jennie or her blog until this week when I saw her name repeatedly appear on twitter. I honestly can’t imagine the pain she is experiencing. I know enough.
I’ve shed tears reading her words, and now again with your words… naturally my guy is getting a lot more attention.
I’ve also seen the peanut butter pies appearing today. I didn’t think I would make one either. “I didn’t know them, no one would know/care if I made one” – but it’s my birthday tomorrow, I like peanut butter and I believe in people too.

Nancy Giacolone Aug 12, 2011 01:08 am

Thank you for taking time to make the pie and share a part yourself as well.

Emma Galloway Aug 12, 2011 01:08 am

What a beautiful post. Isn’t it amazing how small the world seems when we are all online. I’m from NZ but now live in Australia and I feel as if I know Jenifer even though I don’t know anything about her, really. Other than what I read on her blog (she was actually one of the first blogs I started reading) but I have not been able to think of much since I heard her life shattering news. Lotsa love.

Ellie Aug 12, 2011 03:08 am

I know Jennie through her blog, Twitter and FB and like you when I read that sentence I also held my breath…and then I realized she was talking about Mikey. I couldn’t stop the tears (like now) thinking about her 2 little girls and then I saw the “One more dance”…video she had taken with her husband dancing with her oldest daughter… Like you, I made my peanut butter pie and I shared it with someone I love..the whole time wishing that Jennie still had Mikey……Hold tight to the people you love…we really never know.

Merry Jennifer Aug 12, 2011 07:08 am

You are so amazing, Tami. Love you.

Chris Aug 12, 2011 07:08 am

Beautiful. You are so right, there are not nearly enough. Love you honey.

Lynn Aug 12, 2011 07:08 am

What a lovely post in honor of Jennie and her husband. I shed a quick tear for this woman I just heard of and her family. (((HUGS)))

Winnie Aug 12, 2011 08:08 am

This is so beautiful. And next time we are at the same conference can we please spend more time together? Feel like I really missed out by not hanging out more with you in Atlanta in May…

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Aug 12, 2011 08:08 am

What a beautifully written, heartfelt post. I’m not good at sharing feelings. Never have been. Probably never will be. But I so appreciate the words of those who can. I hope Jennie is feeling all the love and support that is sent her way across the internet today and in the difficult days ahead.

Maggie at Eat Boutique Aug 12, 2011 08:08 am

Lovely.

Btw, beautiful version of the pie! Mine came out more like a cheesecake, but it’ll do.

Lori @ RecipeGirl Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

Loved your words for Jennie. I need to make a peanut butter pie today too. Life just isn’t fair sometimes, is it?

Tara @ The Butter Dish Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

Oh Tami, what a beautiful and heart wrenching tribute to a beloved friend. I simply can not imagine where Jennie is right now. Micky was still so young.

I don’t know her and I’m so new to your blog and I sit here with my beloved husband in front of me; he’s eating a bowl of cereal while checking his latest Twitter; and I simply can’t think about him NOT being there.

My heart goes out to her and all the love and support I can send.

Peanut Butter pie for the weekend it shall be.

Anna Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

beautiful post. about to make my peanut butter pie too. just feels like the right thing to do

nicole franzen Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

damn! that looks ridiculous. I want that now :) Totally gonna make this for my man. We are big peanut butter lovers <3

nicole franzen Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

oh and I wrote that comment before I read the post, truly tragic. So sad and my heart goes out to all of you. x

Danielle Aug 12, 2011 09:08 am

In gratitude for such a beautiful post. My heart goes out.

I will make and share this pie with love.

[...] Butter Pie in Memory of Mikey – Eatocracy Baking for Others: Peanut Butter Pie – BGSK Not Nearly Enough Peanut Butter Pie – Running With [...]

Jori Aug 12, 2011 11:08 am

This brought tears to my eyes, what a touching post. Thank you for your blog. I just love it.

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Melissa @ Dash of East Aug 12, 2011 11:08 am

Beautiful post Tami. Both your words and the photos. Love this food community, so much.

Kathy - Panini Happy Aug 12, 2011 12:08 pm

As long as there’s love, support, comfort and hope to go around there can’t be nearly enough peanut butter pie. This was a beautiful post, Tami.

Casey@Good. Food. Stories. Aug 12, 2011 12:08 pm

Yes. Like you, I almost didn’t make the pie, because I don’t know Jennie personally and there were already so many people who knew her better reaching out. But it’s not about that, it’s about sending a little bit of positivity out into the world through a piece of tasty pie. And that’s something we all should be able to get behind.

cara Aug 12, 2011 12:08 pm

such a lovely post, tami. the worst subject and you hit the nail on the head.

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Kimmy @ Lighter and Local Aug 12, 2011 05:08 pm

I love this post. I’m loving all of these posts. They’re so heartfelt, and it’s wonderful to see how differently we all put into words for something… there are truly no words for.

Lucy Aug 12, 2011 05:08 pm

Beautiful words. I’m making my pie tomorrow and sending love into space. Sometimes that’s all we can do and sometimes that’s enough.

Johnna Aug 12, 2011 06:08 pm

“There can’t be nearly enough peanut butter pies.” Love this. Today I am so thankful for the food blogging community, to see all of the pies and the love that was put into each and every one of them. Hugs to you!

marla Aug 12, 2011 06:08 pm

Beautiful tribute Tami. Loss of loved ones is way to difficult to put into words. Thankfully we all have each other….xo

Carrie Oliver Aug 12, 2011 06:08 pm

You said it so well, thank you. And there can’t be nearly enough peanut butter pies. My husband saw me baking and, in shock, asked what I could possibly be doing. When I told him, he caught his breath, gave me a hug, and cleaned up after the tornado I’d created in the kitchen. The pies are now chilling; I goofed the recipe so many times it will be amazing if they hold together. But they are full of love and I can’t wait to share them. XO

Snippets of Thyme Aug 12, 2011 07:08 pm

What a beautiful photo of such a sentimental piece of pie. I am so sorry that you lost your mother but am also happy to hear that the blogging community helped you through that time too…

Andrea Meyers Aug 12, 2011 07:08 pm

Beautiful thoughts and well said. There can’t be enough peanut butter pies.

Jamie | My Baking Addiction Aug 12, 2011 08:08 pm

Tammi-
Your post had me in tears for about the 10th time today. Absolutely beautiful and so incredibly true.

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Niki Aug 12, 2011 11:08 pm

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I’ve been thinking about Jennie all week, and about others like her who’ve lost people close to them. You’re all in my thoughts. Aren’t we lucky to have such a wonderful community to turn to in our time of need?

kellypea Aug 13, 2011 12:08 pm

I completely agree with what those I’m in touch with on the Internet and through blogging have provided me in support over the years when I’ve needed it. I’m sorry that you’ve lost your mother — I didn’t know. But you’ve provided such a lovely tribute for Jennie.

I’ve admired your work from afar for quite a while — I think it’s wonderful.

Mairi @ Toast Aug 13, 2011 04:08 pm

Touching, beautiful post :)

Monster Librarian Aug 13, 2011 04:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this post. I remember those first few months after my Dad died, being in zombie land. When I would get really really sad I would eat an entire can of beets (I still to this day don’t know why…it’s not like they were my Dad’s fav or anything like that…?)
I love reading your blogs. Keep up the awesome! I am praying for your friend. That must be devastating.

Kellen Anderson Aug 13, 2011 08:08 pm

This is truly beautiful. You have a wonderful way with words and love.

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour Aug 13, 2011 10:08 pm

I love all the peanut butter pies! Your post warmed my heart and I’m sure Jennie is feeling the love from the outpouring of peanut butter pies.

Julie Aug 13, 2011 10:08 pm

What a wonderful thing this pie has been. Love your version, and your photo, and your words.

Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen Aug 13, 2011 10:08 pm

Tami, your pie is more than enough, even to feed those 1862327352 people you mentioned. A beautiful post, your mom would’ve been so proud of you today too :-). As would Jennie, if she read this.

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Colleen Aug 14, 2011 07:08 am

Such a heart warming post. And yes, the blogging and internet community is a wonderful place to turn in need. I too have been so incredibly supported and uplifted and cared for by beautiful souls out there, nore than once. Angels with keyboards! This was my first experience of peanut butter pie and my family loved it. Warm pie hugs to you Tami xx

Heather @ Side of Sneakers Aug 14, 2011 10:08 am

I’ve read a lot of peanut butter pie for Mikey posts this weekend. For some reason, yours is the one that made me cry.

I’m sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute with us.

Barbara | Creative Culinary Aug 14, 2011 10:08 am

Beautiful post Tami; I don’t doubt that many pies are being made at Jennie’s request but carry our own story of love and loss with them as well. A fitting tribute to Mikey and Jennifer and yes, your Mom too.

I don’t really know you (but I do have big tweezers!) but know you could use your own hug; it’s here, coming your way.

Megan's Cookin' Aug 14, 2011 11:08 am

Such sweet words! We all need peanut butter pie today. Your an angel.

rx4foodies Aug 14, 2011 01:08 pm

This was a beautiful and heartfelt post. I especially loved the last two paragraphs. Thank you for sharing this.

myFudo Aug 14, 2011 01:08 pm

Your pie looks great… my heartfelt condolences to Jennie and her family, Mikey was such a great guy. Love your post.. you had the right words to move me… so emotional.

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tea_austen Aug 15, 2011 12:08 am

Sending you a big hug, Tami. xox

Victoria Aug 15, 2011 12:08 am

“What would mine mean?” It means you were moved enough and felt that connection loss brings…and cared enough to take the time to honor her and her husband. Sometimes, that’s all a grieving person needs to know to feel some sliver of comfort. Whether it’s one or thousands, every pie counts.

Kelly Aug 15, 2011 11:08 am

Wow such a beautiful tribute and a super gorgeous pie. I’m so proud to be a part of such an amazing community of people, what a great post!

Deanna Aug 15, 2011 05:08 pm

I always love to check out Foodgawker for amazing recipes. Today I came across your “A pie for Mikey and Jennifer Perillo.” I became aware of this beautiful recipe on Facebook last week when all my favorite food bloggers shared Jennifer’s story and seeing all the lovely people making this pie in honor of Mikey. With tears in my eyes, I am smiling at this moment, seeing more Peanut Butter Pies posted on Foodgawker and I fell in love with you and your post! Bless ya sweet girl! xo

Lynnette Moore Aug 15, 2011 08:08 pm

I am crying. Breaks my heart. Keep baking pies.

L-Mac Aug 16, 2011 12:08 pm

What a great recipie. And a great message. One of my favorite things to do is bake things for my husband to share with his co-workers (my poor co-workers usually get shunned). I took this pie to my work though today and it went over so well. Everyone loved that it was creamy and didn’t have an overpowering peanut butter taste. Thank you for posting this! This is a great reminder to keep on baking for the people we love!

Dina Aug 16, 2011 03:08 pm

My goodness! This looks wonderful!

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Patty Aug 31, 2011 08:08 pm

OMG. BEST RECIPE EVER!!! I can’t wait to try them!!

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JoyHey Jan 24, 2012 06:01 pm

This is wonderful…!! So inspirational. Thanks! Trackback: http://blog.joyhey.com/2012/01/24/inspiration-peanut-butter-treats/

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JWest Pastries Jul 6, 2012 09:07 am

As I was searching for a peanut butter pie recipes to make this weekend I found your site. Ironically, my mom passed away on August 12, 2011 the day you posted this recipe. So although it’s a year later, I’m going to make this pie in not only my moms honor, but in the honor of Jennifer Perillo and her husband. A sudden loss of a loved one is never easy, especially when it’s your mom (MY mom) or a spouse. I hope I can make the pie…tears are already welling in my eyes.

Samantha Aug 19, 2012 10:08 am

I came across this post through pinterest, my mother and sister are coming over today to have dinner and celebrate my husbands and mine new house. Reading this blog I decided that this peanut butter pie would be perfect and made me thankful for the people I have and remember how easy it is to lose them. I know the pain never goes away but I wish Jennifer plenty of joys and strength and lots of peanut butter pies to help get through everyday.

Cheri Aug 19, 2012 01:08 pm

Can’t wait to make this dessert!
Thank you for posting it.

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