A peanut butter pie in memory of Mikey
August 12th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Mikey Perillo loved peanut butter pie. I never met him, but I know that much about him.

I also know that his wife Jennifer Perillo - a food writer, editor, recipe developer, and mother to their two daughters aged three and eight - loved that man beyond measure and would move heaven, hell and everything in between to serve him another piece of that pie.

She never will. This past Sunday evening, Mikey Perillo collapsed to the floor and died of a heart attack. It happened too cruelly and swiftly for Jennifer to even have a chance to say goodbye or tell him that she loved him one last time. He'll never laugh, sing, hug, dance with his daughters, or sit down to one of his wife's lovingly home made meals again.

I never got to meet Mikey, but I have met Jennifer. She is possessed of grace and spark and light and warmth and the world is in love with her.

It's no accident that her vocation is feeding people. It's what she does with her hands, heart and spirit. So it was no surprise to see, as the devastating news of Mikey's death rippled through the online food community, that friends - even those she'd never met - reached out to hold onto Jennifer as she fell.

"We're so sorry." "I can't wait to hug you." "What can I do for you?" "How can I help?" "Can I feed you?"

That's what the food world, the restaurant chefs, home cooks, farmers, craftspeople, servers and writers know how to do. They feed people. And that's what Jennifer wants them to do for each other and for Mikey's memory.

On her blog In Jennie's Kitchen, she wrote:

As I spend Friday reflecting on the love and life that was gone in an instant, I'd like to invite all of you to celebrate his life too. Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie. I haven't made it in a while, and I've had it on my to-do list for a while now.

I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I'm waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, 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.

Jennifer provided the recipe on her website, and my colleague Sarah and I will both be making peanut butter pies to serve to people we love. Join us - and hundreds of people around the globe as we celebrate a man who made the world a sweeter place for everyone around him. You never know when you might have a hungry heart of your own that needs feeding.

Join the Facebook event Peanut Butter Pie Friday for Mikey and Jennifer Perillo and follow the hashtag #apieformikey on Twitter. If you make a pie and blog about it, please leave a link in the comments below.

Read - Roasted chicken soup for the banged-up soul

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Filed under: Blogs • Culture • Rituals • Think

soundoff (414 Responses)
  1. Anjin


    October 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  2. fage

    Jennie got over $70,000 raised for her, but she's out spending it all on dinners at Gramercy Tavern, $600 shoes, new furniture. Many food bloggers are angry and calling for an accountability check with the charity Bloggers Without Borders. CNN needs to follow up on this "poor widow" story.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  3. Momma

    Would someone please tell me what kind of cookies? It just says chocolate and I'm not sure what kind to get.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jenny

      The chocolate wafers – Nabisco – but any chocolate cookie would do.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  4. Kim

    We made a pie for Mikey. And I hugged my boys and husband and told them I loved them. You just never know when your time will come.

    August 25, 2011 at 12:13 am |
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