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.
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:
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.
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