Something absolutely amazing happened over the weekend as a response to something absolutely unthinkable. A little over a week ago, Jennifer Perillo’s (of In Jennie’s Kitchen) husband died suddenly of a heart attack, and food bloggers (and others) came together in a never-before-seen way to support one of their own.

 

I didn’t know Jennifer, but I do follow her blog. Her recipes and advice on cooking real food from scratch are always worth a read. She is well-known and well-loved in the food blogging community. When she sent out a tweet on Sunday, Aug. 7 that said, “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces,” the outpouring of condolences and support from her friends and followers began.

Two days later on her blog, she wrote a post simply titled “For Mikey.” She asked that on Friday, the day of her husband’s funeral, those who wanted to help her do one thing.

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.

The response to that post has been awe-inspiring. There are hundreds of comments on the post from people sending love and prayers, sharing stories of their own losses, and promising to bake peanut butter pies for Mikey. And bake they did. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of peanut butter pies were baked Friday. Just search for #pieformikey on Twitter or take a look at the list of links on Food Network to see photos and read stories about the pies that have been baked.

One particularly touching tribute is this video by White On Rice Couple.

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey from Evolution Multimedia on Vimeo.

Me, I took a little liberty with my pie-making. My 9-year-old has been asking me for weeks to make a pumpkin pie, but I had been putting him off. Pumpkin pie in August? But when I read Jennifer’s request to make a pie for your loved ones, I knew that in honor of the spirit of her request, pumpkin was the way to go.

I hope that the outpouring of prayers and pies is a bit of a comfort to Jennifer and her daughters as they mourn. I know that this outpouring has changed the way I think about the food blogging community that I’m a part of. I’m now more proud and more grateful to be a member of it. The line between a virtual community and a real community became a little less solid for me as I’ve read the messages and blogs for the Perillo family over the past couple of days. It’s been inspiring. 

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