There’s this strange and wonderful thing called the internet. On it, you can read the news, catch up with friends, share your thoughts on the day, and find up to the minute tidbits about just about anyone. It’s really a marvelous and scary place sometimes.The other day, I was doing a little bit of all those things. I found myself on Twitter, which I use infrequently at best, and this tweet came across my screen. It was from a fellow blogger – many of you probably saw the same tweet, in fact. It was from Jennifer Perillo, she of In Jennie’s Kitchen, and it read “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces.”
I don’t know Jennifer. I’ve never met her. I’ve followed her on Twitter for a while now, and I read her blog. I know that she and I are about the same age, we both have two small children, and we both love our husbands dearly. I know that she works hard to feed her family healthfully and sustainably. That’s about all, though. We’re not friends in even the remotest sense of the word. But when that tweet rolled across my screen, my heart broke for her. I didn’t even know what it meant at the time, but I knew it must have been something terrible.
Later that day, or maybe early the next, I learned that Jennie’s husband had died suddenly of a heart attack. And I watched as a virtual community gathered to show their support. And I marveled at the strength of a woman who could take time during mourning to post this video, and then this beautiful tribute, in memory of her husband.In the second post, Jennie asked that everyone reading make a peanut butter pie, her husband’s favorite, in celebration of his life. It’s a fitting exercise for a community who came together through food, and a it’s amazing to see the number of people who’ve signed up to participate on the facebook event page. I’m sure most of them are like me – we don’t know Jennie, but we want her to know that she and her girls are thought of and supported during this difficult time. And that the memory of her husband, and the love they shared, will not be forgotten.
The night that first tweet came across my screen, I was struck to my core by the tenuous nature of life. I hugged my boys extra long when I put them to bed, and I made it a point to tell my husband how much I loved him before we said good night. The truth is, we never know what tomorrow, or even later today, may bring.
Peanut butter and chocolate is also my husband’s favorite flavor combination. He could eat an entire bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups in one sitting if I’d let him. We’re headed to an end-of-summer pool/dinner party with some friends tonight, so I thought it only appropriate that I make these little peanut butter pies in mason jars to share with everyone. They were made, after all, in celebration of life.
Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey
yields: 12 servings
- 8 oz. chocolate wafer cookies
- 4 oz. butter, melted
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- Place the cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to create crumbs.
- Turn the food processor on and pour the melted butter through the feed tube
- Spoon three heaping teaspoons of the crumb mixture into 4-oz. mason jars – there should be enough crumbs to do 12 small jars.
- Press the crumb mixture int the bottom of the jar with your thumb. Refrigerate to set.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
- Once crust has set, spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each jar and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top. Refrigerate to set.
- Combine the peanut butter and mascarpone cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high to combine.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Stir in half the whipped cream, just to loosen the peanut butter mixture. Carefully fold in the remaining cream, creating a mousse-like filling.
- Place the filling in a zip-top bag fitted with a 1-inch star piping tip. Pipe the mousse into the mason jars.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips to garnish.
Thank you, Jennifer Perillo, for inviting us to celebrate with you.