What do you do when you hear a fellow blogger has suffered a tragedy? Well the foodie community has taken Jennifer's wish to have us bake a peanut butter pie for someone we love to heart, and we all baked one for her in loving tribute to her husband who passed away suddenly. It's a small gesture to show support and kindness to one of our own. The outpouring of love and support for Jennifer has been incredible. I for one am proud to be part of such a strongly bonded community. It is unparalleled in my humble opinion.
I do not know Jennifer well. I have read her blog but I am new to the blogosphere so I just starting to get to know everyone. My heart breaks for her. Losing a loved one so suddenly changes everything. The sorrow and pain is immeasurable. In one moment your whole world is turned upside down. Questions arise that there are no answers for. A void is left that no amount of sympathy can fill.
When I heard the news I thought about my sister in law who lost her husband just last year. It was sudden and shocking. She and her 3 young kids left alone. It was heartbreaking and unimaginable that Mike was gone. He was the nicest man you would ever met. Always kind, in all the years I knew him I never heard him utter an unkind, negative word to or about anyone. He was the kind of man that when you talked to him he wanted to know about you. He asked questions, dug deeper. I remember the Christmas before he passed having a long conversation about baking and peanut butter. I had made macaroons and it sparked a conversation about peanut butter I can remember to this day. So I am also honouring my brother in law in this post. His name was also Mike and when I think of peanut butter I remember him fondly.
When I took the pics of the pie I made I wanted to include a few meaningful props and backgrounds. So I will let you know underneath what those are. Loss is universal and we are all touched by it and shaped by it in our own lives. I lost my Mom when I was 15, it was horrible and life changing. I think it marks you, puts it's stamp on you. I was now that girl who's Mom died everywhere I went. People will say time heals all wounds. I say no it does not. I do not miss her any less today than the day it happened. It does not hurt any less today than the day it happened. You just learn to cope and move forward as best you can. You are left wondering what might have been. It is a futile thought but you go there anyway. Often.
Within about a year of Mom passing we also lost both her parents. It was a year like no other. I still say my Gramma died of a broken heart. She and my Mom were joined at the hip, always together. She was never the same after Mom died. She was the coolest Gramma around. I have fond memories of her playing baseball in the yard with us and swinging so hard she spun herself right down on the ground. I would stop in after school after Mom died and she would make me french fries. I learned how to make them from her. I think of that often when I make them. The memories of the ones we loved and lost are so connected to food. It is inevitable that I think of Gramma when I make fries.
Shortly after Gramma passed my Grand-dad died too. Again I swear it was of a broken heart. My Gramma was his whole world. He loved her so much. He was so kind and soft spoken. Except when she made him mad and you heard the rising "VIOLET". Then we knew he was really mad as he rarely spoke. He was quiet and kind hearted. He listened and when he gave advice you listened back. He was a man of few words so the words spoken must be taken to heart. When I think of Grand-dad I think of butterscotch candies. He always had some for you along with a smile.
unsupportive. I found out a lot about people through the process. I was stunned by some of it. My Dad told me not to be shocked by people how people behave during and after death. Yet I am stunned by the cruel and self centered actions of some. So I moved on and those who cannot do so and want to dwell on the past are not part of my every day life any more. I forgave my Dad for everything and we made peace with it all. So I have let it go and accept him for who he was the same as he did for all of us. So this pie is for Dad too. The man who had an ice cream belly instead of a beer one. The man who ate peanut butter even when he could not swallow properly from the cancer. He said he needed the protein and would try to eat it any way. This man loved peanuts so in honour of my Dad I threw some crushed peanuts in the recipe.
I did not mean to go on like this but it just sort of flowed. So I won't edit it or try to make it sound different. This is what loss looks like. Scarred, battered and bruised. This is the mark it's left on me. And it makes me weep for Jennifer. I do not weep easily, I am a stoic lady. Yet one cannot help it when the empathy for another is so strong. I hope that she can find peace and solace. I hope she feels the support and love we all feel for her and her family. I know it is small comfort. Yet I reach a hand in support anyway.
So for Jennifer and for her Mikey this is for you!
Photos missing due to a G+ incident. Will be restored soon.
A PIE FOR MIKEY RECIPE:
2 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 package of cream cheese
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
4 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 and ¾ cups heavy cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 package mini peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crush cookies in food processor. Add ¼ cup of the peanut butter and pulse until mixed.
Press mixture into a greased spring form pan (9 inch) and cook for about 8 minutes. Let cool.
In a stand mixer using whisk attachment, combine cream cheese and sugar, blend well.
Add peanut butter, milk and half your crushed nuts, mix again.
Pour into another bowl and set aside.
Now whip 2 cups of your heavy cream in the mixer. Slowly fold in peanut butter mixture you set aside.
Before adding filling toss some extra peanuts and some pieces of the mini peanut butter pieces right on the crust.
Now you can pour your filling over prepared crust and refrigerate for 2 hours.
In a saucepan melt chocolate with remaining ¾ cup of heavy cream until smooth. Let cool 2 minutes.
Pour over pie.
Cut up mini peanut butter cups and toss over the chocolate.
Sprinkle the remaining crushed peanuts over as well.
Serve to a loved one in memory of Mikey.
With love and support I send this out as a small gesture to Jennifer and her family.
Toodles and smoochies folks, hug your loved ones! xx