A tribute to Mikey Perillo, and to Hun as we get ready to celebrate our 5th Anniversary next month.
If there's anything bad about being in love, having found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, it's the thought, even if it's just a glimpse of it, that you might one day have to be without that person. That hits me like a terror some days, at random times, like when I'm driving down the road in my car or out in the garden pulling weeds. Those are thoughts and feelings I actually let myself live in for a moment, like the necessary contrast that reminds people that without evil, maybe there's no good. After I pull myself out of these moments, I remember that the world is beautiful, full of great things, thrumming with possibility, and Hun makes me the luckiest woman on Earth. He gives all the good things high-fidelity, 3D realism in IMAX proportions. I've never been in love like this, can't imagine love being better (and don't have to), and want it to last for as long as I can. And that's where we are today.
This was Thanksgiving 2010 when we went to California to visit my parents. I'm happy and relieved to say that we've both lost weight and gotten healthier since then.
Like a lot of my fellow food bloggers, I've enjoyed Jennie Perillo's food blog for awhile. She’s always brought her family into the blog, writing about what her daughters love and what her husband would cook. She’s always been a consistent and prolific blogger, so it was easy to feel like you knew her and her family. That's why hundreds, probably thousands of us were heartbroken when her husband, Mikey, died suddenly of a heart attack. She wrote about it after it happened.
"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."
So I went home and made what’s also my favorite pie—peanut butter and chocolate—using the ingredients on hand to make it sugar-free and low-fat so that my diabetic, hypertensive Love of my Life and I could share it the way we share everything, the best and the worst of them.
I have to admit--a lot of it's a cheat, semi-homemade in Sandra Lee style. A quick, easy roll-out crust--just use your favorite shortcrust pastry dough and blind bake it. Sugar-free, nonfat chocolate insta-pie custard with peanut butter melted and whisked in, topped with more sugar-free, nonfat white chocolate pudding. We keep that stuff in the cupboard so that Hun, who has a wicked sweet tooth, always has a treat available. It made for a good pie, and a great and beautiful memory.
Jennie's continued to blog about her grieving process, and as painful as it is to read at times, it's also a poignant reminder, maybe even a warning, to live both your life and your love to their fullest while you still have the chance.