A Peanut Butter Pie – In Memory of Mikey

I don’t know Mikey.

I have never met him.

However, I have been following his wife Jennifer Perillo’s  blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen, for a while prior to launching MyJudytheFoodie.

What I’m quickly learning about the blogging world is how you can feel so connected, so in sync with someone whom you’ve never physically met, just by consistently reading their posts.   Those that know Jennie personally, and those that simply follow her blog (like me), learned that Jennie’s husband Mikey died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  He leaves behind Jennie and two young daughters under the age of 8.  He deserved a lifetime…

On Jenny’s blog, she courageously speaks the following gripping words:

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.

I felt compelled to answer her (simple) request.

And so, this past weekend, while my big sis was visiting from out of town with her entire family, in the midst of sunscreen and games of Newcomb and sandcastles and the general chaos that accompanies a gorgeous summer day at the beach, we somehow carved out uninterrupted time in the kitchen– to make a peanut butter pie from scratch (a first-ever for both of us).  Together, we made this pie in memory of Mikey, a virtual stranger.  Yet, we felt/feel genuine gut-wrenching heartbreak about this unspeakable tragedy.  The baking became, among other things, cathartic. Somehow, we felt connected in grief (and allowed ourselves to grieve our own soul-crushing loss too) but, wanted to complete the pie project to commemorate life.

Later that night, while enjoying our sinfully sweet dessert, we were metaphorically spreading Mikey’s love to our own families.

We cherished each other, our family, our lives.

We nourished hungry hearts with peanut butter pie.

We appreciated the intensity of the moment and every single moment since because, sadly, we’ve all learned that life can be too short…

Big Sis preparing the homemade graham cracker crust.

Finished crust awaiting peanut butter filling.


Home made whipped cream.

Pouring in the peanut butter goodness.

Finished pie headed to the freezer.



  1. Beautiful post Shari

  2. Thanks for sharing this story Shari. I have been amazed by the outpouring of love on the blogosphere for Jennie. I think you more than most know just a bit of what she must be going through.

    This pie looks amazing. Gonna make it. Gonna be grateful for this beautiful day.

  3. Hi Shari,
    Another beautiful post – and so horribly sad for Jennie… The pie looks delicious and while I didn’t make it on Friday, I think I will this weekend. I’ve been getting bogged down in the mundane lately – getting the kids ready for school, dealing with Jack’s adjustment home from camp (re-entry has not been easy), Jeff busy working, etc. – that it’s nice to be reminded to pause and appreciate my family and the love I have….

  4. I’ve actually met Jennie- we hung out at BlogHer 2 years ago. She’s such a nice lady, I had no idea about this tragedy. So sad…

    I look like such a baby in these pictures, but you’ll see both of us in the 3rd picture: http://bit.ly/pHZMH6

  5. i had written a comment that for some reason never posted. i was saddened by the story of mikey’s death and wanted to engage in making the peanut butter pie. we learned a lot from our first experience, or should i say that we were reminded of simple cooking rules to live by. first rule was read entire recipe thoroughly and confirm you have all ingredients (we had to improvise since we ran out of confectioners sugar). second, confirm that you have enough of every ingredient (look inside the box of baking soda or peak into your container that has your sugar). lastly, improvise if you screw up, you can always taste your batter or whipped cream along the way to ensure your recipe will taste great. if it’s something your guests have never tasted at your house, they’ll have no comparison anyway.i witnessed shari’s culinary skills and indulged in every delicious item she made. shari has morphed into an amazing cook. mom would be so very proud!


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