Love and Peanut Butter Pie

Every day for work, I have to peruse various food blogs and food news websites. Food52 has become an excellent source of all kinds of food-related news – the serious, the playful, and everything in between.

Earlier this week, Food52 linked to Gluten-Free Girl’s post, light in the darkness. For those who don’t click through, the post is about friends coming together to celebrate, to eat. Shauna (Gluten-Free Girl) writes beautifully about what it means to cook together and write a blog to express yourself and connect with readers – instead of writing for search engine optimization or to increase Twitter followers. It was a perfect expression of how I feel when I cook for people – how much joy it brings.

She writes about her friend Jennie, of In Jennie’s Kitchen, and Jennie’s husband, Mikey. Of laughing with them and the fun they had over the weekend. And then she had to write about how two days after their celebration, Mikey died. Of a sudden heart attack. Although I don’t know Shauna or Jennie, I was touched by Shauna’s words. And by the post Jennie managed to fit in before Mikey’s memorial. Here’s a quote:

“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 have had other friends who have had loved ones pass suddenly, and my heart always aches for them and puts life in perspective for me. And although I don’t know Jennie or her family, her words were once again a reminder to live NOW and love NOW and don’t wait to tell the people in your life you love them.

So I made a bastaradized peanut butter pie with what I had in the fridge and pantry, and shared it with Alex after midnight yoga. And even if it had tasted terrible, it wouldn’t have mattered. All that mattered is that we were together, eating pie.

No-Bake PB Banana Chocolate Pie (Gluten free, dairy free, soy free)

Ingredients
3 Cinnamon Graham Crackers
1 Tbsp Cocoa powder
1 Tbsp palm shortening or soy free Earth Balance
1 Ripe Banana
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I used chunky)
1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Chocolate Bar, melted

Method
To make crust: Process graham crackers and cocoa powder in food processor. Put in a bowl and add Earth Balance or palm shortening until crumbly. Press into the bottom of small dish.

Process banana, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla. Scoop into dish, on top of crust. Refrigerate (although the mixture is quite tasty). When ready to serve, melt chocolate and drizzle on top.

Easy, not particularly sophisticated or fancy, but rich enough that Alex and I couldn’t finish the entire thing.

The blog community came together and made all kinds of peanut butter pies for Mikey today, from gluten free to vegan to pudding to peanut butter milkshakes.

I will try hard to always remember that tomorrow is never guaranteed and that life can change in an instant. I probably won’t. But maybe this pie recipe can be a reminder of all the wonderful people in my life, Alex in particular – who listens to me rant and rave, and goes on adventures and makes me laugh like no other at the best and worst of times. There’s always room for pie.

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