I made a peanut butter pie. I made a peanut butter pie for two important reasons. Let me tell you about those reasons.
Although this blog was started just recently, I’ve loved baking and cooking for many years. In the past few years I’ve started reading recipes online and more recently I have grown to love food blogs.
One of the first food blogs I started following sometime last year was In Jennie’s Kitchen. Usually her posts are food focused. Occasionally, though, Jennie writes about her daughters and/or her husband. Those posts are always my favorite because they communicate true love. Like the post about how Jennie hates the noise the ice cream maker makes, but how she loves her husband more and knew he would need some “heavy artillery” to counter emotions after a scare about his mother’s health. Or how Jennie described the love between her and her husband Mikey on the day after this year’s Valentines Day, “A chocolate recipe the day after Valentine’s may seem silly, but true love doesn’t last just one day. It lives in every word and glance you exchange. Its life beats in the little sparks you feel when your hands brush across each other. When you love someone, what really counts is how you love each other the other 364 days.”
So often, I’d read her posts and think, this is how I want to live and love. With all my heart.
Mostly, though, I love the fact that many posts have some wisdom. Small reminders of living live consciously, of loving the ones we are with, of taking life serious when it needs to be taken serious and letting things go when they don’t deserve our energy. Seeing life in a positive and optimistic way; forgiving mistakes and realizing that sometimes great things can come from failures. Perspective and approach to a certain issue can determine whether or not it’s a problem or an opportunity.
Most recently, though, Jennie experienced a tragedy, which is why I made a peanut butter pie. A week and a half ago (on Sunday) her husband passed away from a sudden heart attack. No warning or signs. He just dropped dead on Sunday, the day that used to be their family day. Despite all the emotions and thoughts that are sure to be running through her heart and head, Jennie has managed to continue her blog. She posted one video of her husband dancing with her daughter during the night after he passed. On the following Tuesday Jennie posted a beautiful piece about her husband and wrote about the fact that her husband loved peanut butter pie. She asked anyone who wanted to show support to make his favorite peanut butter pie.
So this is the first reason I made this particular dessert. A pie to show support for Jennie, who has shared so many of her creative recipes and wisdom-filled posts; and who has provided support for others through them.
Many food bloggers and/or blog readers have followed Jennie’s request with great enthusiasm, shared their pies on blogs, twitter, facebook and other social media outlets. Just to give you an idea, check out all these peanut butter pies for Mikey.
Todd and Diane from White on Rice Couple, created this very beautiful video that combines the making of the cake with some twitter hashtags to honor her husband and support Jennie.
Now for the second reason I made this pie. I am from Germany. Germans don’t usually eat peanut butter. In fact I pretty much hate peanut butter. Stay with me. It’s just not up my alley. Neither taste nor consistency appeal to my taste buds. I’m getting to the second reason, I promise. The boyfriend, though, likes peanut butter very much. And since I like the boyfriend very much, I occasionally make treats that involve peanut butter. Mostly cookies – chocolate chip and peanut butter or peanut butter and bacon cookies. I have never made a peanut butter pie before. When I just so much as slightly mentioned the idea of maybe, possibly making a peanut butter pie, though, Chris got quite excited.
This peanut butter pie is about showing support, but also about valuing the time we have with loved ones. Just like with any other home-cooked meal, nutrition and money-saving benefits are more of a side effect (although a much appreciated one.) What matters most is that through sharing food, we have the opportunity to share our love and a part of ourself.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day life, in focusing on oneself rather than loved ones, feeling too tired to cook, and being too stubborn to settle arguments (sometimes it’s better to have peace than to be right.) Sure, it would be too exhausting to live every day to the fullest and as though it could be the last, but making a mental note in the back of our minds to put things into perspective and to consider others feelings, can make our life and love truer, fuller, and better.
So, the second reason I made this peanut butter pie is the fact that I want the boyfriend (and everyone else I bake and cook for) to know how much I care and that I made this today because there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
It’s my hug, my kiss, and my “I love you!”
Peanut Butter Cream Pie
slightly adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen- 1 and 1/4 cup of chocolate cookie or graham cracker crumbs - 8 tablespoons of melted butter - 1 cup of chocolate chips - 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts - 1 cup heavy cream - 1 package of cream cheese, 8 ounces (reduced fat works just fine) - 1 cup creamy peanut butter - 1 cup powdered sugar - 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) - 1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice - optional for decoration: 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips and 1/8 of a cup of chopped peanuts Create fine crumbs by adding the cookies or crackers to a food processor. Combine 6 tablespoons of the melted butter with the crumbs in a small bowl, and combine. Get a springform pan (9 inches) and press the mix into the bottom and up the sides. Melt the chocolate chips with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and pour the mix onto the cookie/cracker crust. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate and place the pan in the refrigerator while preparing the peanut butter cream filling.Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form using a stand mixer or hand mixer with the whip attachment. Transfer the whipped heavy cream to a small bowl or plate and keep it in refrigerator until ready to use. Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until light, fluffy and well combined.Reduce the speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar. Now, beat in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice..Increase speed again and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is light and smooth. Slowly beat in the whipped cream, 1/2 at a time.Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.If desired, pour the melted chocolate on top and sprinkle with chopped up peanut pieces.