A beautiful moment occured Friday in the food blogosphere. For an afternoon, all the anxiety and competition about being part of an online food writing community faded away, and people came together in support of food blogger Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen, who lost her husband suddenly to a heart attack.
It started in a touching post Perillo wrote about Mikey’s favorite pie. People had written her, asking what they could do to help. She suggested they bake a pie:
“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.”
And bake they did, not just individual food bloggers, friends, and acquaintances, but writers on websites like Food52, Eatocracy and the Food Network. Here’s a look at some of the online events and posts that occurred Friday, the day of Mikey’s memorial service:
- #apieformikey on Twitter
- Facebook event: Peanut Butter Pie Friday for Mikey and Jennifer Perillo
- Tastespotting’s round-up photos of pies for Mikey.
When I taught my Saturday class on food blogging, I reminded students that blogging is about being part of an interactive community. I showed them the video White on Rice made about the event, and we all shed a tear together.
I thought about why food obsessed people like us cook. It’s a nonverbal way to express ourselves to the people we love. To say, “I did this for you.” Over the weekend, dozens of people did it for Mikey, someone they probably never met, for that reason and another: To celebrate being alive.