Jennie asked us to make a pie. In honour of her Mikey, she asked us to reach out in a giant internet/blog world hug and make a pie on Friday. I said I would. Of course I would. It’s such a small thing, why wouldn’t I?
I didn’t make the pie.
On Friday I went into the city to be with Jennie and all her family and friends as they celebrated Mike’s life. The trip into the city was uncomfortable, as these things often are. It was made worse by the awkwardness of knowing I’d only met Jennie once in person before that day. I was worried that she’d think I was crazy for coming, some weird internet stalker who was trudging into her life. I got there and she instantly made it better with a hug that contained all the warmth and depth of spirit that I always feel radiated through my laptop screen when I read her words. She handled the entire day with a grace and kindness that made it all alright for everyone else. Isn’t that a kicker-the widow making the day better for everyone else? That’s Jennie. She is remarkable in her strength but also in her honest ability to let us know it isn’t always easy. I was glad I went. I wanted to show Jennie, that even though she clearly didn’t need it, I was there to support her-even if I couldn’t make a damn pie.
What the heck? Why was it so hard to put my money where my mouth was?
I’ll tell you, why. Fear.
I’m a pretty damn good cook. I’m no trained chef, but I’ve come to accept (as much as someone with not so large self-esteem can) that one of my talents is in the kitchen. However, I’m not a great baker. I’ve gotten better over the years, actually, in part due to Jennie’s recipes and the ever better tools in my collection. But when I saw that there was whipping cream and a springform pan involved, I thought for sure I was out of my league. So I came up with excuses, first the trip to NYC, then the Saturday night plans, then the rain which made us run errands on vacation, then the rain that just wouldn’t stop. Four days came and went and still no pie.
Then I started reading the posts with the gorgeous pictures that made it look so easy. Then I saw this video that brought me to my knees. Surely I couldn’t do it as beautifully as these people. What if I messed it up? Would that be worse than not making it at all? I mean, I went to see Jennie in person. Did I really need to make a pie too?
I finally realized, it’s not about perfect pie. Watching the video and reading the posts, I saw there was such love in all these acts. Whether they were novice or pro, these people chopped and whipped and folded for Jennie and heart was all they needed to make a killer pie.
Part of the reason that Jennifer Perillo resonated with me to begin with was because she talked of love being her motivation in the kitchen. That is true for me. Every time I put on my apron I do it for love. There is a peace that comes over me when I’m in my kitchen, a sense that I can fix things for a time. I love cooking and I always hope the people I cook for feel that love. I cook to communicate appreciation and support and show my heart. This time, that would all require me jumping over my fear of doing it all wrong.
So I folded and whipped and burned some chocolate and used the wrong cheese and never did get that springform pan. But in the end, I muddled through. I summoned up the strength to follow The Husband’s rule and did not let perfect be the enemy of good.
I made a pie. For Jennie. For Mikey. For the people I love. For the love of cooking.
And you know what? It turned out just fine.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
Oh yes, a pie can be ruined. Mine was a disaster, but the intentions were the best. I’m so impressed that you made the trip to be with Jennie. Amazing. We are so lucky to have a supportive friend like you!
Suzanne W says
Um no recipe? You can’t leave a girl hanging like that 🙂
Suzanne, click on the first sentence in this post. It will take you to Jennifer Perillo’s blog which has the pie recipe and a million others you’ll be dying to try!
If there is sugar and chocolate and pie crust, can it ever really be bad? It looks delicious.
You underestimate the stuff I’ve wrecked! I have found ways to ruin sugar, chocolate and pie crust in the past!
Well you must be a “pretty damn good cook” because that pie looks pretty damn good! Great job!
Well, thanks! I’m not sure I can add damn good baker yet but it was a pretty good attempt.;)