When it comes to food I feel love in countless ways
I love Chai Tea. A warm kind of love.
I love Pasta. A comforting kind of love.
I love Basil. A beautiful kind of love.
I love Raspberries. A simple kind of love.
I love Peanut Butter. A heal your heart kind of love.
Just one spoon of PB, or in desperate measures, a dip of the pointer finger, is all it takes sometimes to get yourself through a sad day. But then, god forbid, there are those more than just sad kinds of days. There are those days when you find yourself unable to stand straight, because your heart is breaking and tears are streaming down your face. That crazy kind of crying where you, without your control, find your hands clenching your chest because your heart feels like it’s splitting in two. Breaking in that way that releases this ridiculous amount of pressure into your chest that forces you to lose your breath almost completely; where you start to cry without being able to make a noise. On those days, not even a scoop of peanut butter can be the bandaid for where it hurts. Scratch that, not even a whole jar would do the trick.
Last week was tough in all kinds of ways for me. One of my fellow food bloggers, Jennifer Perillo (In Jennie’s Kitchen), lost her husband suddenly, sending shockwaves throughout this food community in ways that I have never seen before. It was the most beautiful act of love, in a very hideous situation. Not only did he leave behind Jennifer, but he left behind his two small daughters, something that being a daughter myself I cannot even fathom. To lose my father would be to lose my entire existence. What I could grasp though is the sick upredictability that is one of life’s worst personality traits, and because of that we truly must love every person we care about, everyday, without holding anything back. Tomorrow is never promised, and it breaks my heart to see a woman that loved her husband so much, learn that in such an unfortunate way.
But this was Jennifer’s plea to the world last week.
#APieforMikey. A hashtag that brought together all of those that like me, feel and show love through food. We chose to show love to one woman and her family and honor and man through a pie. And oh did we, from CNN’s Eatocracy blog, to food blogs I had never come across before, everyone had Jennifer in their thoughts.
See this list from Food Network’s Blog of those that baked for Mikey.
I had Jennifer in my thoughts but I was also dealing with my own heartbreak, as last week I had to hug my best friend like there was no tomorrow one last time before he left to go overseas to play basketball for a year. For those of you that know and love me, you know who this best friend is. There are days when you know him as my worst enemy, and there are days when he has truly been my lifesaver, but underneath it all, in the last 3 years you have known him as a piece of my heart.
A best friendship can only be that way, and he knows that, even though most of the time, like many men, he plays too cool for feelings and forgets how much love there really is. On those days he is a pain in my ass, but I would do anything in the world to have that pain in the ass back next to me tonight. As hard as it is for me, I know it is harder for him. But he is my tough cookie.
So for Jennifer, my best boy, and anyone else in the world that is going through a tough time right now, this recipe is for you. A little peanut butter to heal your heart.
The Tough Cookie: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
A cookie that I wish I could curl up and share with the boy I already miss more than anything. A cookie that will hold up even if a few tears fall on it (trust me, I tested it). A cookie that will last for weeks, sticking on a new bandaid where it hurts every day, with every bite.
These are literally the perfect cookies to make when you are emotional mess. 3 steps. 7 ingredients.
I used Organic Peanut Butter (no sugar added), and therefore I added an extra 1/4 cup of organic sugar to the recipe. To keep these gluten free, substitute regular chocolate chips with a gluten free variety from Whole Foods or TJs.
Also, use less peanuts. As nutty as these cookies were, I might have been more nutty the night I made them… but Martha’s measurement was a tad bit overdoing it.
Do as the woman says and moisten your hands before rolling this dough. With no flour and no butter to speak of, you are at the mercy of the peanut butter.
About 17 minutes later + cooling time, you get to bury yourself in your couch with a plate, and in Courtney and my case, a cold glass of vanilla almond milk. And scratch that, we curled up on the floor, sharing in the moment as crumbs cascaded down our chins. She is my peanut butter buddy, very best of friends, and that particular night (just as she is many nights) my little savior girl.
For my tough cookie, I know I need to be one too. No matter how many times I could torture myself with replaying our good-bye over and over in my head, it’s not fair. He is following his dream, as I follow mine, and to say that I am proud of him is an understatement. But it is important to never forget that tomorrow isn’t promised and that is why everyday, whether I am happy, sad, mad, or just plain missing him, there must always be love. If you truly care about someone, love them, fully, don’t hold back, because you might never have a chance to tell them how you much they really mean to you.