This past Sunday, Jennifer lost her husband, Mikey to a sudden heart attack. Unexpectedly, his young life was cut short on a sunny Sunday, and his wife and daughters are left to try and cope with their tremendous loss.
Peanut Butter Pie was Mikey's favorite. Jennifer was going to make it for him...just as soon as she found the time. Maybe for his birthday...maybe when things were not as hectic.
That hit me right there. Far, far too close to home.
I have already lost several people in my life who are close to me, and I should know better than to put things off for another day. That day can so easily never come about.
It's been getting worse over the last few months. I seemingly have had time for nothing.
I am getting married in six weeks. There are plans to be made, phone calls to make and vendors to coordinate. There are honeymoon plans to review, rental cars to pick up and alterations that need to be scheduled.
So little time to sit down together, enjoy a conversation that does not end in a to-do list.
That's changing tonight.
Tonight, we are not going to worry about who needs to do what.
We won't assemble centerpieces or count down how many tomorrows we have to "waste" until we are married.
Tonight, we are going to go home, prepare a meal together and enjoy what we have right now, a bonded friendship, a deep mutual respect and a constant admiration of each other that is the reason we are solidifying what we share.
Tomorrow will come soon enough, and six weeks will pass in the blink of an eye. Tonight, we will make dinner, and share a Peanut Butter Pie.
I don't even want to put off making it until Friday. I want to share it with the man I love tonight and be grateful that we have shared so much, and have so much to be excited for. The present, just as much as the future.
Serves 10 to 12
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.