When I was in college, my mother would send me newspaper clippings about teenagers and young adults who died in car accidents. They were morbid stories that I didn’t want to read: straight-A students who were killed by a drunk driver on their way home from the movies, seniors in high school who would never make it to their graduation. I know that she sent them to instill fear – to show me that if I didn’t drive carefully, if I wasn’t picky about who I accepted a ride home from after a party, the worst could happen.
I avoided reading these stories at all costs – deleting email, discarding the limp newspaper clippings still in their envelopes, because those stories weren’t the norm. They were news because they were tragic stories, the exception. You didn’t read about the cars full of people who made it home safely, because that happened every day.
This past week, I along with many of you, heard the sad news that, Jennifer Perillo’s husband had passed away suddenly. Jennifer is a blogger and food editor who I met at BlogHer Food in San Francisco two years ago (at the time, I lived in New York and we joked that it took a trip across the country to finally meet).
Though I don’t know Jennifer well and didn’t know her husband at all, reading about her husband’s passing reminded me of those news clippings I used to ignore in college. It’s easy to push a sad story to the back of your mind, or avoid the sad news stories you hear in the news, but sometimes they stick with you and sometimes you can’t ignore them.
Jennifer wrote a post on her blog inviting her readers to stop and celebrate the people we love by making a peanut butter pie. In the wake of her sudden loss, I’m awed that she took the time to remind us to celebrate the people who drove home safely. You never know how much time you will have with loved ones, so don’t put off doing special things for them.
A few days ago, I had made two pies for a party and I shared them with friends. There is something special about pie for dessert – it’s more elegant than cookies and in my opinion, more fun to eat than cake. This might not be a peanut butter pie, but it’s a recipe that I’d been wanting to make to share here for a long time. Today seemed like the right time.
Lemon Chess Pie Recipe
Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
What You Need:
1/2 recipe Pate Brisee rolled out
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the rolled-out pie crust.
In a heat-resistant bow, combine the melted butter and sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in the cornmeal, followed by the lemon juice, mixing just until combined. Pour the filling into the crust.
Bake the pie for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is a deep golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before slicing.