A little over a week ago, as I was perusing my usual food blogs & foodie twitter feed I stumbled on this series of tweets.
It just grabbed my eye and with a little tracking around I discovered that Jennifer, a wonderful writer of all things food & creator of recipes, mother of two and a cherished part of the foodie social media community, had just lost her husband Mikey to a sudden and massive heart attack. She was using the comfort of the familiar 140 characters to begin negotiating her new reality. There was something about the honesty openness of her words that struck a chord in me. It is something I found myself doing after receiving the ernesto news. I leaned on the ritual and community of social media to both distract and comfort me. There is something about the slightly removed community that makes adjusting to major visceral life changes a little easier.
A few days after that heartbreaking tweet Jennifer posted this beautiful piece on her blog. Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait.
It is such an eloquent and touching message. She manages to step out of herself and her mourning to empower everyone who has come in contact with her story to do something to honor Mikey’s memory and to make sure they take time to appreciate the loved ones in their life. The #apieformikey has since spread like wildfire and deservedly so. Sharing a dish with your family or community, whether it is in the spirit of celebration, mourning or simple hunger, is a tradition with amazing restorative powers for both the cook and the eater.
So, I brought out the pie recipe that is a major part of my family tradition, my grandmother’s Strawberry Pie. Of course, I gave it a little twist.
For the crust:
- 4 oz pretzel sticks
- 2 Tbs butter, melted
- 1/2 C + 4 tsp honey
For the filling:
- 4 C strawberries, washed and sliced
- 1 C sugar
- 3 Tbs cornstarch
- 1/2 C water
- 3 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
Heat oven to 350˚
- For the crust, put the pretzel sticks in a food processor and whir until they’re fine crumbs.
- Transfer to a bowl and pour in butter an honey. Mix until evenly combined.
- Press crust into 9″ pie dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Set aside.
- For the filling, in a pot combine the sugar and cornstarch. Make sure to evenly mix.
- Add water and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens.
- Add the butter and remove from stove.
- As it cools stir in the lemon juice and then fold in the sliced strawberries.
- Cover the strawberries event in sugar sauce and pour into the pie shell.
- Serve with whipped cream.