Let me preface this by saying I don’t know Jennifer Perillo. I had found her blog through Punk Domestics, when she linked her three-part preserving cherries posts. I found these posts only a few weeks before it happened. It, being the loss of her husband. Not just any loss – a complete, out of the blue life change. The kind you just can’t prepare for. I followed the story as people prepared #apieformikey. The food blog community blew me away with their heartwarming and supportive baking acts of kindness.
But that’s what kind of a community it is. It’s been there for me recently. Like a lot of folks, we are struggling to stay afloat these days – living paycheck to paycheck. Needless to say, it’s a rough time to graduate with a mountain of debt and crap job prospects. I barely can carve out funds for preserving produce, and I am prioritizing choices I never thought I would have to make after graduate school. I certainly picked the wrong time to try to start a business. All of which pales in comparison to Jennie’s world right now. But every day, despite everything that doesn’t go my way, I get to delve into the food blog world. I can lose myself in all the great things I have the potential to do in the kitchen someday. Every day I find new blogs that inspire me to make do with what I have, to find the beauty in the simplest things, to try a new recipe or technique. It is this community that picks me up when I am having a rough day. This community inspires me to do better. This community fosters creativity I didn’t know I had.
Every one of us is living a life which could be shattered into a million pieces tomorrow. Mikey was supporting Jennie and their family so she could live out her dream. And now she is left with an uncertain future and incoming bills. On top of the fact that the Social Security Administration denied her widow benefits because she makes too much money. With two children, there is no such thing as too much money.
I desperately want to give to Jennie what I don’t have to give. I do have, though, great friends (who I’ve never actually met) who are willing to help multiply what little I can offer. This is exactly what is so great about the food blogging community and #afundforjennie. I asked a few friends if they would like to donate something. They asked a few of their friends, who suggested more people who I should contact… and it went from there. Here is what we have lined up for your donation:
From Sean @ Punk Domestics: [In addition to his other auction] Strawberry Marsala Rosemary Jam
From Kate @ Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: Sugar Plum Crumble Preserves
From Julia @ What Julia Ate: Sour Cherry Preserves
From Meg @ Grow and Resist: Cherry Port Sauce and Apricot Jam
From Kaela @ Local Kitchen: [In addition to her other auction] Pirate Peaches and Red Rio Grapefruit Marmalade
From Emily @ Nomnivorous: [In addition to her other auction] Wildcard jam or pickle and Jennie’s Tomato Jam
From Johanna @ Pretty Girls Use Knives: Boozy Peach Plum Preserves and BBQ Sauce
From Autumn @ Autumn Makes & Does: Plum Lemon Verbena Jam
From Cathy @ Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen: Roasted Poblano Salsa
From AJ @ Handjobs for the Home: 1950′s Sweet Corn Relish
From Blue Chair Fruit: Two jars of Pear-Lemon Marmalade from their upcoming Fall lineup
From Stephanie @ Confituras: Apple Hatch Chile Chutney
From Hima @ All Four Burners: Pluot Butter with Vanilla and Cinnamon
From Shae @ Hitchhiking to Heaven: Via satellite internet in the Alaskan Bush: Meyer Lemon Pink Grapefruit Marmalade
From Marisa @ Food in Jars: Peach Chutney
From Lindsay @ Uncanny Preserves: Sour Cherry Walnut Conserve
From Stacy @ Seattle Seedling: Cardamom Ginger Blueberry Butter
From Meg @ Harmonious Belly: Plum Vanilla Jam
From Michelle @ Glacial Heat: Strawberry-Jalapeño Jelly, Habanero Garlic Sauce, and Sassy Jalapeño Sauce
From Alison at McQuade Chutney: A sampler pack of Fig and Ginger, Habanero and Apple Ale Chutney
From Christina at Buffy and George: Strawberry Port Jam
From Rochelle at Get Cookin 411: Spiced Pickled Beets and Fresh Peach/Chai Syrup with a recipe for Fresh Peach Pancakes
From Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen: Apricot Pimentón Jam, Jameson Ginger Peach Jam and maybe a jar Carrot Caraway Pickles with Buckwheat Honey. If my test batch turns out as good as it smells.
From Nicole @ Arctic Garden Studio: Two jars of Alaska Wild Berry preserves AND 5 pounds of Alaska sweet carrots. They are the sweetest (and best) carrots she has ever eaten in her life. To top it all off, she will include an Alaskan Birch spoon.
If you would like to contribute a jar, please email me ASAP so we can finalize the auction. Bidding will start now and conclude on Friday September 2nd at 11:59pm EDT. We will ship to the US and Canada. We’ll start the bidding at $100. All proceeds will go to #afundforjennie.
We put together this group of preserves, jams and pickles (and carrots!) because we hope that each bit of food put away for a rainy day reminds us that better days are coming. That sometimes you can plan for the future, come what may. And for us, the simple act of putting up a few jars is therapeutic beyond measure. I made the carrot pickles for the first time on Tuesday night, right after I read that #afundforjennie had gathered over $14,000 for Jennie in just. two. days. I couldn’t stop thinking of her while I went through the pickle motions – from chopping to brining to sealing. Our auction is one of MANY - go check them out.
To bid, just leave a comment with an email address where we can reach you. If you can find it in your heart and budget to go above and beyond, you can also donate to Jennie directly through Bloggers Without Borders:
Jennie’s story is so tragic and so beautiful and resonates so strongly with us because she could be us. She IS us. This is why we have to help, in any way we can. Please give to #afundforjennie – every dollar counts.