Sometimes I am reminded again of the goodness of people. These past four days? I’m madly, swoonily in love with people. Humanity? As Lucy likes to say, “You’re pretty cool.”
We launched A Fund for Jennie early Monday morning. By the same time on Tuesday, we already had $7800 in the Paypal account. By today, it was up to $17,500. And that doesn’t take into account the nearly 100 auctions going on right now, on blogs across the world. The money promised in those auctions means we’re creating a wonderful cushion for Jennie.
By the way, the top bid on our private dinner party for six is $800. $800! We are so honored. Do you want to bid more? You have until Monday.
Here are only some of the auctions going on for A Fund for Jennie. (You can see the complete list here at Bloggers Without Borders.)
Ilke is offering to shop for food photography props for you and send them to your home.
Kerrygold is offering a year’s worth of butter and cheese.
Lucini Italia is offering one of every one of their products — olive oil, vinegars, tomato sauces, chickpea farinata, and other delectables.
Alyssa, who is a registered dietician with celiac, is offering a month of her services, including a personalized health assessment, customized meal plans, Skype sessions, and email support.
Chicago Metallic is offering a huge basket full of their bakeware.
Sean is offering six incredible bottles of wine worth $600 for a $50 donation.
Pam is offering a cooking class for six.
And in an incredible effort via Twitter, Mike Lewicki gathered 50 cookbooks and 2 cooking magazine subscriptions for one lucky winner.
There are even gluten-free auctions:
Elizabeth is offering to make and ship gluten-free shortbread to the first 25 people who donate and leave comments on her site.
And again, there are many, many more auctions going on around the world. Please check this page for fabulous offers.
You might notice that I used one verb here, over and over: offer. That’s what this has felt like in the last few days. A giant communal offering.
What moves me most is not the amount of money we have raised (we can do more, though!) but the kindness that has spread like wildfire across the internet. People have been having important conversations, connecting with each other, and reaching out.
David Leite, one of my favorite people in the world, wrote this incredibly poignant and vulnerable piece in the face of Jennie’s loss. In it, he wrote:
“My sorrow is most palpable when I realize I make so little time for the people in my life. I’m constantly chained to my desk, to this god-forsaken computer. “Tomorrow” is my mantra. Just ask The One, who eats too many meals alone, sits by himself in the living room at night reading, goes to gallery shows and plays and musicals with friends. All because I’m working. Always working. A few friends have fallen away, I know, but I’m too preoccupied to feel the emptiness left by them.…I know I must wring dry every moment of time I spend with those I love. I must push back from my desk at 6:00 p.m. and make dinner for The One. I must refuse to work on the weekends. I must slow down. I have Jennie–a woman I don’t even know–to thank for that realization.”
Thank you, David, for putting into words what so many people have felt after hearing of the loss of Mikey. It’s not just Jennie we’re mourning for. Instead, it could be the slap in the face that people need to wake up and stop spending so much time working and so little time doing nothing with the people they love.
I adore my husband and daughter. I cannot say it often enough. And I feel like we do a pretty great job sometimes of appreciating each other and living in the present. But we are busy and traveling too much and our daughter seems to grow two inches every time I turn around. We could do more. And less.
Tonight, David wrote on Twitter: “Keeping my Perillo Promise: Tomorrow The One & I r taking a day trip. I think we all should make a #PerilloPromise.”
If nothing else this weekend — even if you don’t have money to donate; even if you don’t want to donate — make yourself a promise this weekend to slow down, enjoy your family, laugh with your friends, dance your ass off without feeling self-conscious. And really be here.
Around here, we’re going to start calling that a Perillo Promise. (Or, as Lucy says, Pelillo!)
What else do we have?
ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH BAGNA CAUDA, adapted from Good Food to Share: Recipes for Entertaining with Family & Friends
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan has an infectious laugh, a bright smile, and a wicked sense of humor. She also comes from an illustrious food family. She runs Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, one of my favorite places to check in for ideas about food. And she has a new book out with a title I just love: Good Food to Share.
How could we not like this book?
This recipe is only slightly adapted from Sara Kate’s original. The bagna cauda takes about 5 minutes to make but is slithery and addictive. It will last you all week, as it did for us. Salmon, people. And chicken. Put this on salmon and chicken as well.
Sara Kate has you use fresh green beans for dipping. Of course that is a fantastic idea. But I’ve been playing with roasting unexpected vegetables to make crunchy healthy bites. (By the way, try beet green chips instead of kale chips.) Roasted green beans have a good crisp chew and the green taste beneath it. We like it.
An addition, Sara Kate is offering a wonderfully generous prize for her auction: she will help you plan, shop, and cook a meal for someone you love, along with a copy of her book. Go. Go bid.
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
6 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
6–8 anchovy fillets
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Toss the green beans with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread them out on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the beans are crisp but not burnt, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining olive oil and the butter in a small saucepan. When the mixture is hot but not yet boiling, add the garlic. Remove the pan from heat. Add the anchovies and stir them with the back of a fork, mashing them until they begin to dissolve. Add the smoked paprika. Set the saucepan on medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. If you wish, you can finish the sauce with an immersion blender for an even appearance.
Dip the roasted green beans into the warm bagna cauda. Enjoy.