the road to recovery (and perfect pancakes)


I pride myself in making killer pancakes. The secret is butter. Really, it’s a no brainer, but often times people seek to make a healthy version and wonder why they can’t recreate that crisp ridge around the outer edge.

It’s butter people, so don’t be afraid of it. I melt a couple of tablespoons for the batter, then add a generous pat to the pan for each batch of pancakes. It’s important to grease the pan again for each new batch, or you can kiss that crackly, crunchy pancake rim goodbye.

But really, who gives a crap about pancakes or butter right now? Not me, really. It’s all just a distraction, a way to pass the minutes since he died. A way to get to the next goal, which at the moment is daylight.

Nights suck. I’m not going to sugar coat it, even though the tweets, comments, and emails commending my grace and ability to laugh in the midst of all this is appreciated. I may not be able to reply to everyone, but I’m reading them. Know that your words are helping when darkness settles in outside.

So why even post a picture of those pancakes?

They are the first photo of food I’ve snapped since August 6th, the day before Mikey died.

Those pancakes are a beginning. Baby steps, in a way. Mikey was my muse. Pretty much every recipe I ever created was inspired by or made with him in mind. I’m hoping by easing into taking photographs of food again, it will open the door to new inspiration.

For now, I’m relying on recipes I know from memory. My memories are all I have to keep me going these days.



  • elissapr

    Butter huh? You mean all this time I’ve been using margerine and wondering why my pancakes were just so-so…
    So simple, really…

  • Valerie

    Did not know that about the butter but will try it. I always use oil. You made my family very happy by sharing your secrets and your strengths. Blessings to you for all that you do.

  • Brona

    I know you have two daughters asleeping, but you should feel free to scream. Little by little…

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen

    Those are gorgeous pancakes though…and I agree wholeheartedly about the butter. I use massive amounts really.
    I can imagine the nights would be the hardest. They always were for me (other reasons than losing my husband)…but one year it was postpartum hormones/baby blues, and I was fine and strong all day…then BAM…it’d get dark outside and hubby wasn’t home yet.
    I was alone with an almost 4 year old and a newborn, and cry for no reason. It only lasted a week or 2, but I hated that feeling of being out of control. When a person is used to being “in control” that can be the scariest part.
    It happened again briefly after my third daughter was born. She was diagnosed with a birth defect at 2 weeks old, but hubby was out of town on work (for 3 days) when I found out. was winter….got darker earlier. I felt peaceful about the major surgery she was going to have most times, and through keeping busy and being with friends (just keep swimming….), I could laugh, joke, and everyone thought I was superwoman though they were going to operate on my daughter’s skull at 2 months of age.
    But many nights…late, when everyone was sleeping…there were times that fear gripped me. All this to say…it’s okay if one minute you’re able to laugh about something funny & the next cry and lose control. The important thing is you are expressing your feelings & letting them out. There’s no way around that this stinks, and it’s okay to get PO’d.

  • Stephanie - Chocolate and Toast

    Jennie, take it from me, a complete stranger – you are amazing. I remember first taking note of you on twitter several months ago. Who is this Jennifer Perillo? Every blogger on twitter has such wonderful things to say about her! I followed along, fascinated that there was someone out there who seems to be sincerely, universally loved. I know you feel that love. Keep its warmth wrapped tightly around you, especially in those long dark hours of the night. The morning will come again. It always does.

  • Ali B

    Pancakes are such a comfort food, I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting to heal. It won’t be easy but I think rediscovering the things you love (like butter and food photography!) will help you move forward. Still thinking of you and your girls!

  • Tara

    Butter, cheese… Dairy in general- it tends to make most food better : ). Use the whole damn cow if you feel like it! I can only imagine how treacherous the nights are. Please know that your are in the thoughts and prayers of many (myself most definitely.) Hold fast to your girls- make pancakes with butter, French toast, biscuits…lather them up-whatever the hell it takes. Sending you all the strength I can.

  • Kristyn

    Butter up those pancakes, we’ll still be here if your in Butter Lover’s Anonymous! I may have to join you! 😉
    Sending big hugs to you!

  • yasmine

    Butter is pretty much amaa-ZING, and makes many things better. I wish it could bring your Mikey back, but, barring that, I hope the butter and photo-taking and recipes you’ve memorized are providing some comfort during these days.
    I came across your site only recently, and am sorry it had to be under such circumstances. More than that, I am truly sorry for your loss. May you have all the strength and patience you could ever need to get through this time, and may your children and your family and friends be a source of joy and support for you.
    Sending you squeezy hugs from California.

  • Jennifer L. Cowart

    I’m going to make pancakes tomorrow and think of you. If you’re willing I’d like to send a gift from me, (a mom of three young daughters, married for 16 years also) to your family: a children’s book I just had published this summer called “I’ll Always Be There.” Even if you can’t read it right away, I’d like you to have it. If you would, please email me your mailing address.

  • Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips

    Butter is everything, and I wouldn’t ever dream of making a pancake without butter!
    Keep those memories alive, write them down, tell the girls, laugh at them, cry at them, keep them fresh in your mind.
    You are amazing, and inspiring. You really are.

  • Carrie

    Having someone you love, go suddenly, is never easy baby steps are important.
    You’re wise to see and know that especially right now.
    I’ve been there myself. I just keep telling myself, that my going forward is what they wanted. As much as I know in my heart of hearts that’s the gods honest truth it’s a tough one knowing you would give it all up just to have that person back with you every day.
    It gets easier, slowly.
    Use all the butter you need.
    You too will get there.

  • Mrsvjw

    My dad passed suddenly, at the age of 50, back in 2004. It’s only now becoming a new normal. There just aren’t enough hugs to give.
    But pancakes always make things a little better. Espeically when they are for dinner.

  • Charles

    Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen sent me over. As the father of a 9 month old, I feel for you and others that have survived a loss a lot more than I used to.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Tyler

    Jennie, I have followed your blog and looked forward to your recipes and wonderful writing for quite a while now. I just wanted to add to the others and let you know that you and your girls are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sami

    Thinking of you and your girls in this difficult time. I have only recently discovered your blog and you seem an amazing woman. Love from Australia xxx

  • Deborah Moazemi

    A prayer for Mikey
    I’ve sent this request…
    When Jenn’s lost in dreamland
    Make sure she has rest.
    Whisper you love her
    And each passing day
    You’ll embrace her and keep her
    Out of harm’s way.

  • Tania Stenzel

    Thought of you while I made pancakes for my boys the other day…I use your buttermilk pancake recipe.
    Butter and Baby Steps….a good combination.
    Much love.

  • Kelsey

    One day at a time, one pancake at a time. Nothing about the affirmation makes anything better, I know. Sending love, light, and energy your way.

  • Ellie

    I’ll be making pancakes tomorrow, with crispy edges…..the whole time I will think of you….

  • Ann

    I agree…butter does make the edges crispy. I’m glad to see your pancakes. They may be baby steps for you, but it’s a feast for my eyes…

  • Jackie

    Going to repeat what pretty much everyone else wrote and even though I don’t know you personally, I think you are amazing 🙂 You are so right about the butter! What my mom does (and I do now) is after each pancake is cooked she spreads it with butter and keeps them covered under a bowl to keep the moisture and warmth in xx-Jackie

  • Elise

    Thank you for your strength and passion. Thank you for reminding me that every day is a splendid gift. I had long forgotten. Stay strong and know that if you feel alone, many many of us are praying for you.

  • Sarah

    Ahh the perfect pancake, it’s a thing of beauty.
    I’ve been reading along through your journey and for what it’s worth I empathize with your loss having lost my mother, suddenly. I too blogged about the loss and her pancakes here: All I can say is that it does eventually get easier and your stories, pictures and memories are creating a lasting legacy. Your brave words are a balm for others’ wounds, both old and new. Thank you for that.

  • Sarah

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. This is my first time here. Ive been tearing up reading your posts. Hope your writing and blogging helps you heal and that you find the inner strength to go on.

  • Stephanie

    I made pancakes this morning for by boys. They lost their Papa Ken a couple of weeks ago, maybe it has been a few. I too, am in a haze. I lost my father-in-law who thought of me as his own daughter. I can’t sleep tonight, he has been on my mind all day long. He was an amazing man and touched so many. I did not know half of the things he accomplished in his life time until I read or heard about them by others. His funeral was attended by almost 1,000 people. That is a lot of lives he touched, but for me he was just a man who was like a father and an amazing grandfather. Birth is amazing and death just sucks. Words from others do seem to help the pain and they are still coming in. The New York Times ran an article on Ken a few Sundays ago and that was really wonderful sentiment. Your words are not going unheard either. Keep writing (and cooking) as it heals your heart and many of us out there.

  • Rachel T.

    Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Nights are always the worst. Something about that darkness… but just like Stephanie said, know that we’re all here rooting for you, sending our love and warmth through cable lines and wireless signals, and if you need us, we’re here. They always said that food nourishes the soul, so I think your choice is perfect. Keep cooking, keep taking pictures, and take it step by step. You can do this. You have no other choice. Keep that chin up, and again, we’re here if you need us.

  • Tracey

    How I remember—How I pray for you… My ear is here….I cry for you…
    Sending love your way.

  • Rachel Willen@FoodFix

    I know what you are talking about. Cooking connects me to my mother. And certain things, when I make them, feel like a whisper in my ear from her, the taste of them and the smell are embedded in my memory of her. If butter is the balm…go for it!

  • brainella

    Butter is why I love Paula Deen. I don’t care what Anothy Bourdain says…butter is love and Paula Deen loves us all. 🙂
    Keep up the love, Jennie.

  • Lisa Eysen

    I came to your blog (via Picky Palate) on the Friday that you requested everyone make a peanut butter pie in honor of Mikey. I made your peanut butter pie that evening, and my family loved it! I know I will be making the pie many more times. Praying that time will ease your pain and sorrow, and that sweet memories will comfort you.

  • Sandra Mott

    Your loss and the “darkness” is overwhelming but you are doing great! Before you know it the light will shine again but you have to move through at your own pace. Please keep sharing. We are here to listen whatever it may be…..a recipe, a tip or personal thoughts/feelings.
    Sending best wishes your way.

  • cherie

    You’re doing beautifully – fake it till you make it is a real skill – and it will at least keep you putting one foot in front of the other. It gives you hope than one day there will be light again and you’ll be there to see it.
    Nighttime is the time our minds run away with us – and the rollercoasters can be so freaking scary! Hug your kids. Read a book. Watch anything on TV that will hold your attention. If you can’t sleep, don’t just lie there in the dark. Get up and do something until you feel like you CAN sleep again.
    It will get better. But the now just stinks and you’re getting through it with such strength and grace that Mikey must be unbelievably proud.

  • elizabeth

    Just read the post this a.m. and within 5 minutes had pancakes going. Did blueberry-almond, though with a vegan daughter had to do some substitutions. Had noticed last night 2 cleaned and ready cups of blueberries in the fruit drawer, forgotten. So managed to stuff almost all of the berries into the pancakes from a recipe that called for 1/2 cup, because the berries won’t last. But sometimes we have to do that, Stuff life as full as possible while we can.

  • Kim in MD

    You make all the pancakes with all the butter you want, Jennie. Do whatever you have to do to get through each day. It will get better. Stay strong! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Jody

    I am continuing to pray for you and your family. I too have experienced the sudden death of a loved one, although not a spouse. May God grant you peace and strength and peace in the coming days.

  • Linda

    Of course it’s butter….yummmmm! You know, it took me years to realize that you can laugh and smile, but still be depressed and sad. I just found you because of Mikey’s death. What a wonderful thing it is to me to have found your blog. My love and thoughts are with you.

  • Fran

    God gave us memory that we might have roses in December. May you find comfort in each beautiful memory.
    You are an inspiration to us all.
    Sending lots of love and (((HUGGS))) your way from southern Alberta, Canada.

  • Donna

    well, from one “butter goddess to another” who the heck ever heard of a “healthy pancake” anyway? i mean seriously…i’m from the south…either a glass of sweet tea, cup of coffee, slice of hot cornbread (yep, slathered with LOTS of ooey-gooey melting butter and you BETTER not hold back any either bucko!) or anything for that matter made with butter is just G-O-O-D….ya know??? and just for the record, if you’re reading this still in your chair and not on the floor laughing, which i hope you are eventually, ’cause you need to do that too…laughter is healing for the soul too…anywho – butter is a good moisturizer (for dry skin)…must be why i have a dry fanny…think about it…it’ll hit you later. (it has stayed there and parked!) hahaha! 🙂

  • Denise

    Bless you, Jennie. The light is for looking outward and the making of pancakes and talking and figuring out how to do things now. The night is for wrapping the quite and solitude around yourself and feeling what you feel. It’s tough. But It does bring healing and, eventually, a kind of soft peace- you create a new relationship with yourself and with Mikey that’s tender and rich. Don’t be afraid. There is love all around.

  • Sue

    Beautiful picture, Jennie, as usual. I have been following your blog for a few months and your overwhelming loss stunned me. Hang in there, it will get better. Baby steps are the way to go. Hugs from New Jersey all the way to the Cape.

  • Michelle W. Flannery

    Hi Jennie!
    There are many roads we will travel in our lifetime. The road to recovery is just one of them, and pancakes are good food when you’re traveling on such roads. And as we in the south understand, butter is always a good thing to have! So bless you this day Jennie! Find a reason to smile today, and smile real big, because someone really needs to see it today.

  • Britt

    I am so in awe of you, Jennie. I cannot fathom how difficult this is/has been. Every time you post a tweet or publish a blog post, I stand in amazement. You have one of the biggest, strongest hearts I’ve ever known. Sending you hugs.

  • Lucy

    Butter is good. Many times food is the best expression of love that we as cooks can share. Keeping you and your girls in my prayers every night.

  • April

    Even better is butter in a cast iron pan. Now that’s a crunch!!
    One day at a time, or one minute at a time, whatever you can manage. I liked a quote from the movie Rabbit Hole (about losing a child)… Becca: Does it ever go away?
    Nat: No, I don’t think it does. Not for me, it hasn’t – has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.
    Becca: How?
    Nat: I don’t know… the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and… carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you… you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and – there it is. Oh right, that.
    I don’t know, not being in your shoes, that it will ever be that way for you, but I hope that you can move forward instead of treading water. hugs.

  • The Suzzzz

    Loss sucks, no matter who it is, but losing a partner is soul sucking. Keeping your hands seems to help start the healing process, in fact almost the only time I do bake is when I’m angry, sad, or grieving.
    Keep moving, don’t feel guilty when you have a happy moment or laugh. Let people take care of you when they offer, and take care of yourself physically. Also (when you are feeling up to it) go out and take care of others…service is a wonderful balm.
    There will eventually be whole hours when you don’t feel like crying or pulling the covers over your head. And believe it or not those hours turn into afternoons, then into days, and if you are really lucky they eventually turn into weeks.

  • Talia

    Hugs, hugs and hugs. Take each day and see where it leads.
    Use all the butter you need. I understand the muse part.
    You are inspirational…

  • carrie

    pancakes are a comfort aren’t they. I think we all have such unique pancake stories. My dad taught me to make them from the recipe that his mom used to teach him… (((((((((((hugs))))))))))))one little step at a time.

  • Gema

    Dear Jeannie
    Even if we don’t know each other, I am thinking of you every day. Just keep writing whatever you want to. We are all out there waiting for your posts and send you all our support.
    Just keep going, the road to recovery requires many little steps like this one. Nights are the worst, you are right, but after each night comes a brand new day.
    You and your daughters are in my thoughts.
    Lots of love from the other side of the ocean.

  • Betty-Ann

    You’ve just confirmed what I needed to hear about making pancakes…my son will only eat them if their edges are crispy!
    I can only imagine the depth of your sorrow. I never really understood what grief was until my mom died suddenly 4 years ago, and couldn’t believe how incredibly deep it was.
    One hour, one day at a time.

  • Alice Hart

    So sorry for your sudden loss. Food professionals have their arms around you. Hugs from Hollywood, CA
    Alice Hart, food stylist

  • Jori

    This recipe looks delish! I always want the crispy ring, but haven’t known how to get it. I guess Pam spray isn’t going to do the trick. 😉 I am praying for you. We are the same age and I have two daughters the same age as your girls. You are such a smart, strong woman. We are all cheering for you.Hugs.

  • Vickie Medley

    I hear you regarding the grieving at night. That was the time it hit me the hardest. But, I was almost glad it happened then so that my kids didn’t have to see me fall completely apart. Someone had to be there for them and I was the one. I always thought I’d write a book and call it “Grieving Through the Night” but never did. Instead, I focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
    Here is what worked for me when I couldn’t sleep. I would lay there and talk myself through relaxing my whole body. I would then say, over and over, it’s okay if I don’t sleep. I’m relaxing and that will help.
    It’s so hard to grieve alone and I wish that I could comfort you in some way. You are doing well with what you write and we all have your back.

  • joanne nixon

    hi jennie…i am so glad that you are able to express your feelings, and that there is this podium where you can speak frankly…it is good to be able to let things out instead of letting them pile up. i read so many wonderful wishes for you…i can only add one more…mine.
    i can only imagine what it is like to lose your soulmate. i am sure some days are better than others….you have such an amazing community of supporters, here and elsewhere.
    take all the time you need, jennie…..and use all the butter you want..

  • debr

    Hi Jennie: I only started following you when I learned of your loss. I am so sorry. You inspired me though I am sure it is of little consolation now. I guy I know has been bugging me to go out. A really good guy, but I kept putting him off, with all kinds of excuses, mostly out of fear. You made me realize how important it is not to let a minute go by, so I said yes. Thanks so much for your bravery and keep inspiring us with your stories and your recipes. Hang on during the nights. I know how dark they can be.

  • Amy

    we all start somewhere in our grief, don’t we? the important thing is just to start. however imperfect, ugly, messy.
    hugs from a married gal with two little kids.

  • cathy

    I lost my best friend about a year ago and I can’t begin to imagine what’s like to lose a loving partner, husband, and father, but the pain does get better. Time is your friend best right now. And I know it’s so clichéd, but take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time and eventually you will see the light. No one tells us how incredibly dark it is when we lose someone. Indescribably painful. My heart goes out to you and I wish you and your children the best.

  • Alicia Makjavich

    Oh, I just wanted to add that it does get better and easier…eventually. I lost my sister and my dad within 18 months of each other and at first was all that I thought about at every waking moment, the only relief was sleep (if I could), but when I would wake the overwhelming grief would quickly take over again. It took a few years before I didn’t think that I needed to call them about something important that had happened in my life that I wanted to tell them about. I still weep at times openly about them and I give myself permission to do so. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Anne

    Jennie, I am a true believer the universe will bring you what you need when you need it and for me it was your post. I have been with my high school sweet heart for over 30 years, married 26. When I read the raw words of your loss it shook me to my core….what if this were to happen to me? I want to thank you for reminding me to treat EVERY day as a gift….hug those that I love and to tell them EVERY DAY that I LOVE THEM.
    My thoughts are with you as you make your way through the journey ahead.

  • Julie

    I love you and your words. Think about you every day. I feel your words when you say everything you made was for him or inspired by him. We’re wrapping you in virtual hugs and I wish I could be there in person to hug you.

  • Delia

    I recently lost someone suddenly as well. I read something I think of often, “They lived. They laughed. They loved. They left.” But, there is nothing easy about it. ever. I’m so sorry.

  • Carolanne

    Oh my heart aches for you. Pancakes. Yes. I can see how this is healing in its beautiful simplicity.
    Let me say that I understand everyone grieves and heals in their own unique way even though there can be threads of similarity. And I honor your process.
    If it is alright, I would like to share with you an experience of loss and how I found a measure of healing with ‘baking baby steps’ just as you have.
    Our two-year-old son died unexpectedly a little over a year ago. Within days of his death, I was obsessed with baking rainbow sprinkle cupcakes. His pet name was, you guessed it, ‘cupcake.’ On his birthday, the year after his death, we asked friends and family to have a cupcake celebration to honor Liam. It was truly beautiful how many friends, near and far, participated and sent photographs.
    Heart-felt wishes of healing for you and your girls in the coming days (and nights).

  • CK

    You will get through this, one crispy edged pancake and memorized recipe at a time if that’s what helps. My dad died suddenly when I was 6, my sister 3 and my mom got through “by putting one foot in front of the other and living one minute to the next.”. She would never say it was easy, even now 40 some years later, but my sister and I are the women we have become because of her and how she handled that one event that changed our lives forever. Your grace and sorrow has touched so many but you are entitled to have your moments, feel the pain. Take care of yourself and remember you will get through every thing one at a time.

  • Andrea

    still thinking of and praying for you and your girls through the time of loss. My prayer is that Jesus will draw you to HIMself and give you the comfort that only HE can!
    Our family recently made the switch from margarine to butter – so much tastier 🙂

  • nancy k

    Jennie, I have been following your blog after a link posted on another blog related to your husban’ds suddden passing.I know from personal experience how devestating a sudden loss can be…a loss well before it should happen. You will get through…love your children, see their dad in their eyes and love, be good to yourself and stay connected to those close to you and all those here in the virtual world who are pulling for you.

  • Nicole

    I can’t imagine the depth of your loss but I am happy that you are trying to get back to some of the things you love.
    Food is so comforting, it doesn’t just nurture our bodies- it feeds our souls. The sight, the smell, even the sounds of the kitchen can remind us of places and things we love. Like the sound of our mother’s voice, or our boyfriend’s laugh, or just being with friends. I hope you find that special comfort the kitchen can bring.

  • Harry

    I just heard of your tragic loss through Sarah Kate at Apartment Therapy. There is nothing better than knowing how many people are being callled upon to help you through this even if it only means being in their thoughts.
    Mikey would be VERY proud of the way you’re coping. I’m proud of you.
    Que du beurre (nothing but butter)!
    Bon courage de Versailles, France

  • Roz@weightingfor50

    PERFECT PANCAKE PICTURE!!!! Yay for for taking the first baby step! You are amazing, brave and inspirational! Pass the butter and syrup! Warm wishes to you and your family!!!

  • Thepickyfoodie

    Dear Jennie —
    We can learn so much from our beautiful babies. They didn’t run before they could walk, they don’t live by “shoulds” or what other people think. They simply learn to put one foot in front of the other. Slowly, at their own pace.
    What I have found remarkable abut you since I started reading your words a while back is how much of your own person you are. Sometimes even the Internet can seem a bit cliquish but you have seemed to be your own person — calmly, without imposing anything on anyone, comfortable being you. I respect that and you a lot.
    I wrote lots more, and then deleted it all because basically all I want to say is that I’m sending a virtual hug and hope that every baby step becomes a little easier.
    No one will replace your husband or the magical marriage you shared, but know that you are now alone.
    I hope you and your daughters enjoy the pancakes.

  • Anne

    Jennie, you’re amazing. and so brave. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your girls constantly. God will carry you through this! You’re doing great, and just know that you’re NOT alone although you might feel like it. we’re all here for you.

  • Andrea

    I am writing this with tears rolling down my cheeks. Four years ago my husband died. I was nine months pregnant and our daughter was born two weeks after his death. After his death, God was my strength and He truly did pick me up and get me through it all. God will not leave your side, I promise.
    My heart goes out to you and your girls. I will keep your family in my prayers.

  • Jennifer

    I’m not very good at offering condolences, but just know you’re receiving very warm thoughts from me; incredible amounts of empathy and good wishes from a stranger. I know it doesn’t heal your heart, but I hope it gives you the tiniest bit of comfort.

  • Pat Kuhn

    I cook the pancakes in butter and then put butter on them! you can never have too much butter!!! keep taking those steps Jennie, we are all here for you! love and hugs

  • Vanessa

    I have to admit, I feel hesitant to post as this is my first visit to your site. But I read your last post followed by about 10 more and couldn’t stop. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. It’s true life is so short and we never know what tomorrow will hold. I hope you and your girls find the strength you need and in the meantime I think mornings or evenings with cozy pancakes are about as good a way as any. Extra butter of course. Oh, and a few chocolate chips don’t hurt either.

  • Aseneth Luna Martinez

    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    you and your family are in my prayers… May God grant you peace and strength.

  • Lindy

    sweet child, my heart breaks for you and your babies. Know that we are all thinking of you, always! Look out your window, if it is night, see the stars or maybe the moon,or maybe just the darkness……WE ARE there……sweet kisses to heaven and sweet kisses to you!
    I’ve been there….

  • Ross Murray

    My Granny always used to make the most wonderful fried apples and I kept trying to remember for years her recipe for them and I just couldn’t ever seem to get it right. I mean the ones that made were passable, but not as good and I was ready to just say that everything Granny made was better. Then one day I remembered how she made them. It was the butter. She would take Golden Delicious apples or whatever she had on hand and slice them up in wedges and then brown them in butter. Only after all of the apples were browned would she add sugar to them so that the water would be drawn out of the apples. Then turning and stirring the apples frequently until the water all evaporates and the sugar is caramelized to the desired brownness. Now that I’ve rediscovered this wonderful treat I make them fairly often with biscuits for breakfast…but the secret was the butter. It was always the butter.

  • joanne

    I think of you often thru the day and I pray for you and your family. Just breathe and let all of us pray. Your spiritual family is huge.
    My husband is slipping away slowly due to a terminal illness. It hurts and Im afraid. I ache. Did you know you can cry your brains out on the lawnmower? No one can hear you.

  • Valerie

    Hi Jenny, funny the pancake post..just told my hubbe today about my dearest Mom whipping them up for me and my dad (for dinner) when I was little….my heart breaks daily for her…she died last April…love, Valerie xo

  • Rucy

    (((I’m so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you and yours))). My mother always said ‘butter makes everything better’, she was right, after she died I made pancakes and the homemade syrups she used to make when I was a kid (butter, sugar, melted in a pan and then a little juice or extract/spice to flavor – my choice and I usually picked vanilla, orange & cinnamon), just the act of making them and I felt closer to her, it helped me recall the happy memories. So Jennie, I think if you’re making pancakes, you’re on the road.

  • Butterfly

    I am so sorry for what has happened to you and your family. Life will probably be a roller coaster of emotion for you for a while as you adjust to your new normal. Every day that you are still breathing and alive is proof that you are doing everything right. We all think you are awesome.
    – Butterfly

  • Tiffany

    I stumbled upon your blog this morning, and I’ve been crying so hard that I’m now going to have to go change my shirt, it is that wet with tears. I’m so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you as you move forward without your husband. Life is just so precious.

  • Rebecca

    I made these pancakes this morning for you and for Mikey. My heart is with you, as well as my prayers.

  • Nicole

    i am a recent reader of your blog, but i have fallen in love. all of your posts are wonderful. i am trying out one of your recipes tonight, the walnut brownies, and i have a question. by “cocoa powder” do you mean sweetened or unsweetened. is there a general rule of which you are supposed to use if it is not specified?
    Thank you so much, i am truly inspired by your creations

  • Sasha

    Honestly the only thing that will ever give you peace is the Lord. I don’t know you or anything about you but He is the only one that can comfort an aching soul in those dark nights. Praying for you,

  • Marci

    I am a lurker; I rarely comment on blogs, anyone’s. But I have so enjoyed reading yours and was devastated when I read of your husband’s death. It’s strange, really, but I was quite affected by your loss although I don’t know you except by reading your posts. While people I love have died, none were as young; in my life, no death was so unexpected.Still, although I have never known what you are going through, I am so, so sorry. I can say, from my experiences with losing someone I love, that the pain does become less acute as time goes by, but, perhaps as it should be, it never goes away completely. So–putting one foot in front of the other is an accomplishment. Making pancakes is a triumph. And your children are reasons to embrace life, just as he would want you to do. I wish you peace as you progress through this agonizing process of grieving.

  • Amy Lee

    I found your blog from Sweet Sugar Belle. I know you’ve heard this a million times in the last 20 days, but I am so sorry. I cannot even begin to imagine going through what you are going through. My heart breaks for you and my thoughts are with you in this rough time. {{{HUGS}}}

  • Sarah

    We have never met but I think of you often. Please hang in there using butter or whatever else makes it easier for you. Love to your girls.

  • Jacqui

    Jennie- I came across your blog looking for a peanut butter/chocolate cake recipe for my son’s birthday this weekend and was stopped in my tracks! I read and cried and thought how much I take things for granted, I hope and pray for you and your family!

  • Amanda

    Dear Jennie,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your devastating loss. I wish peace for you and your girls.

  • Katie

    It feels silly to comment when you don’t know me, but I figure there is never too much love and kindness.
    Hold on to the memories, and keep making pancakes. I’m so sorry and keeping you in my prayers.

  • Brittnee

    Jennie, my heart goes out to you and all other women who have to live without their spouse. To live without them feels like the end of the world. I hope food blogging and everyone’s kind words gives you strength to stay strong for your girls and helps you to start on your new life. Keep strong and we will all be here to help you through your baby steps!

  • A.

    It it late at night. I was just thinking about you and your daughter.
    From reading your story, I realize that I have taken what I have at home for granted. In some ways, your story has touched so many of us.
    I am sorry for your pain. It is not fair.

  • victoria

    You gorgeous girl, how the simple things become so challenging, as you say things you did in your sleep once. I have lost someone very close to me in only the past two weeks. Not a husband, partner, lover, but still someone who was a part of me from the day I came into the world and finding a way without them, well it’s overwhelming at times. I’m sorry for your loss and really do wish you great strength and hope you have wonderful support around you. x

  • Brittany

    this is the first time i’ve stopped by your blog. what an introduction.
    my heart goes out to you. i know nothing of what exactly you’re going through right now, but i do understand the need for memories and routine. <3

  • Teena

    Jennie, you’ve made me realize how valuable every single day is with those we love. Thanks for sharing your story, and your love for your girls and Mikey. My heart goes out to you.

  • Andrea in Vermont

    Oh… I don’t know you, but I know grief… I’m so sorry that you are gripped by its sudden, relentless grasp right now, yet also thankful that you are clearly surrounded by so much love. As you are coming to know, there is no way around this but *through* it, and it is a journey full of mysterious twists and turns, ups and downs, steps forward and back, memories and dreams. I wish you and your girls all the love and support you have and more, all the space and all the connection that you need, and all the joy and blessings that you will find together. May the light of the universe shine within you, especially in the times that seem darkest.

  • Gail

    You are a wonderful writer. It is the food, your life, and everything in between. I am so sorry that you have to endure this pain. I am rooting for you and your girls to make your way through this painful time, and find the brightness and hopefulness again.

  • charlotte

    Jennie, I do not begin to comprehend your grief and pain right now. But I want to offer you hope. My sister told me about Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. She works with the woman who founded it for a workshop they do every year. This foundation offers support and help and advice for recently widowed people. It was founded by a woman who was widowed young herself. They help many people every day. Check it out on line if you feel it would help you. My sister speaks very highly of them.

  • Michelle Lorie

    God has the strength that you need.. rest your head upon His shoulder. Peace and blessings to you and your family.

  • ~Chelsea~

    I just stumbled upon your blog from another, and have read your most recent posts . . . I am beyond sorry for your loss.
    I understand it far too well, as my husband died just under 2 1/2yrs ago, and I have two young girls. Of course, everyone’s story is different, but I know the pain and fog of grief. (I actually found your blog while looking for recipes, as my husband was a chef in and out of the house and cooking has never been my strong suit . . . )
    As others said, baby steps are something to be proud of. People will comment endlessly on your strength and how ‘good you look’ for that is what they want to see – and you likely won’t feel it . . . the nights you talk about where you feel anything but strong and don’t know how you will get through – but moving forward, no matter how little at a time (and sometimes you go backwards too), takes incredible strength. I wouldn’t have thought so 28 months ago, but I see it now.
    I am holding you in my heart, and just know there is a large number of others in the young widowed community – and if/when you would like, we are all here to walk alongside you. I felt completely isolated in those early months, and am happy to provide some of the on-line resources I found if that’s of any help. Entry to the ‘club’ is the worst price ever, but the members are incredible.

  • Cynthia

    Thank you for staying connected and inviting us in, even though it might feel differently – that we are barging in – but we are out here and we care…baby steps is fine, just fine. Peace and strength for the dark times, for whenever you need them…

  • Liss

    After reading through all of your recent posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that those are the most beautiful pancakes I’ve ever seen in my life.
    Sweet Lady, my heart absolutely breaks for you and your girls. Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.
    In time, You will find your muse again, in your childrens laughter and joy. hugs to you

  • Debra

    just wanted to let you know that I made homemade pancakes with BUTTER in the pan & they were SO MUCH BUTTER! I usually use cooking spray, but not anymore. Thanks! Hugs!

  • Giselle@Baking in Heels

    Yes….butter gives that crispy edge that makes the pancake so yummy. One step at a time Jennie….one step. You have to do it at your pace and in your time. Everyone is different and handles things in different ways. My mother died suddenly a little over two years ago…I still do it one day at a time. It’s all I can do….and hang on to every single memory I have of her. (((HUGS)))

  • Evie

    Hey Jennie, You’re doing amazing. I just lost my husband in January and I know all your feelings. Im 36 and just like your husband, my husband wasn’t suppose to leave so early. He passed away from cancer. I was a caterer and big foodie but I haven’t cooked for almost a year and totally lost myself. I had no passion or care for anything after he passed. Just recently, I started again to try and find myself in my love for cooking. I was looking at your pancakes and I so admire you for not giving up. I’m sorry for all your pain but it gets better with time. Warm words and hugs are great when the pain seems too much… Big hugs and my thoughts are with you…


    I think you’re brave. Far braver than I would be. I hope this new life that is possible – the one you didn’t ask for – holds wonderful things for you. I’m betting it does. In the meantime, you might want to consider kicking people who give you ridiculous advice. This is probably the only time you’ll get away with it…

  • Marsha

    My heart goes out to you. My husband is the air I breathe and I can’t imagine life without him. I smiled when I read about the butter because my husband loves real butter and his favorite phrase when any food that requires butter is being eaten is, Real Butter is Real Good! Sounds dumb but it will always make me smile. Sending you hugs and smiles for better days ahead.