Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Fund for Jennie

As I read Gluten Free Girl's recent blog post: a fund for Jennie, I was reminded that I discovered Jennifer Perillo's blog, In Jennie's Kitchen, whilst searching for a tomato jam recipe way back in 2009.  I have never met Jennie, but her warmth and determination permeates every word of her writing.  She cooks for people she loves and that love shines from the pages of her blog.  Her recipes are inclusive, healthful, and interwoven with care.  She writes in way I wish I could, she posts recipes I wish I had come up with.  As many of you will know, just over two weeks ago her husband, Mikey, died suddenly.  On Monday, she wrote this.  "Mikey was my muse. Pretty much every recipe I ever created was inspired by or made with him in mind."  I can identify with this, on days when Crohn's makes me feel like hiding in bed all day, my Husband is the force that drives me into the kitchen, his enjoyment of a meal is all I need to feel like I have accomplished something.  I could not begin to contemplate a life without him.

Sadly, life without Mikey is exactly what Jennie and her girls, ages 3 and 8, are facing.  The emotional impact of the sudden loss of husband and father is just one part of the story.  

There is a financial impact, too.  Bloggers without Borders is a not for profit, blogger based charity that has provided the platform for all of those who want to do something to help.  Here is an excerpt from the project page #afundforjennie:

From Shauna:
“As you can imagine, Jennie is overwhelmed not only by her grief, and the sudden responsibility of raising two children by herself, but she is also struggling with this financially. She just learned that she cannot collect widow’s benefits from Social Security because she earns too much money each year. The health insurance for her and her kids runs out in December and she just learned that the total she will have to pay will be more than her mortgage. It’s possible she’ll have to pay off the entire mortgage in one lump sum because the apartment was in his name alone.
And more than anything, Mikey wanted Jennie to continue living her dream of being a food writer. And he wanted to make sure his kids were taken care of well. That’s why he worked as hard as he did.”
This fund will help Jennie to do just that: to continue to work and take care of the girls with some peace of mind.

One of the unintended benefits of writing a blog has been the community I have become a part of; I can offer advice and support to a fellow Crohn's and Coeliac sufferer in Brighton, and test recipes for a cookbook writer in Seattle, and this community is pulling together to help.  Many of the auctions are based in the USA, so I would like to contribute something to enable the UK food blogging community to participate.  

So, I am offering a homemade gluten free hamper, delivered to you in time for Christmas (if you live in the South East of England I will deliver it to you by my own fair hand, if not then your lovely postman or woman will have the honour) containing all the items I make for the ones I love.  It will definately include Tomato Jam, Cranberry and Clementine Sauce, Cardomon and Chilli Chocolates, Champange Truffles, and Gluten Free Christmas Cake.  I will add various other chutneys, pickles, and baked goods dependent on what my garden produces in the rest of the summer/autumn.  I shall happily cater for all other dietary requirements and I'll even throw in a few handwritten recipes for you to try. 
All ready to post! (Photo updated 6th December 2011)

I suggest that bidding starts at £20.  Leave a comment below to make your bid, the auction closes at 5pm BST on 7th September 2011.

Donate to Bloggers Without Borders


  1. Hiya, I'll start your bidding at £20 (Kay H)

  2. Sounds very nice.... £23

  3. I live in the US, but would love to bid for a great cause, then give the prize as a present to friends in London. Put me in for £30.

  4. Inspired by the amount raised thus far for Jennie and her girls. And my London friends, husband and wife both with gluten issues, will love this basket. I'm offering £40.

  5. What a great cause. I'd like to bid £45.

  6. Last chance bid = £53.

  7. Sounds totally amazing! Wish I could afford to put in a higher bid! :)

  8. Congratulations, Eleanor! You have won the auction - the Christmas hamper is yours. Drop me an email at glutenfreekuk at gmail dot com and I'll give you the details.

  9. Ooh, how exciting - thank you very much!