This auction is now closed. Winning bid=$125. Thank you so much to all of you who bid so generously to help out #afundforjennie!
What does it take for a group of people to band together? To circle the wagons around one of their own? What does it take to shock us out of our own little spheres into the larger sphere of community, of caring, of doing?
Sometimes, it is a catastrophic event on a global level. An earthquake. A hurricane. A terrorist attack. And sometimes, it is the raw, primal pain of one woman. A single electronic transmission of a sadness so profound that it shakes us all. He's gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces. It truly was the tweet that was heard around the food blogging world and beyond. It's chilling, because it's terrifyingly familiar.
How many of us have played--right or wrong--the what if game? What would happen if--; what would I do if--; how would I raise my kids if--? And now, we know the first step is declaring our hearts shattered in a million pieces.
After the initial shock, we all looked at ourselves and each other wondering what we could do to help. And then, we were given a gift. In the midst of profound grief, Jennifer Perillo gave us something to do. Gave us a recipe to follow and a more-than-compelling reason to follow it. We measured, we mixed, we chilled, we photographed. We ate our peanut butter pies for Mikey. With dear ones.
But as initial shock wears off, reality sets in. Jennie is now having to fill in the blanks of all the what if questions. Questions that nobody ever wants to have to answer. At least until we are old and gray, until our children are married, until we've had our On Golden Pond years.
And now, Bloggers Without Borders, an amazing fledgling non-profit set up to help bloggers--or bloggers' causes--steps in. Their maiden fundraising project is A Fund for Jennie. Thousands of people have given money that will go to Jennie to ease her transition to single mother. To date, over $63,000 has been raised through the site. And that is amazing. This project is officially "funded," but if you'd like to contribute, please click on the BWOB badge in my sidebar and specify that the funds go to #afundforjennie.
But still, we looked at each other and wondered what we, as individuals, could do. Could we still cook, bake, photograph, write and have those acts help in a real and substantial way? The answer is yes. When a tragedy is small enough--is personal enough--for us to be able to fully imagine it, it becomes our tragedy. And the auctions began. And the auctions continue. Each person offering what they can--their best of whatever it is that they do--to help Jennie and her family. Most of us only know her as a byline, as a food blog, as a fellow sailor on the twitter sea, but we all want to help. And so we do.
And what do I do best? I bake. And what am I best at baking? Pound cake. The best pound cake in the world. I've made dozens of iterations of this cake, and I rarely make it the same way twice. It is moist. It is flavorful. It is made with love and passion. I use the best ingredients, including eggs from our girls. This cake has given people goosebumps. Seriously. It is so good, it will make you shiver.
If you don't believe me, believe my dear friend Mary Lou. This is what she says about my pound cake: Don't get me started on the awesome deliciousness of the Van Halen Pound Cake. It will rock your world.
And so, in the spirit of helping Jennie--in some small way--to rebuild her life in what is her new reality, I offer My Best to the highest bidder.
The winning bidder wins one Van Halen Pound Cake in the flavor of their choice: vanilla, brown sugar-cinnamon; cinnamon-orange; mocha, chocolate, lemon, coffee, coffee-orange. Have other ideas? As the winning bidder, you can email me with your own flavor idea. If I know I can make it happen and have the cake live up to my High, High Pound Cake Standards, consider it done. I'll ship it to anywhere. Anywhere. And all the money goes to #afundforjennie.
Bidding starts now and goes through next Tuesday, September 13, at noon, EDT. Please bid in the comments section. Let's start it out at $75, shall we?
This Just In: My kind and generous father heard that I was auctioning off a Van Halen Pound Cake and decided to sweeten the deal. He is offering 6 classical music CDs. He has enjoyed and sung with all of them, and now he'd like to pass them along to a lucky bidder to enjoy while munching on pound cake!
- Andrea Bocelli: My Christmas
- Brass in Berlin: Canadian Brass & The Berlin Philharmonic Brass
- The 3 Tenors: Paris, 1998
- Classics Greatest Hits from RCA Victor
- Luciano Pavarotti: Verismo Arias
- Pavarotti: Great Tenor Arias
Thanks, dad. What a great addition to the auction!
And to get you in the mood, here's Luciano singing my Absolute Favorite Aria Ever: