Too often, we don’t think about the deep connection between food and family. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of kids schedules or busy work lives. In Dawn Lerman’s new book “My Fat Dad – A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, with Recipes.” Dawn details her life growing up with a talented and dynamic Father who had a serious weight problem. She shares the impact his numerous fad diets had on her life and how her Grandmother Beauty taught her the real meaning of nurishing both body and soul.
When I received the excerpt of Dawns book, I read all 42 pages in the span of about 20 minutes. It is so well written and her stories pull you in to how she felt as a child. Her feelings of being hungry all the time as her family tried to support her fathers numerous diets, to the tantalizing, comforting food and loving attention she received at the arms (and in the kitchen) of her Grandmother Beauty.
In each chapter, Dawn shares poignant stories from her childhood. From her excitement over having a baby sister, to being mortified over getting sick all over her grandmother Bubbe’s couch, to learning how to behave at weekend parties in the Hamptons, to cooking healthy meals for her Dad while her Mom and little sister were on tour, to dealing with her parents divorce and her fathers cancer. Every chapter tells a heartfelt story of food, love and memories.
Dawn said recently in an interview about her book that: “Food nourishes our soul. It’s not so much about the calories or the ingredients but who we’re eating with, tasting with and the memories that go along with it.” I couldn’t agree more!
Throughout her book, Dawn’s deep love for her sister April is evident in everything she shares. This is one of my fondest stories about how food can bond us to the ones we love:
“My little sister April and I loved to play a game called “Big Sister Little Sister.” Whoever was the big sister would make an elaborate snack for the other. The little sister also got to be the royal princess for the evening and would lounge in my parent’s bed—our magical fortress. We were not really allowed to be in my parent’s room or eat in their bed but when they were out, the house was ours and their bed was our castle. When it was my turn I would create elaborate dishes that I meticulously prepared, after all I was 9. When it was April’s turn to make our snacks, since she was only four, she would mush a pecan between two unpitted dates and crumple Cheerios or coconut flakes on top of it and call it pecan pie.. “For you my princess,” she would say. “I made this all by myself, for you.” Many decades later this is still one of our favorite desserts as it is both sinfully sweet and delicious but outrageously healthy.”
As soon as I read this story, I knew I had to make Aprils version of a Mock Pecan Pie. I’m all about a sweet and healthy treat and desserts, well, y’all know how I feel about those! YUM! While I never had a sister, I do have a precious and beautiful granddaughter whom I adore. Her Daddy calls her a Princess, so I’m certain that counts. She’ll be two this week and I think she’d love to make these on her own!
April's Mock Pecan Pie
- 6 medjool dates
- 6 teaspoons of nut butter
- 6 crushed pecans
- 12 chocolate chips
- Powder sugar or coconut sprinkles
- Make a vertical split in the date and remove the pit.
- Fill the center of each half with a half teaspoon of nut butter.
- Then top with chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar or coconut flakes!
I have now read “My Fat Dad” cover to cover three times. Each time I’ve learned something new and discovered yet another recipe I want to try. This book is deeply personal and such a great read! Like sharing a great recipe or a fabulous new restaurant, I am blessed to share this book with you! You simply must experience it for yourself!
If you’d like a copy of this amazing book, follow this link to purchase it on Amazon! My Fat Dad, A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, with Recipes.
You won’t regret it and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down!
Follow Dawn on all her social media outlets too!
Dawn Lerman, MA, C.H.H.C, LCAT, AADP
Nutrition Consultant, Speaker & Writer
Here is her newest column: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/author/dawn-lerman/
NY Times Column
Facebook: Author Page
My heartfelt thanks to Dawn for sharing her stories and recipes with the world and for letting me share this wonderful book with you! By the way, Dawn? I think Joyce was right. “You are magnetic. You are intuitive. Big success awaits you… and you have a story to tell!”