I’m always looking for a good book to read while I’m at the gym. It makes the time go so much faster, especially if it’s a captivating book, which is why I want to share with you My Fat Dad by Dawn Leman, who pens The New York Times‘ Well Blog series.
Even though I grew up in a Chinese household, Dawn’s stories about her Jewish family and the importance of food and the memories it evoked hit a chord with me, pretty much from the start. Yes, the many experiences of living in Chicago or New York are not particularly similar, but the sense of family — especially Dawn’s grandma, Beauty — brought back intense memories of my own grandma.
Each chapter revolves around a situation or incident involving food, and at the end of the chapter, the recipes are provided should you wish to create them yourself. There are many memories Dawn shares about her baking with her grandma, or aunt. I do not have those memories. I was pretty much shoo-ed out of the kitchen by my paternal grandmother AND my mother when I wanted to hover and watch what they were doing. But somehow, the traditions and recipes are passed down regardless.
I’m not going to spoil the book for you. But I will say this. It is anecdotal, humorous and heartwarming. I especially laughed at the bit about how margarine is better for you than butter! How times have changed. A highly recommended read if food played (or still plays) a pivotal role in your life, and that of your family’s.
You can purchase My Fat Dad from Amazon.com