(Editor’s note: This letter was originally composed last summer yet was never sent to the intended recipient in fear of being a pain in the ass. After meeting Ms. Lancaster at Blissdom ’09 this weekend, I feel compelled to share it. Let’s just say she signed my copy of “Such a Pretty Fat” with the following quip: “Pamela – I will not run for cake. XO, Jen Lancaster”)
August 24, 2008
Dear Ms. Lancaster-
I wanted to write you a quick note to let you know how much I am enjoying your latest memoir, “Such a Pretty Fat”. It is engaging, entertaining, and has completely captured my attention.
In fact, on my return flight today from a week working in Boston, I picked up the paperback and voraciously took it in, just as I did a cream puff (or two) from Mike’s Pastry in the North End in the days prior. From reading to sleeping, sleeping to reading, it was a delightful sequence of activity to pass the afternoon. (Could anyone get me an éclair, please?)
So, allow me to cut to the chase, here is the issue at hand. I had done quite well in controlling my appetite during a long stress-filled week of work in a city of unfamiliar cuisine. As I mentioned, I did have a pastry here and there, however I happily ate salads and seafood throughout the week as I dined on New England fare (READ: small, reasonable portions). Upon my return to the Midwest plus reading Chapter Seven of your latest book, I suddenly was overcome (like a crack addict) with an incredible urge to devour ribs slathered in barbeque sauce – sweet and sassy – meaty and more meaty. By the time my flight landed nearly two hours late in the Twin Cities, I was indexing all of the establishments that I could coerce my exhausted husband and son into stopping at on the way home, as I knew there were no ribs for me there. I even started to add meat items to the list, such as brisket and wings.
Why such the loss of self-control? Perhaps the stress got the best of me. The exhaustion, maybe. But, honestly my slight complaint is regarding the manner in which you juxtaposed romaine to ribs that put me over the edge. I am sorry, but I must blame you for my personal gluttony of the day. And the ribs, the brisket, the cornbread (with butter), the baked beans, the fries, and the pecan pie. Not to mention the romaine lettuce salad I ordered out of pure logic (and hardly touched) that simply made everything look so much more delicious.
We arrived at Famous Dave’s less than 15 minutes after getting loaded into our vehicle in airport parking. Due to my inability to pull myself together in these critical 15 minutes, I now have at least 60 minutes of cardio staring me in the face tomorrow morning. No thanks to you.