The MOM 100 Blog

Today I Feel Like Talking About My Dad

by Katie Workman  •  April 10, 2013
My dad, Peter Workman

My dad, Peter Workman

My dad died Sunday.  The words don’t look right sitting on the page, they don’t feel like they belong to me, they must have been written by someone else, someone with a dead father.

He was sick for 6 months.  A long time.  No, a short time.  Kind of a lifetime.  It was brain cancer, and the kind where from the beginning you know what the end of the story will be, you just don’t know how many pages the book has or what happens in the chapters leading up to the end.

My dad was an amazing man.  I can say it, and mean it, but he was actually the kind of amazing man where a lot of other people are saying it, too.

Dad was an eater.  Boy, did he love food.  And like all great eaters, he was just as eye-rollingly happy with a fantastic tuna salad and a box of Triscuits as he was with a multi-course meal at Le Bernardin.   He was probably happiest if there were ribs involved.  We are a full on food family; my mother, my sister and I all cook, we entertain, we are the type of family that talks about lunch with our mouths full of breakfast.

Dad talked about really good food with reverence and huge joy, as he talked about a stirring symphony or a wonderful piece of art.  There were italics in the way he spoke of something he loved. ”That cheese is marvelous!” “She made a chocolate tart that was in fact, very possibly the best chocolate tart in the world.”  “The meal was just simply extraordinary.  No really, it was extraordinary.” He really wanted you to understand Just.  How.  Good. This. Was.  Though often from the look on his face you weren’t quite getting how extraordinary this meal had been.

He ate very slowly.  Like, very slowly.  As in, on any typical Thanksgiving people were starting in on the pies and he was reaching for another wing.

It took a little while for his appetite to change, and there were a bunch of ebbs and flows.  Early on, there were still requests for pastrami sandwiches, turkey platters with all the trimmings.  At the end a sip of apple juice was a chore.

Right after his surgery in late September, which was right after his diagnosis, he was in the hospital and a specialist came in and cheerfully announced, “Hi, I’m Cindy from Swallowing!”  It wasn’t a joke; she was there to evaluate his ability to chew and swallow.  She spooned a little canned pear into his mouth, then let him nibble a Lorna Doone.  “I think we can put you onto a mechanical soft diet!” she announced, explaining that that meant small bites of pre-cut soft foods.  She left.  Dad looked at me, and opened a bag of pretzels someone had left lying around and ate them.  Bite that, Cindy from Swallowing.

We all made him food.  Sometimes he wanted to eat it, sometimes he didn’t.  Sometimes he would take a bite, sometimes he would eat a real meal, sometimes he would just smile and shrug.

The night before Christmas he was back in the hospital and I told him I would bring dinner the next night, and asked him what he wanted.  He didn’t know.  I suggested chicken soup, noodle pudding — unchallenging, gentle foods.  “How about prime rib?” suggested a visiting friend.  “Oh, yes, and Yorkshire pudding!” he said.  And the next night he ate it, our family sitting in a shitty windowless conference/supply room with hideously bright fluorescent lights  and the occasional nurse popping into the room for a fresh bandage or catheter.

Towards the end when he wasn’t eating much at all, I cut a paper thin sliver of pear and handed it to him.  He ate it very slowly.  His nurse and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows, a silent tiny triumph.  I handed him another transparent slice.  Then another.  One hour later, the pear was eaten.  It was the most beautiful core of fruit I have ever seen.

If food is love, and someone won’t or can’t eat, it feels terrible.

So, my dad died on Sunday.  We are all doing kinda sorta ok, for now, and because it’s my way of coping you will shortly see this blog ramped up again with recipes, and food-and-family reflections and the like.  But today I feel like talking about my dad.

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THERE ARE 110 COMMENTS ON THIS POST:

  1. Jul 10, 2014
    @ 22:38 PM
    Jonathon Lazear says ....

    Oh, Katie, I am so late to this party, but my tardiness does not diminish my great respect for your Dad. He was someone to look up to, admire, and find accountable for great creative thought and brilliant publishing. Plus he has a wonderful family. Peace, Jonathon Lazear

    Reply

  2. Aug 2, 2013
    @ 01:30 AM
    ashley @ little miss momma says ....

    so absolutely beautiful and touching. thank you for sharing your heart and your fathers sweet spirit.

    Reply

  3. Jul 9, 2013
    @ 19:33 PM
    Tess says ....

    BEAUTIFUL. I felt like I was witnessing his Christmas meal and the pear. Thank you. I lost my dad to cancer also ~ many years ago. I was 18, he was 59.

    At 52, I still miss him a lot.

    Reply

    • Jul 11, 2013
      @ 16:29 PM
      Katie Workman says ....

      Thank you, Tess. I think the missing must evolve, but never end.

      Reply

  4. Apr 29, 2013
    @ 19:27 PM
    Joe Spieler says ....

    I knew your dad, sold him books, lost money to him at poker (mostly), cadged rides from him after the game so I could catch the last train out of Grand Central, and I always felt free to ask his advice, and he always freely gave it and he always considered carefully what he said.
    We had a number of points of connection (and we had some fine home-style food together–I have a memory of Peter happily going at a large order of mashed potatoes at an eatery near his office). The last such was a special Spieler Agency-Workman Publishing clause we devised for our most recent contract together: if the author delivered on time, Peter was going to stand me to a steak dinner at Peter Luger’s. I made sure my client delivered on time, but by then it was too late.
    Your dad was super-smart, focused, generous, supremely honest in every way. I came to love him, and I will always miss him.

    Reply

    • Apr 29, 2013
      @ 21:54 PM
      Katie Workman says ....

      what a good story. thank you so much.

      Reply

  5. Apr 29, 2013
    @ 08:01 AM
    Lisa says ....

    What a beautiful post and tribute. Fitting, then, that the last time I saw your father was a lively lunch hour in Snack Taverna. He was an inspiration and a legend and will be much missed.

    Reply

  6. Apr 24, 2013
    @ 19:43 PM
    Vicki Stephenson Hatch says ....

    Thank you for the brave posting. I lost my beautiful wonderful Mother on April 1st, 2013 and I’m struggling everyday trying to right the world. It is really hard when I realized that I had never been in the world with out her here with me. So many beautiful memories and reminders. Thank you for sharing your memories of your Dad.

    Reply

  7. Apr 23, 2013
    @ 15:24 PM
    Kari says ....

    My grandmother, who taught me how to cook and how to love people through food, died Palm Sunday 2009. It was fitting – she without fail would get her new palms each year at church; and she was a bit of a lottery player. She died 12:34 on 4/5 – 12345. :) At Hospice (truly, SAINTS work there) the ladies struggled to find something she would eat. “How about a crab cake Nana?” A big smile and “yes!” I watched the staff nutritionist make a batch. Then watched her fork Every. Last. Bite. And then, unheard of because she was always so ladylike, she moved her fingers across the plate searching for crumbs. That ended up being her last meal. Later that evening, she slipped peacefully from nap to coma, and a day and a half later from this world to the next. Crab cakes are now reverent for us. And when I make them, I copy the recipe from that kind nutritionist who brought such joy to a truly beautiful, inspirational person in my life.

    Reply

  8. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 20:08 PM
    Cathy Neistat says ....

    Hi Katie,
    I too lost my dad very recently. Cancer, doesn’t matter what kind, doesn’t discriminate. I can tell you honestly that in my family, food has not only been ‘love’ but not partaking in it feels like a rejection and insult. My daughter is a chef, I’ve helped write two cookbooks and my mother is known in Denver as one of the quintessential jewish cooks.
    That aside, I want to constantly talk about my dad. And I do, and I cry and just when I feel as though I’ve rounded a corner…a business associate, a bank teller, and restaurant manager will simply look at me and say what I hear REPEATEDLY, “you’re father was my favorite.” He was certainly mine and I urge you to keep talking, keep sharing, don’t be afraid to cry in front of everyone.
    And as I close this message, I too wonder where my dad is…daily.
    Stay strong, let’s share recipes if you wish or just food celebration stories.
    Cathy

    Reply

  9. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 17:58 PM
    Florence Janovic says ....

    You are a marvel! The apple and the tree line is obviously correct.

    Reply

  10. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 14:24 PM
    Bob Diforio says ....

    Dear Katie –

    Thank you so much for this post, given us insight into Peter’s last months with his cherished family.

    Equal to Peter’s love of food – and so many other interests, he was indeed in love with life – was his love for golf and the publishing/printing/paper golf group of some fifty years duration which Peter and I have headed the last many years saw his keen enjoyment at first hand. It never rained on the golf course – even when it was pouring – when Peter played, because his love of the game was all the sunshine we needed.

    Yesterday, we had our first outing of the year and the first one missed by Peter in many years. We will never stop missing him
    and loving the man who brought such good cheer into all of our lives.

    Reply

  11. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 13:31 PM
    Family Foodie says ....

    Katie,
    I can only imagine how proud of you, your dad must have been.
    What a beautiful piece in honor of a great dad!
    Sending you big hugs,
    Isabel

    Reply

  12. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 11:48 AM
    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious says ....

    A beautifully written tribute, moving and filled with love. It was a privilege to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us, and please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved dad.

    Reply

  13. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 09:38 AM
    Judy bart kancigor says ....

    Brilliant and poignant essay katie and fitting tribute to a unique visionary in the publishing world. Thank you for showing us this other side as a loving and loved dad. He welcomed me as a newbie author…and never minded the occasional samples i brought either! You’ve obviously touched so many as evidenced by the stories posted here. I too totally relate, having lost my mom a year and a half ago at 93. And like you what sticks in my mind is this woman who loved life and loved food spent her last days unable to eat. How i thank god i got her that hot fudge sundae – her first ever – before her appetite failed. And how i thank peter workman for allowing me to memorialize her and the whole meshpuchah. My heart goes out to you and your family katie.

    Reply

    • Apr 19, 2013
      @ 09:53 AM
      Katie Workman says ....

      I am so glad you got her that hot fudge sundae! It is amazing, what we will all remember.

      Reply

  14. Apr 19, 2013
    @ 00:06 AM
    Nancie McDermott says ....

    I am moved and thrilled by this essay. Beauty, sorrow, hunger, celebration — a fine buffet and I am going back for more tomorrow. One read is not enough. He did great work in the world; I love knowing that he was such a good soul at home and off-duty. So sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  15. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 21:55 PM
    Pamela says ....

    Katie,
    My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. I lost my father almost 3 years ago to cancer and found it extermely difficult to watch his appetite for the foods he loved, especially my cioippino, become non-existant. Those of us who love food, love feeding others. I am sure that having you for his daughter gave him joy and love to last a lifetime and beyond. Hold his memory close.
    Pamela

    Reply

  16. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 20:39 PM
    Kristine says ....

    My father died in the summer 3 years ago and I will always remember driving around the blazing hot Valley looking for the best plums, his favorites and the last fruit he could eat–in tiny slices. But the last thing both my parents actually swallowed was ice cream–a family obsession. We went on vacation to eat, eating one meal while planning the next. The cookbooks your Dad published changed the world of the home cook and I am so sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  17. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 18:52 PM
    Courtney Kuehn says ....

    Katie, beautifully written and I am sorry for your loss – a few weeks ago I lost someone very close (who was also so amazing other people have been saying it)…Seeing your post in my email caught my eye…

    Your pear story is beautiful, if short…Thank you for sharing. Seemingly small moments like that can mean so much. Hopefully it brought you some kind of comfort, given how much the experience of food meant to your dad.

    Reply

  18. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 17:41 PM
    Andrea says ....

    So sorry for your loss. Lost my Dad in Sept. Totally appreciate and relate your comment about “Cindy from Swallowing” and paper thin slices of pears. Enjoy your wonderful memories.

    Reply

  19. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 17:25 PM
    Hugh Van Dusen says ....

    I met tour father just once. It was probably thirty years ago. I was running the Paperback Dept at Harper and was asked by management along with a couple of colleagues to
    take Peter to lunch, ostensibly to find out if his
    company was for sale.. How naive colld we be? About half way
    through the meal, Peter got the drift and was, I think, greatly amused.
    He indicated pretty firmly he was not in the least interested which,
    in retrospect is no surprise.Of course I am huge admirer of all he accomplished and was moved by your tribute

    Reply

  20. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 16:15 PM
    Samantha Stent says ....

    moved to tears, all my thoughts & love are with you and your family. Cook through it, write through it, cry through it. Your Dad was, is and will always be so proud of you. x

    Reply

  21. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 16:13 PM
    Susan Waggoner says ....

    What a lovely tribute. Your father was one of the few true innovators in publishing and one of the reasons I became a writer. I was in my college bookstore at the U of Iowa way back in the day and saw a copy of The Cat Catalog. I had never seen a book that looked like so much fun and thought, okay, I have just got to be part of this. Fast forward to NY all these years late, having lunch with my agent last week, and when told me your dad had died, I teared up because there still is simply no one like him. Over the years I have bought and enjoyed so many wonderful Workman books. I never wrote one for your dad, but I wrote many because of him. Hope the tradition carries on!

    Reply

  22. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 16:02 PM
    James Connolly says ....

    Katie,
    So sorry for your loss. You lost your Dad and we lost a visionary. Tough sledding, both. After a while it is a good thing to remember the good times and recall the funny and keen moments of his life. Sounds like he loved food, life, work and laughter equally.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Reply

    • Apr 18, 2013
      @ 16:07 PM
      Katie Workman says ....

      I like the tough sledding phrase. thanks.

      Reply

  23. Apr 18, 2013
    @ 15:52 PM
    Jody says ....

    The great love of food, we remember events with food. My mother also had brain cancer and her last request was soy sauce game hens, my father rushed back to cooked for her, but she could only eat a little of it. Much sympathy.

    Reply

  24. Apr 15, 2013
    @ 11:38 AM
    Jann says ....

    I just happened on your blog, I’m not a regular, but this post struck a chord. My cousin, who is father to 3 boys all 18 and younger, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Though we are all trying to be strong, it is hard to face this diagnosis on so many levels. Though we are strangers, I am wishing you understanding and acceptance, and sending you a big, virtual hug.

    Reply

    • Apr 15, 2013
      @ 16:53 PM
      Katie Workman says ....

      And all good thoughts to your cousin, thank you so much.

      Reply

  25. Apr 14, 2013
    @ 12:59 PM
    Greg says ....

    Thanks for sharing this love filled post – it eases the pain we have all felt in our lives. Your Dad’s books always meant quality to me – a reflection of the man I am sure.
    My Dad diet at 94, owned a bakery and loved coconut custard pie up till the end. I would visit at the nursing home and bring treats with more flavor than the kitchen at the home could muster – with taste buds fading a smile could still be seen – memories relived.
    I always have thought how odd it is when people diet in the prime of their lives on tasteless diet food when in the end our taste fades and we would be content with a thin slice of pear…. you are a wonderful writer and I am sure a blessing to your Dad.
    best to you.

    Reply

  26. Apr 13, 2013
    @ 15:06 PM
    Grant Petersen says ....

    This is as good of a nice, clear, heartfelt, easy to relate to wonderful tribute as could be written by anybody about anybody, and a gift and model to anybody reading it. You’ve told us so much about your dad and the family’s love for him.

    Reply

  27. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 21:59 PM
    Chris Tomasino says ....

    Hi Katie,
    Thank you for writing this wonderful piece about Peter, and for giving those of us who knew him another few moments with him. He was an amazing man.

    Reply

  28. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 16:12 PM
    Cherie Colburn says ....

    Katie, your loss is huge and I appreciate how you’ve invited us to get to know your dad a little better and share the pain of loss with you.
    I had the honor of having him as one of my instructors last summer in Denver at The Publishing Institute. We had a conversation about several projects I had going on as a garden writer. He followed up with an email response. I was blown away that someone with so many things on his plates – many of which were spinning wildly in the air as he deftly juggled them – would take the time to show such kindness.
    May your family feel comfort in the fact that so many share your heartache and are praying for you. c:

    Reply

  29. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 15:51 PM
    Luisa says ....

    This is so beautiful and I am so sorry, Katie.

    Reply

  30. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 14:07 PM
    Pam says ....

    A wonderful, delicious tribute to your dad, Katie. Peter was so proud of you and of your commitment to making food a source of joy and celebration for so many. My first meal with Peter was at Acme, soul food for sure, and I feel blessed to have shared the delights of many more meals to come, always peppered with great conversation and salted with his enjoyment of life.

    Reply

  31. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 14:05 PM
    David Elliot Cohen says ....

    Katie, I knew your dad for many years. He was a fine human being. Condolences to you and your mom.

    Reply

  32. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 09:36 AM
    Marybeth Anderson, Colorado says ....

    How I love Workman books and how I would’ve loved your Dad. I’m an Obit. Reader to learn about people’s lives and stories. Sometimes they are so beautifully written or make me laugh so loud that I ache to have known the people in them. The nature of Obits. Is actually, that I not only didn’t know them, but now I can’t…. Which is such a pisser. But the good news is that now I know about them.

    I’m an avid cook and would’ve loved to have cooked him something to have seen his smile and appreciation. How wonderful that you all did. Your piece was so, so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing it and a piece of your Dad. He must’ve have been one of the rare “Good Ones”.

    ( By the way, you would’ve like my Dad too, speaking of laughing out loud.)

    Reply

  33. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 08:20 AM
    Michele Urvater says ....

    Your dad was revolutionary. I am forever grateful that he took a chance on me.

    Reply

  34. Apr 12, 2013
    @ 03:09 AM
    Lisa H says ....

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I didn’t know your dad but I know his publishing. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sharing stories helps others deal with your grief, for which I thank you.

    On the night my dad entered Hope Hospice in Ft Myers, Florida in 2006, the dinner special was chicken breast, which Dad hated. I will never forget the kind woman who responded to my tears by cooking a giant bowl of buttered spaghetti. Dad ate a couple of bites and said, “It’s all right here, isn’t it?”

    Reply

  35. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 23:39 PM
    Marylin says ....

    So sorry for your loss, it must be terrible. Katie, he would be resting in peace, and would be more at peace just knowing you are at peace too

    Reply

  36. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 18:34 PM
    Dianne says ....

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. It leaves a hole nothing can fill. If there’s any consolation, it’s that the pain and grief will fade with time.

    Reply

  37. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 15:49 PM
    monica says ....

    dearest katie,we dont know each other….until now we had one thing in common…the love of food and cooking…after reading your heartfelt tribute,a second… the everlasting love of our wonderful fathers…bless you,your father, your family katie …and thankyou for sharing xo

    Reply

  38. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 15:36 PM
    Steph H says ....

    so sorry for your loss. sounds like you had a lot of love between you and shared great moments –which is what counts in the end.

    Reply

  39. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 15:24 PM
    Anne says ....

    Dear Katie, I like thinking of Peter tucking into a big plate of ribs. He personified living with gusto! I so respected your dad and will miss him.

    Reply

  40. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 14:46 PM
    Nancy Heraud says ....

    First and foremost I’m terribly sorry for your loss and the loss to the publishing community. Sharon Lovejoy one of my favorite authors and now a friend, admired and cared about your dad and it showed in her work for Workman Publishing. I lost my adoptive father at age 7 killed by a runaway truck. He was a fast eater. My mom was the slowest eater. We had to microwave her food midway so that it would stay hot enough for her to eat.. I think whether they are taken suddenly or you live through a long illness with them, the death of a parent, is devastating. You are never prepared for the reality of it. You have wonderful memories of your dad. Treasure those, Katie. There will be brighter days ahead. With kind regards, Nancy Heraud

    Reply

  41. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 14:36 PM
    Philip Turner says ....

    A beautiful and sad post. Thank you for writing about your dad by way of food.
    I had a bookstore and first ordered a Workman book in 1978, Richard Smith’s spoofy “The Dieter’s Guide to Weight Loss During Sex.” Still in print today.
    I blogged a bit about Peter at my site, via this link, for those who’d like to read a recollection from a former bookseller’s POV. http://philipsturner.com/2013/04/09/peter-workman-successful-independent-publisher-74/

    Reply

  42. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 14:21 PM
    Jan Powers says ....

    Katie, I didn’ t know your dad personally, but I know his work, his legacy and many of his authors and the wonderful books he helped bring into the world for me and others. People who enrich our world like him deserve much praise and acclaim, but I don’t think there could be any higher praise than what you just wrote about him – it is such a gift to express with words on a page , and I have no doubt you received that gift from your dad. Bless you and your family, Jan Powers

    Reply

  43. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 14:12 PM
    Gayle Shanks says ....

    Those of us who are booksellers in the U.S. loved your Dad for the exuberance that he brought to a rather stodgy industry. The Workman booth at BEA was filled to overflowing with your father’s essence and booksellers just wanted to be close to him. When Changing Hands was named Bookseller of the Year in 2007 he invited us to dine with him at Per Se, an experience that I will never forget. For six hours we ate extraordinary food (with your father gushing over every bite), talked about books and family and life. I am so sorry for your loss but so grateful that I got to share a bit of your dad.

    Reply

  44. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 14:06 PM
    Cassandra says ....

    This is a beautiful thing you have done for your Dad. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

    Reply

  45. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 13:54 PM
    Cary says ....

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad did beautiful work and left the world a better place. May you have some peace in this very sad time.

    Reply

  46. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 13:25 PM
    Sigita says ....

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I enjoyed your observations- my father will be gone now 17 years on Saturday – Food is a wonderful memory source.

    Reply

  47. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 12:54 PM
    Amy Atlas says ....

    This is beautiful. I’ve heard wonderful things about your dad and how he was such a perfectionist with all of the Workman books. I lost my father 6 years ago and I sat in those crappy, windowless rooms as well. In time, what you’ll remember is the prime rib, the laughter, his energy and spirit. The cooking and stories in your family will live on and will be a tribute to him. My best to you and your family. -Amy

    Reply

  48. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 12:49 PM
    Jeff Prostovich says ....

    A great person should be measured not only by the accomplishments during one’s lifetime, but also what one has left behind. Peter was a great person.

    Reply

  49. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 12:37 PM
    Sharon Lovejoy says ....

    Dear Katie,

    We’re all feeling the huge black hole that your Dad’s passing has left. The thing is, we’ve all been so touched by him, so touched, and we know that there is no other Peter Workman, but that he left such a wake of creativity and love behind.

    I am so sorry for the loss, but so very happy that you were there to slice those thin, delectable pieces of pear for your Dad-who was your biggest fan!

    I loved him and will never forget him or what he did for me and so many others.

    My love to you and your family,

    Sharon

    Reply

  50. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 12:27 PM
    Tomoko says ....

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story. I can relate very much to it – if I may.
    When my grandfather passed away two years ago at the age of 102, my aunt, who knew he did not like to end in hospital, brought him home, where she lived with and cared for him for the last 30 years. She wanted him to eat his favorite food instead of hospital liquid food, since he always loved eating. On his last days she continued offering him food she knew he liked very much. My aunt for a long time felt responsible she might have induced his death by giving him normal food (of course in tiny portions), but I do believe he was ready to leave treated so much with love, at home, having eaten something made and given with love.

    Reply

  51. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 12:10 PM
    Richard Grausman says ....

    Hi Katie,
    Your write so sensitively and beautifully about you dad. Knowing him as I did before he became ill, your words brought the love and care he received from you and the family vividly to mind. Thank you. … Although my parents have long parted, there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about them. It’s a good feeling.
    All the best,
    Richard

    Reply

  52. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 11:57 AM
    Dan Okrent says ....

    Remarkable essay about a remarkable man. Peter was truly one-of-a-kind, and I feel very, very lucky to have known him.

    Reply

  53. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 11:37 AM
    Nell says ....

    Beautiful.
    Your father was very well loved.

    Reply

  54. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 11:23 AM
    Stan Harrison says ....

    What an amazing post. Very beautiful and so meaningful. My father died just over 30 years ago. He had bladder cancer, supposedly a result of inhaling noxious fumes at work, daily and for years. Near the end of his life his appetite wained. One evening I prepared an oven version of BBQ’d chicken, using a sauce I had ordered from Gate’s BBQ in Kansas City. He ate the entire meal, a very rare thing at that point, and seemed to relish every bite. It is one meal I will remember forever.

    Reply

  55. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 11:04 AM
    Babyruth says ....

    My Dad passed on more than a decade ago…
    And missing him never wanes.
    In this case, time does not heal all wounds bec it still hurts.
    You just learn how to cope, how to drive safely when tears blur your vision, how to keep quiet when you feel like talking to him, how to “stop” looking for him because you know you can’t see him.
    But knowing that you spent the better part of your life with him will comfort you.
    Knowing that he knew how much you love him will give your heart so much peace & happiness.
    Those many happy moments will give you many things to cherish in the coming days.
    God bless you & may His love embrace your heart, Katie!

    Reply

  56. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:41 AM
    Kristen says ....

    Thank you for sharing this during such a hard time.

    Reply

  57. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:38 AM
    Monica says ....

    Thanks for writing this, Katie.

    -Monica

    Reply

  58. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:34 AM
    Katie Workman says ....

    The comments that you all have written on this post are making me teary with gratitude. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write, and for your lovely words and thoughts about my dad. It’s all really comforting.

    Reply

  59. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:29 AM
    Sara Kate says ....

    You are a beautiful daughter. Let’s have you over again soon. xoxo

    Reply

  60. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:19 AM
    Cindy Adelman Frank says ....

    Dear Katie, Just as there are people who live without truly experiencing, there are people who eat without truly tasting. Your father was someone who was smart and sensitive enough to savor everything. That’s a gift that he clearly passed along to you. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. My symathies to your mother and your whole family as well. Thank you for bringing back memories of the extraordinary Peter Workman.

    Reply

  61. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 10:15 AM
    Mary Ellen says ....

    This was simply beautiful and it was an honor to read it. Thank you for writing it.

    Reply

  62. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 08:46 AM
    Alexis Azria says ....

    Your father was an extraordinary human being and you, your mom and entire family our in our prayers. The world truly lost an incredible soul.

    Reply

  63. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 06:56 AM
    Holly Clegg says ....

    I am fortunate to have a special relationship with my dad and he loves to eat so as I read your words, I related with a smile and a tear. As you might remember, my dad had larynx cancer and talks with an arithmetical larynx now for 12 years. Even though he has no sense of taste from radiation, food is still important to him and my cancer cookbook is dedicated to him. I am sure you understand.

    Reply

  64. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 02:54 AM
    Sallyh says ....

    Oh, Katie, what a loss to your family, and so many others. Thank you for sharing him so openly and touchingly.

    I have never ‘met’ your blog until now, and here I am, still with tears in my eyes after reading your blogpost, and already i have bookmarked your blog and printed the fudgy brownie recipe. That’s obviously the effect you have on people – and it is a gift.

    Care for yourself at this time.

    Reply

  65. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 01:01 AM
    Janet Kraus says ....

    Katie, this was so well written and observed and funny that I feel as if I knew your dad. I didn’t (though I heard lots about him from a Workman employee of 25+ years). Keep writing!

    Reply

  66. Apr 11, 2013
    @ 00:40 AM
    Diane Morgan says ....

    Oh, Katie, this is such a lovely story. I have tears in my eyes. You are a wonderful daughter.

    Reply

  67. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 23:54 PM
    Tracy Nieporent says ....

    Katie, you’ve written a beautiful, heartfelt tribute. Your Dad lives through your words, and he’ll be there every time you savor a great meal. Our folks pass, but they never leave us.

    Reply

  68. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 23:22 PM
    Elizabeth says ....

    Katie, This is a beautiful tribute to your dad. He was an incredible man. I feel blessed to have shared a few meals with Peter. Keep doing what you are doing. He is very proud of you.

    Reply

  69. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 22:05 PM
    Andrew Freilich says ....

    I did not know him well but what I did know of your father he was a special man to you and many others. His memory will live on in all that you do. When he looks down on you and your beautiful family he will always smile and be proud of his amazing daughter!!!

    Reply

  70. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 21:00 PM
    ycunnington says ....

    What an awesome tribute to your dad.

    Reply

  71. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 20:33 PM
    Julia says ....

    Beautiful tribute to your father! He would be very proud! I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  72. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 19:38 PM
    Nina Simonds says ....

    Katie:

    I am traveling so I had no idea that your Dad died… To say I am sorry seems so inadequate. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but he obviously was a brilliant visionary, in the end, what matters most is that it sounds like he was a great dad.

    Your blog was so moving & beautifully written. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely memories and my thoughts are with you.

    Best & warmest,

    Nina

    Reply

  73. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 19:05 PM
    Blissmamaof3 says ....

    I am so sorry for your loss. I really admire your dad and all he accomplished with WorkmanPublishing.

    Reply

  74. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:22 PM
    Valerie Fischel says ....

    Katie,

    I am so sorry for your loss, but so glad that you had such a wonderful, amazing dad. Your piece about him is lovely and warm and truly a tribute to the kind of man and father he was. Ny deepest sympathies.
    Valerie

    Reply

  75. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:13 PM
    Tory says ....

    You are SO brilliant! You are your fathers’ daughter. His love of food….his love of literature…..his love of the ridiculous! You are his fathers’ daughter alright.

    Thank you for sharing your story and sharing yourself.
    -Tory

    Reply

  76. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:08 PM
    Lydia says ....

    I was never blessed with your Dad’s acquaintance, but I have seen the mourning and remembrances of him from people I love and respect – and I see this – and I know I missed a real treasure. Please accept my condolences.

    Reply

  77. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:03 PM
    regina schrambling says ....

    Such a great tribute to such an amazing man. My dad also died of brain cancer. Yours was lucky to have you feeding him to the end. And I will always feel fortunate to have known Peter.

    Reply

  78. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:02 PM
    Stew Campbell says ....

    Katie, Im so sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad to cancer more than 20 years ago and there isn’t a day when it seems to suck less. It just sucks.

    But, remembering our Dads is how we can honor them, and feel a bit better about the emptiness. And based on this, you have a great start.

    By the way, Marion Naron shared your blog on FB. That’s how I found your blog, which I will certainly follow. Again, I’m so sorry about your Dad. Don’t stop writing about him.

    Stew Campbell

    Reply

  79. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 18:00 PM
    Laura says ....

    What a beautifully written tribute to your father. Your vivid descriptions and tone are exquisite. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  80. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 17:59 PM
    Elissa Altman says ....

    Hugs to you—this made me weep. Your father was an extraordinary man, and he left an extraordinary family. xx

    Reply

  81. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 17:42 PM
    Stacey says ....

    So sorry for your loss..

    Reply

  82. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 17:14 PM
    chuck says ....

    Beautiful, Katie. Your father was an amazing, brilliant, complex man, and we all miss him very much. Thank you for sharing this. Another serving, please. xo

    Reply

  83. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 17:09 PM
    Laura says ....

    So nice to have a family united by food and such a loving father. Sorry about your loss, but remain grateful for the time you had together.

    Reply

  84. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:47 PM
    Pamela Waterman says ....

    Thank you for taking the time to share these small moments that mean so much. It’s really telling how often food is at the center of memorable times. I’m so sorry for your loss; it was charming to meet you, your Mom and your sons last Fall at the Tempe, AZ book event. Please tell your mother I’ve been thinking of you and her since I heard the news – you all clearly comprise a wonderful multi-generational family. Take care.

    Reply

  85. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:47 PM
    Stephanie says ....

    Katie, this is *gorgeous*. I’m a little bummed this thing doesn’t let me italicize…

    Reply

  86. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:39 PM
    Lynne says ....

    Thank you for sharing a small piece of your father’s story. And your story. Walking through those unknown chapters with my own dad. And my mom. Wishing this was one thing they hadn’t decided to do together.

    Reply

  87. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:30 PM
    Cath says ....

    You make me proud. I love you!

    Reply

  88. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:30 PM
    Adam says ....

    Katie, so sorry to hear about your dad. This post was really beautiful; you were both so lucky to have each other in your lives. My best wishes to your whole family. Love, Adam

    Reply

  89. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:26 PM
    Lars D. H. Hedbor says ....

    My condolences for your loss. I, too, just lost my Dad, and like yours, he was an eater and a chef and an amazing human being. Reading your words brought tears to my eyes… and gave me comfort.

    Best to you and your family.

    Reply

  90. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:14 PM
    Michael says ....

    Tears in my eyes reading this beautiful, beautiful tribute. Smarts, talent, and big-heartedness clearly run in the Workman family. xx

    Reply

  91. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 16:01 PM
    Cheryl says ....

    Such a lovely post about your AhHhh-MAZING Dad! It made my cry & laugh and I feel truly blessed to have known him. I keep thinking of our long and WONDERFUL lunch at the bakery. Love & hugs to you and the entire family xo

    Reply

  92. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 15:59 PM
    Kristen says ....

    I absolutely loved this story, you are a beautiful writer Katie xx

    Reply

  93. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 15:41 PM
    elisa petrini says ....

    sincere condolences to you and you family. the book business has lost a great visionary, and you have lost an immense presence. so sorry!

    Reply

  94. Apr 10, 2013
    @ 15:27 PM
    Norma says ....

    I’m so sorry for you and your family Katie. It’s a terrible time in your life. You only ever have one dad and one mom and the loss is a tough one.
    Do whatever works for you to get through this sad time.
    Norma

    Reply

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