Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

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9780307591876: Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

A touching, insightful and uplifting memoir, complete with more than 40 recipes, that recounts a year in the life of a new parent learning to cook for three.

Keith Dixon’s passion was cooking. For years, he sustained himself through difficult days by dreaming about the lavish recipes he was going to attempt when he got home—Thai curries, Indian raitas, Sichuan noodles. All that changed when his daughter, Gracie, was born five weeks early, at just four pounds. Keith and his wife, Jessica, adapted to life with a newborn as all parents do: walking around in a sleep deprived haze, trying to bond with Gracie and meet the needs of this new person in their lives—all while dealing with the overwhelming fear that they were going to catastrophically fail in their new roles. After Gracie became a part of their family, Keith no longer had time to cook the way he once knew; when he did find time to make something, he learned the hard way that his daughter woke easily to the simplest kitchen noise, and soon realized that if he wanted his family to eat well, he was going to have to learn to cook all over again.
 
Based on three popular articles in the New York Times, Cooking for Gracie is a memoir of the first year of Gracie’s life, as Keith learns to cook for three—discovering what it means to be a father while still holding on to what made him who he was before his daughter came along. Keith and Jessica’s hilarious and poignant struggles to adjust to life with a newborn will resonate with new parents; foodies’ mouths will water over the tempting meals Keith creates; amateur cooks will laugh at his missteps in the kitchen—and it’s just impossible not to fall in love with the adorable Gracie.
 
A critically acclaimed novelist, Keith Dixon reflects on food, parenting, and cooking with both humor and reverence, and shares the delicious, accessible parent- and family-friendly recipes he discovered along the way. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Cooking for Gracie is an irresistible and unforgettable story, for foodies and parents alike, of a family of three learning to find their way together
 
KEITH DIXON has been on the staff of the New York Times for seventeen years. He is also the author of two novels: The Art of Losing—which received starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist and was named “Editor’s Choice” by the Philadelphia Inquirer—and Ghostfires, named one of the five best first novels of 2004 by Poets & Writers magazine.

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Review:

Guest Reviewer: Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison is the author of the critically acclaimed novels All About Lulu and West of Here. He was the recipient of a 2009 Christopher Isherwood Fellowship. He lives on an island in western Washington. He likes rabbits.

Long before I got my hands on an advanced reader's copy of Cooking for Gracie, I was a big fan of Keith Dixon's novels, Ghostfires and The Art of Losing. Dixon is a masterful storyteller, with a ton of heart, and an astounding facility for empathy. The fact is, I'd read anything Dixon were to write. Even a cookbook. Or a memoir about fatherhood. As fate would have it, it just so happens that I became a father myself two years ago, and I'm a closet foodie--ergo, I jumped at the chance to review Cooking for Gracie.

To call this book a memoir about cooking, would be doing it a great disservice. Not to downplay the wonderful recipes and cooking tutorials that fill Cooking for Gracie, but at the end of the day, this book stands alone as a wise, deeply felt and hilarious meditation on being a father, and being a husband.

Dixon is not only a craftsman, but an inspiration to anyone who is a father, or a husband, or anyone who aspires to be a father, or a husband. I wish I'd had this book two years ago!

About the Author:

Keith Dixon has been on the staff of the New York Times for seventeen years. He is also the author of two novels: The Art of Losing—which received starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist and was named “Editor’s Choice” by the Philadelphia Inquirer—and Ghostfires, named one of the five best first novels of 2004 by Poets & Writers magazine.
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