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.
Novelist (The Art of Losing) Dixon combines more than 40 healthful (but not always simple) recipes with an account of his first year of fatherhood in this appealing memoir. When baby Gracie is born five weeks early, Dixon and his wife are duly concerned. The author, who works as a technology editor at the New York Times, decides to assuage his worry with his passion for cooking, reasoning that by preparing healthy foods for his breastfeeding wife, he is cooking for Gracie and at the same time caring for himself. As Gracie begins to grow and thrive, Dixon faces the various hurdles of new parenthood: sleep deprivation, leaving Gracie with a sitter, his first solo evening with his newborn, teething, baby acid reflux, and dealing with shifts in time (a week can seem like a minute, but a minute can drag on like a week). Dixon confronts the hurdles humorously and honestly, though perhaps pressing dough, washing basil leaves, and grating pecorino cheese isn't what every dad does between diaper changings. In fact, sometimes the leap from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or a genetic counseling scare to recipes for chickpea minestra with fennel salad, or fish tacos, seems jarring. Foodie dads and moms will love Dixon's voice, and wish he were cooking at their house as they order take-out pizza.