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Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch Hardcover – May 10, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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!


"Dixon confronts the hurdles [of fatherhood] humorously and honestly…Foodie dads and moms will love Dixon’s voice, and wish he were cooking at their house."
Publishers Weekly

"Keith Dixon tells the unvarnished truth about cooking after a new baby arrives. There will be tears, kitchen disasters, and ruined naptimes, leavened with fleeting moments of joy. Luckily, Keith brings three secret weapons to the table: patience, humor, and mouthwatering recipes. Gracie is adorable, sure, but I'd be lying if I told you I didn't fantasize about shoving her aside to get some of her dad's homemade kung pao chicken."
--Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307591875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591876
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,148,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A cookbook, a memoir on the first year of fatherhood, and not something I'd usually find myself reading. This however was written by the talented author of The Art of Losing: A Novel, Keith Dixon so I couldn't resist.

I am not much of a chef, nor have I tried any of the recipes laid out in this book. I must say that most of them sound delicious and I plan to try a few of them in the coming weeks.

So my review is more about the memoir than the recipes. Dixon manages to tell his story in an honest, caring and human way. It doesn't come across as overly sentimental or cloying which must be quite a challenge given his subject matter.

I'd recommend this book for any foodie or someone interested in a real, honest and touching account of what being a new father means in today's world.
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Format: Hardcover
Dixon had always loved to cook, but now Gracie woke up at the least little sound. Cooking was one of the few ways he could think of to help his wife, particularly since she ended up having to drastically change her diet, so he had to learn a whole new way of cooking. In no way did he give up making delicious meals, whether they're ginger-scallion rice with fried egg, farfalle with marinated tomatoes and mint oil (absolutely delicious, by the way!), or pan-roasted sweet apple sandwich with bourbon butter. His recipes include hints to help you pull off recipes around your baby's sleep schedule, such as "Stage 1: Prebedtime" and "Stage 2: Postbedtime," with the former section including any noisy steps.

The general aid-by-example to help you figure out how to cook delicious food around your baby's schedule is wonderful. The recipes themselves are a foodie's dream. However, my favorite part of the book is the memoir passages. Dixon bares the best and the worst of his attempts to figure out how to care for his wife and daughter, and the results are sweet, funny, whimsical, and melancholy by turns. I shed a few tears; I laughed out loud. I read a couple of entertaining passages to my husband.

I can think of few people who wouldn't enjoy Cooking for Gracie. To give you a taste of Dixon's style of musing, I'll quote from one of my favorite passages:

"The situation finds a fresh level of complication when you wake up (because the baby is crying) at 6 a.m. to go feed the baby with the distinct impression that you already did the 6 a.m. feeding--at which point you realize that you were dreaming about feeding the baby in between sessions of feeding the baby.
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Format: Hardcover
I remembered the title 'Cooking from Gracie' from 'Man with a Pan' in the author's bio with an essay 'Alternate side cooking'. His dismay in losing control of being the sole food maker for his little daughter is just one of the difficult things that new parents have to deal with. As a child, we might just answer very easily to the question of who our favourite parent with all the taking sides that happens in the family. I wonder how the parents feel pitched against each other for their children's love. Touchy, as the subject is, I appreciated the author's honesty.
For new parents theres ton of preview into the 'horror show' of not only sleepless nights but also days and nights merging as well.
When the author reaches a revelation about how he cooks, an area where he is good at to substitute for lack in any other area, we are with him in the journey of that process. But his experience is limited to cooking for two to three. So cooking for more is a scene of his adventure in his own familiar turf of the kitchen.
I liked the chapter in which he sees himself as an understudy when he has to take care of Gracie for an evening all by himself.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm sure many people will love this book, I received it as part of Random House Read It Forward or I would never have read it. Many young first time parents will relate to this book , but it was just Not My Cup of Tea. I am a good cook but the recipes did not appeal to me. It is well written, but I have had this several weeks and have not been interested enough to finish reading it.
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