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Cooking and Screaming: Finding My Own Recipe for Recovery Hardcover – February 10, 2009

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Not many 21-year-olds expect to have a stroke while walking down the street of their college town, but that's what happened to Kane, food writer and blogger of What started off as a casual stroll resulted in weeks of unconsciousness, months of rehabilitation in the hospital and years of daily therapeutic exercises, all due to an arteriovenous malformation (commonly known as an AVM), which initially left her completely paralyzed on her right side. Drawing strength from her love for cooking, Kane started to make physical and emotional progress by relearning how to chop vegetables by using her immobile right hand as a weight. As she struggled to rebuild her life post AVM... often fraught with anxieties and self-imposed rules, she followed her passion for food by starting a successful catering business. Kane nicely integrates memories of her childhood, family portraits (including details about her own father's stroke 13 years earlier) as well as many wonderful recipes into this story of recovery. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Just weeks before she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, Kane suffered an AVM, an arterio-venous malformation, or hemorrhagic stroke, affecting the right side of her body. As a dancer and an aspiring teacher, she was thrown for a loop as she had to learn how to walk, how to use her left hand, and just generally how to cope as a disabled person. It was first eating, and then cooking, that brought her back to a real sense of self. This is a memoir with recipes, and it is often as much about memories of food as it is about recovery from a stroke. Kane started a successful catering business in Berkeley and began blogging. Each chapter begins with a recipe for a dish mentioned in it. The recipes are fairly simple, but flavorful and focused on local, seasonal foods. The stories about food and the stories of the author's life blend seamlessly in what is essentially a narrative about finding one's own place in the world.—Sarah Flowers, formerly at Santa Clara County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416587977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416587972
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,869,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adrienne Kane is the author of the cookbook United States of Pie, the memoir Cooking and Screaming and of the popular food blog She is a food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer whose work has appeared in Natural Health, Prevention, Women's Day, Yankee Magazine and on Chow and She lives and cooks in New Haven, Connecticut.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By a.wooley on March 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Cooking and Screaming - A Love Story

I consider this book to be a love story. Kane touches the core and center of cooking - love for life. Her writing is neither pretentious nor sentimental about her life journey, considering what she went through in her young age. At 17 her successful businessman father suffered a stroke. At 21 she herself suffered a stroke just before her graduation from UC Berkeley. Those experiences are the blessings in disguise since she found what is important in her life and that helped her to create her own life in her own way. She learned the importance of empathy and compassion. What attracted me most is Kane's efforts not to yield to a poor-poor-pitiful-me attitude. She is feisty but not loud. This subtle but powerful book titled Cooking and Screaming fascinates me also knowing her meta-cognitive process during this journey.

She addressed the notion that psychological struggle (frustration, humiliation, anger, misunderstanding, true or false pride, bruised ego, etc.) was more of a challenge than that of physical inconvenience. After dealing with those emotions, she chose not to dwell on them. Dragging those emotions (lamenting, sobbing, crying, blaming and complaining) endlessly is not her cup of tea. Furthermore, the life alternating experience when her father suffered from a stroke while she was in her teens gave her plenty of lessons and strength. She shifted her energy to focus on what she loves - her renewed interest and passion - Cooking!

Her support network impressed me and touched my heart. Her faithful and caring boyfriend (now her husband), her loving family and her loyal and thoughtful close friends have demonstrated their genuine, authentic love and tremendous support and encouragement.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By alldayReader on March 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
March 3, 2009

I just finished Cooking and Screaming, a memoir by Adrienne Kane. I enjoyed reading it but not because it was a good memoir. It was an engaging story, and Kane is a very likable and brave woman. But Kane deals with her issue -- finding herself suddenly partially paralyzed after a stroke at age twenty-one -- without really letting us, the readers, in on the full experience of it. A good memoir requires full commitment of feelings and actions, those are its ingredients, and without those essentials, the memoir falls flat.

Kane writes a food blog ( and the book reads like blog entries: nothing too deep, a steady narrative line (and voice), and chirpy conclusions stuck in here and there. Each chapter starts with a recipe -- very blog-like -- which ties in with something in the chapter and the recipes look great. In fact, Kane is at her best when talking about food: buying it, preparing it, and eating it.

The purpose of memoir is to reveal what is hidden, to hold up thoughts and fears, hopes and sorrows, to the light of exposure, and to find a story in that exposure. The memoir invites the reader to be witness to the events that changed and shaped a life. Julia Blackburn's memoir, The Three of Us, for example, is a powerful memoir of emotionally abusive parents and the resilience and intelligence of Blackburn in the face of the abuses. It is powerful because Blackburn shares with the reader the facts of her life with her parents, no matter how ugly; her feelings, no matter how dark or shallow or seemingly inappropriate; and her actions, both laudable and not-so laudable.

Adrienne Kane suffered a stroke just weeks before graduating from college.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Chandrasoma on February 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I made the mistake of starting this book around midnight, intending to read a few pages before falling asleep. Next thing I know, it's the wee hours of the morning and I'm turning the last page--this is an impossible book to put down once you've begun. I love food memoirs and food essays mostly because the really good ones use eating and cooking as a window into a life. And Cooking and Screaming accomplishes just that. It's an inspiring story about an extraordinary experience, sure, but it's also a very universal one. And you don't often come across a story about loss and family and personal quest (very lofty subjects indeed) that is as disarmingly funny and subtle as this one. This is not a book that screams, despite the title; it's a quiet book to curl up with and read in one sitting on a rainy afternoon, but it will end up staying with you for much longer than that.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Franco on January 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While most college graduates ponder their future and dream of things they will learn and awesome new experiences, Adrienne Kane graduates from college pondering how she will re-learn to walk and do the mundane things of daily existence. Stricken with a stroke-type ailment weeks shy of her college graduation, Kane shares her touching personal experience of how she learned to deal with her "new" life, one very different than for what she had prepared.

But this isn't a "woe is me" type story. Instead, the tale shares how Kane's spirit (along with the support of family and friends) guides her to adapt to her new challenges, and how an unfortunate illness actually helped discover her true identity and

This book has a "friendly" writing style. It isn't bogged down with medical details and reads as if an old friend is telling you about their extraordinary experience. An extra bonus are Kane's recipes included in the book.

This book would be a great read for any book club (the recipes in the book could be used for your book club dinner!) and the topics for conversation would be endless: "what would you do if life changed your menu?" type discussion. Highly recommended!!
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