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Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen Kindle Edition

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Length: 323 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Judith Newton has spent her life searching for home and family while pursuing an academic career. From seeking affection from her mother and time spent in communal living to her involvement in civil rights struggles, her choice to have a child, and the death of her best friend, Newton has marked the many phases of her life with food. Each chapter of this engaging memoir includes a recipe that relates to a corresponding time in Newton's life. Readers will find her story delightful and resonant—especially given the universal relationship between food and family. This is a well-paced coming-of-age story with all the right ingredients: honesty, well-drawn characters, and plenty of insight.  A Publishers Weekly Starred Review


Tasting Home is more than a food memoir. Influenced by the civil rights struggle, the women's movement, and the AIDS epidemic, it is an odyssey of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.  Cooking serves as a powerful metaphor for the difficulties and pleasures of relations among mothers and daughters; husbands and wives; gays and heterosexuals; and racial-ethnic groups.  Tasting Home, like a grand meal, is a resounding success.  --Belinda Robnett, author of How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights.

"This is a baby-boomer's dream: a book full of anecdotes about coming of age in during the sexual revolution of the sixties -- with recipes! . . . an ingeniously conceived, tightly written, and beautifully packaged memoir, a vibrant portrait of the American feminine cultural experience from the 1950s forward." Independent Publisher

"In this captivating memoir, Newton draws the reader into a world where major events are brought to life with poignant food memories. . . . Each vignette is pitch-perfect, lively, and engaging, striking a delicate balance between self-disclosure and universal themes of  acceptance, love, community-building, and political engagement." --Janet A. Flammang, author of The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

Product Details

  • File Size: 542 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (March 1, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


Judith Newton is Professor Emerita in Women and Gender Studies at U.C. Davis. While at U.C. Davis she directed the Women and Gender Studies program for eight years and the Consortium for Women and Research for four.

Her memoir, Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen, is now available for pre-order and is forthcoming with She Writes Press on March 1, 2013.

Newton is also the author and co-editor of five works of non fiction on nineteenth-century British women writers, feminist criticism, women's history, and men's movements. Four of these works were reprinted by Routledge and the University of Michigan Press in the fall of 2012.

Her most current work has appeared in The Huffingon Post(February 8, 2013), The Redwood Coast Review (Winter 2012), poetalk (Summer, 2011), at, and at In 2011 and 2012 six chapters of her memoir won contests sponsored by women's She is currently at work on a feminist mystery and lives in the East Bay of California where she tends her garden and cooks for family and friends.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Miller-Fredericks on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! As a memoir, I really connected with this book. Judith takes us through the stages of her life and her personal and professional struggles, achievements and setbacks. Much of reading this book for me was like listening to a good friend. I felt that while she clearly discussed difficulties in terms of her relationship (or lack there of) with her mother, she used it as an opportunity to make different choices in her life. Connecting the stages of her life with favorite recipes took the book to a whole new level for me. I clearly have certain foods/recipes that connect me to different places/times of my life and I thought this added a great dimension to the book. Now that I have read and savored the book, I am looking forward to cooking my way through the recipes.

I won this book in a giveaway from Goodreads, but that has not influenced my thoughts on the book or this review. I highly recommend this book. I think it would make a great gift as well.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
From the very first chapter of Tasting Home I was hooked.

Author Judith Newton has taken two of my favorite loves: food and family and put them together in a way that tells not just her story but that of so many of us. Who could deny that certain dishes that we might consider "comfort food" brings to mind a person or event that still lingers with us. In her book TASTING HOME Judith shares how early in life her view of cooking was shaped by her mother and what it actually meant to be an adult. It was through food that some of the most powerful conversations and connections were made---and it was also a reminder that no matter how much you might savor something it might not last.

This was true with Judith as she watched the man who was her heart pass away from her, and realizing how helpless she felt in dealing with it and what were perceived as her own shortcomings.

In one powerful scene that shared their story she wrote this: "I'd married a man who thought he might be gay," but I was the one with the sexual problem. Bewildered and anxious about our marriage and myself, I poured my love for Dick into my Italian cooking, the Italian cure redone. Instead of sex and romance, I dished up plates of what Keats had called the "warm" and sensuous "South".

Food became more than just a conversation piece. Throughout Judith's life it was sometimes a conversation starter, opening the door for friendships to be made, trust to be established and even a meeting of the minds.

Through each year you are able to see not only the evolution of the woman she has now become but the role that the kitchen played in the process.

Definitely a book that will speak to your heart as well as your taste buds, TASTING HOME proves to be real food for your soul.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Judith Newton grabbed me on the first page of Tasting Home. She laments the need to give up some of her treasured cookbooks as she moves into a new home. I joined in the mourning, for during my own recent move I did give away many of my own treasures, and now I repent and regret the decision just about every time that I walk by my kitchen bookcase. Fortunately, Newton realized that she must keep the books.

Good for her! For a couple of reasons: she still has those wonderful books and the memories they hold, and she opens up her shelves to us as she shares her turbulent life in this intriguing memoir. Food is home, and most times, home is in the kitchen. "I realized that cookbooks were more to me than a reflection of my past," she writes.

They are indeed, and she uses them, a variety of them, to tell her story. Tasting Home offers a bonus--many of the recipes come directly from familiar books. Some I own (or have owned), like Julia Child and the Moosewood books. Others are totally new-to-me books with recipes that make me start thinking about dinner tonight while I read in the morning.

"A girl who can sew like you, why would you want to go to college?" Newton's aunt's question seemed a natural one in her society of California working folks. Why would she? Fortunately her father and a wise school counselor prevailed. She left her boyfriend and headed for Stanford and an undreamed-of life. She never left school; she simply changed sides of the desk as she built her career in academia. Don't think an ivy-covered, quiet life. While growing and maintaining her career, Newton led a fascinating life marked by love, leaving, and loving again, and yet again.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book! Did not want it to end!!!!! Everything she wrote about, I could look
back on my life, and remember what I was doing and cooking!!! (Some of the same things)
Her book made me feel like I was talking to a old friend! LOVE, LOVE, THIS BOOK!!!!!
The best book, that have read in a long time.I read a lot!!! Will read anything she writes!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Betsy Fasbinder on May 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this beautifully written memoir, Newton opens her recipe books, her memory, and her heart to take us through the culinary, cultural, sexual, and personal revolutions through which she's lived. With food as the vehicle, she takes us through her own coming of age as well as her life-long search for a sense of "home". Brave and vulnerable, the story lets us into both the sweet and the bitter of Newton's life, but ended leaving me wanting to join her at an abundant table surrounded with good friends. I dare you not to get hungry and nostalgic reading this story. Good thing recipes are also included.
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