cover image Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

Keith Dixon. Crown, $22 (224p) ISBN 978-0-307-59187-6

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. (May)