Parents Need to Eat Too

Subscribe to Words to Eat By & Win! (That’s right, it’s the first-ever giveaway on my little blog)

Subscribe to Words to Eat By & Win! (That’s right, it’s the first-ever giveaway on my little blog)

In four-and-a-half years of blogging (give or take some time off for baby-rearing), Words to Eat By has never done a book giveaway. It’s about time, folks! Guess I was just waiting for the right book to come along.

You may know that, in addition to writing for magazines and Web sites, I also write copy for book publishers—I worked in the business for fifteen years before going freelance seven years ago. One of my clients is Hyperion, and one of their imprints is Voice, which is all about women. About nine months ago, I was working on their summer 09 catalog, which goes out to booksellers so they can see what’s coming and order accordingly, and a chunk of manuscript came my way. The title was intriguing: Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes. I cracked it open, and within seconds I was hooked. What food-loving mom wouldn’t be, with an opening like this:

This book was born very simply out of two loves: food and children.

And not necessarily in that order.

I love food. I love kids. Well, to be fair, not all kids. I love mine, though. This is true with food, too. I love looking at food at the farmer’s market, peering at specialty stores, talking about food, shopping for food, reading about food, but I do not love eating all food—though I’m willing to try. Most of all, I like cooking food. And I like cooking it for my rather large family.

The copy I delivered for this wonderful book virtually wrote itself:

A year in the life of Emily Franklin’s kitchen: one mom, four kids, and 102 new recipes.

When Emily Franklin was working as a chef on board luxury yachts, she thought it was challenging to cook for dozens in a galley kitchen smaller than a shower stall. But once she became a mother of four under eight (including one whose age was still measured in weeks), Franklin realized she’d actually had it easy.

Too Many Cooks is Franklin’s charming, comedic, and wise memoir of her life in the family kitchen. Peppered in equal parts with how-I-did-it advice on parenting (one son even gobbles fava beans when she labels them “Cajun”) and flexible, mouthwatering recipes (salmon might sit in Impromptu Asian Marinade overnight, for thirty minutes, or no time at all), it’s a deliciously entertaining, and wonderfully inspiring, book about the joys, anxieties, and delightful surprises to be found around the dinner table.

Emily Franklin is the author of the novels Liner Notes and The Girls’ Almanac as well as more than a dozen books for young adults. Her essays have been anthologized in several collections, including the forthcoming What I Would Tell Her: 30 Top Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Relationship. In a prior life she was a chef on historic and luxury yachts. She lives near Boston with her family, where she is a full-time mother to four children under eight years old. With no childcare.

Honestly, I was so excited about Too Many Cooks I did something I’ve never done before: I looked up Emily Franklin on the Internet and sent her a mash note. Given how I struggle to write with just one toddler, I’m in awe of her abilities. Turns out she’s just as personable and amusing as she seems from her writing.

And now, nine months later (seems appropriate, no?), this delightful book is finally coming out. Its official on-sale date is April 28, 2009, but on Words to Eat By you’ve got a chance to win one of two copies this very week! I’ve got them in my hot little hands now, but so as not to step on the bookselling industry’s toes, I’ll send out the winners’ copies to arrive on the 28th.

How do I win, you ask? It’s simple. Step one: Subscribe to Words to Eat By, using the “subscribe to my feed” link in the header above. Step two: Leave me a comment saying you’ve done so—and make sure to include an email address so I can contact you if you win. Bonus: if you’re a mom struggling to feed the grownups in your family while dealing with baby and you’ve got a few seconds to spare (ha! A little levity), I’d love to hear a little more from you—what kinds of issues you’re dealing with, what sorts of foods you wish you could cook, if only the logistics weren’t so annoying…

If you blog about my little giveaway, or Tweet it (I’m @debbieharry on Twitter, are you following me?), you’ll get an extra entry.

And that’s it! At 8PM on Friday, April 17, I’ll put all the respondents’ names in a hat and let Harry choose two winners. Then, god willing, he’ll go to bed and I’ll come here and announce the lucky winners.

Remember: Subscribe, comment, and if you want extra entries, blog and/or Tweet. Good luck!

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