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My memoir, Give a Girl a Knife, chronicles how my obsession with food and cooking led me away from my small hometown to the fine dining brigades of New York City and then ultimately drew me back home. As I wrote about my past—from my childhood, to my first spark (the love of cooking on the line), to my return to the Minnesota woods at age 34, which is where this story ends—I burrowed way down under the covers into my first love: books. (When I’m writing, I often fall asleep with books around me; it drives my husband crazy, but he knows that books are my milk-before-bed, my insomnia-defeaters.) While I was writing this memoir, these are the books I drank and ate and slept with as I figured out how to tell the stories of my relationships with food, cooking, the Midwestern wilderness, and memory itself.
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