BCB Home Made


A woman honors her father’s legacy by teaching a cooking class in a home for youth in state care—a powerful memoir about the small acts of showing up that transform our lives and how making food can make community.

Liz Hauck and her dad had a plan to start a weekly cooking program in a residential home for teenage boys in state care, which was run by the human services agency he co-directed. When her father died unexpectedly after a brief illness, Liz decided to attempt the cooking project without him. She didn’t know what to expect volunteering with court-involved youth, but as a high school teacher she knew that teenagers are drawn to food-related activities, and as a daughter, she believed that if she and the kids made even a single dinner together she could check one box off of her father’s long, unfinished to-do list. This is the story of what happened around the table, and how one dinner became one hundred dinners.

An intimate account of humorous and heartbreaking conversations, and a vivid account of the clumsy choreography of cooking with other people, Home Made is a sharply observed and honestly told story about how a kitchen can be both safe and dangerous; how even the short journey from kitchen to table can be perilous. Each chapter explores the interconnectedness of flavor, memory, culture, and life and offers a glimpse into the ways we behave when we are hungry and the food we crave when we seek comfort. Home Made is a tender and vivid portrait of poverty and abundance, vulnerability and strength, estrangement and connection. It is a memoir about the radical grace we discover when we consider ourselves bound together in community and a piercing investigation of the essential question: Who are we to each other?