My wife is looking for a book that she read circa 2004. The novel was a “coming of age story” with a teenage protagonist. Embedded within the prose of the book were Middle Eastern (possibly Lebanese), and American recipes. Among others, she remembers getting recipes for mjeddrah, meatloaf, tabbouli, and baclava. The story had details like what kind of bulgur the character’s father used in the recipes, and she says while the plot wasn’t necessarily food-centric, everything tied back to food.
She believes the story is set in New England and that that the protagonist was transplanted there. She says the time was more or less contemporary.
Added to state: We have searched quite a bit. In particular, we saw this list of 100 books featuring food and did not think it was any of them. Crescent is among them.