5/02/2017

Mango Crepes for Life from Scratch


Our Cook the Books Club selection for April/May is Life from Scratch, a Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness, by Sasha Martin.  All in all, heart rending, and poignant, but not my favorite memoir.

Just extemporizing here, as it's all another's history, but right at the outset, one would have thought that a woman with "Mom's" independence of mind, and spirited personality would have tucked her kids into their car, with all essentials and split for the West Coast or somewhere in between, rather than give up her precious children once again.  Especially since she regretted turning over her first two to an ex.  It's not explicitly stated, but perhaps she would have lost her welfare?  It happens all the time, for one reason or another, children are put into foster homes. That whole scenario bothered me.  Particularly as we see the awful effects it had on the children of both her relationships, based on Martin's memories. Definitely where forgiveness came into play.

Children without the mother they loved, no father, the business of her beloved brother's molestation and suicide, the coldness of her foster mother (which you can actually sort of understand, taking on two teens, angry and unhappy at leaving their own mother).   An interesting, honest, albeit sad story.


All that aside, and two thirds of the book in, we come to a point of, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,"  I loved the whole concept of  her Global Table Adventures, cooking right through the countries of the world, alphabetically.    I would like to give that a try myself, maybe take the remainder of my life, certainly no rush if you're not planning a book from it.



There was a lot of food to inspire us Cook the Bookers, right from the beginning with her mother's inventive and heirloom recipes, through time at their foster parents' in Paris, even though Sasha was not allowed into the kitchen there, to the international cuisine explored on her blog, Global Table Adventures.


Right at the beginning of the book, Sasha talks about the crepes her mother made.  "One of our favorite childhood treats" - A favorite of mine as well.  I love crepes rolled around fruit and or jam with a bit of sour cream inside, for breakfast; then for dinner the rest of the crepes become manicotti with savory fillings.   These were filled with a bit of lemon marmalade, kefir cream cheese and fresh mangoes.  A dusting of powdered sugar on top is optional.  The remaining crepes a few days later, became wrappers for a grated zucchini, mushrooms and cheese filling, topped with tomato sauce.  You get two for one, a delicious breakfast and scrumptious dinner.

This will be linked up with Cook the Books, for the Round-up on this selection, for which you still have time to join in, as posts are due by May 31st, for Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, and with the May Foodies Read Challenge.  Be sure to stop by and check out some good book reviews, and food inspiration.

15 comments:

Camilla Mann said...

I agree with you. Not my favorite memoir, but not my least favorite either! ;) Love your crepes.

Elen Ghulam said...

I read Life From Scratch last year and thought it was so-so. I felt the book was half cooked.

Tina said...

Those crepes look divine. I have never prepared crepes but I like them, they intimidated me. I'm not done with the book yet but it is indeed sad.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I'm still in the midst of reading it but yes, it is quite poignant. Your crepes look delicious. I love mango anything and it makes my mouth water seeing your crepes (which look perfect by the way) filled with it. I love that there is lemon marmalade in there for a bright pop of flavor too. Yum! ;-)

Beth F said...

I've had this on my list, but all the mixed reviews have made me hesitant. Still, I love the idea of cooking alphabetically through the countries. Kind of a cool project.

Vicki said...

I loved this book. The crepes look good.

Mae Travels said...

Crepes are as wonderful, as you say! And you (along with the other commeters) convinced me -- I'll never read that book.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Carole said...

I enjoyed (maybe not quite the right word) the book - felt very honest. Cheers from carole's Chatter

Wendy Klik said...

I loved that Sasha was honest about her mother's flaws and sufferings from mental illness. I agree that it was a very sad book, in parts, as is life sometimes. Your crepes look amazing though and would surely brighten anybody's day.

Dragonfly Our Familiarium said...

wow that's a heartbreaking story! and yes one would wish that so many things would have gone differently. I Can't even with the mango crepes! Two of my favorite things to eat!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Working on the round-up now (and my post! LOL). Will let you know when it's up. I totally agree with your comment about the mom. Such a resourceful and creative woman should have found a way to keep her children close.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

Your comments on the book sum mine up pretty much as well. But your crepes sound better and more exotic than the ones in the book. I just love mangoes.

Delaware Girl Eats said...

Mangos - what better answer to any culinary question

Amy CookingAdventures said...

Agreed! I was very frustrated by Sasha's mother as well. Your crepes, however, look divine!

Simona Carini said...

Mango crepes sound and look divine. Great choice of recipe. I'd be even happier with the savory version. Your post reminded me that I have a pan to make crepes and never make them.